There’s always been a theatrical vibe within Avenged Sevenfold’s music. It’s like you are able to fully immerse yourself and when you close your eyes play out a personal storybook. That sensation is concentrated in this latest offering which buzzes with fresh ideas. Here we have a band unlocking a new dimension to their work. It still sound like an A7X album but it’s just…. more. The Huntington Beach five piece have had some time to prepare and write as it’s been a long seven years since ‘The Stage’ hit record stores back in 2016. They haven’t wasted their time. You get lovely little passages featuring classical instruments, some subtle acoustic work and then bam! you get that unmistakable driving sound. M Shadows nuances the lyrics to great effect, making you listen and hang on to every word. It’s not a balls out rocker all the way through which allows a lot more freedom vocally and Shadows truly shines. The thoughtful way the instruments are blended with skilful bridges and bold writing keeps you intrigued as to what is coming next. You can hear dreamy sequences that remind you of Pink Floyd at their trippiest, then you get something akin to a film score sneaking in. Alice In Chains seem to be getting channelled at one point too. It’s a swirl of flavours that sound delicious right through. The metalhead purists out there will likely hate this album. The more open minded will hear the clever writing and admire the brazenness of it all. So it’s a little bit Marmite – which is a very good thing. They’ve made us wait quite a while but Avenged Sevenfold are back with something very special.