Avenged Sevenfold: 'Metal Dropped Off After the '90s'

"Metal music isn't at the forefront as much as it used to be," says singer M. Shadows while discussing the new album.

Ultimate Guitar

Avenged Sevenfold singer M. Shadows recently revealed what the band's upcoming record "Hail to the King" might sound like, as he named the early '90s metal records as its top influences.

During a chat with Kerrang! magazine, the frontman also admitted that metal seemingly failed to keep up the pace with the rest of the music world since those days, slowly fading away from the forefront of the music scene.

"We feel that metal dropped off after the '90s in terms of production and songwriting," Shadows said after naming the likes of Pantera, Metallica and Megadeth as the new record's main influences. "Metal music isn't at the forefront as much as it used to be."

The vocalist elaborated further, "We wanted to write a record that was highly influenced by the early '90s records and mid-'80s records we grew up on. Then we went back even further and were influenced by [Black] Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. We studied those records, looked at what they were doing and how they were doing it. A lot of them came out of the blues, so we studied the blues and classical music. We just wanted to write a record that was different."

Apart from praising new drummer Arin Ilejay for nailing the upcoming album just right, Shadows briefly discussed the differences "Hail to the King" will bring to the table in terms of drumming.

"The record will surprise people, because the drumming is completely different to anything we've done before," he said (via Blabbermouth). "That's because of the way the songwriting is. We wrote songs that needed this type of drumming. I spoke to Arin and said, 'Look, people are going to come at you because of what this record sounds like. They're going to think you should be overplaying like Jimmy and Mike [Portnoy] played.'

"But if the Rev was here with us, this is how he'd have played it. He wouldn't overplay it, he'd sit back in the groove and he'd try to make it as powerful as possible, rather than as technical as possible. I asked [Arin] if he was okay with that; I asked if he was okay with the hate he was going to get. He said he was, and that he wanted to do whatever was best for us and the songs."

Whether or not can A7X reach the classic status of such masterpieces as Metallica's "Black Album," Megadeth's "Countdown to Extinction" or Pantera's "Cowboys From Hell" will be seen on August 27 when "Hail to the King" is scheduled to drop via Warner Bros. Records.

The band's previous studio effort, "Nightmare," saw its release in 2010, peaking straight at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

73 comments sorted by best / new / date

    >"We wanted to write an album that was different" >Influenced by Pantera, Metallica, and Megadeth
    This will be great!! I wanna hear Syn's riffs on this album! I have no idea why some people hate A7x? Can someone tell me? And "cuz the suck" ain't very mature
    Personally i kind of like their riffs and drumming, you can hear that they are influenced by some cool things. But i think he overemotes on the vocals which kinda kills it for me and i never really liked the production on any of their albums, i think they are a bit too overproduced. I want to like them but they just never hit home for me (except for Bat Country, i like Bat Country).
    THANK YOU for great comment! That might be something true in what you said
    They were at the forefront of the metalcore genre. The genre is hated on because of how it's all about money and image. Something which metal has always been against. I love City of Evil and thats the style should be writing but after that album they went sort of soft. I don't like them that much because they have a showoff sound too. I dont know how to really describe why. One reason is the guitar are all like "look at how cool I can play".
    Face R1pper
    That's not why metalcore is hated. Metalcore is hated because it is stylistically not metal music. It is punk-based music with some metal influences, but they try to pretend they are metal musicians with their speech and image. Which is why the majority of metalcore bands are considered posers.
    Maybe because some people have different tastes in music, and simply just don't like them? I find M. Shadows vocals to be ridiculously annoying, and that's the main reason I don't like them.
    why should i respect a band that put out 1-2 half-decent albums then went into playing mainstream hard rock with gay vocals and watered down insrumentals. Theyre not metal by far, and their hard rock isnt good either.
    Oh you must be one of those who listens to only 1 genre and every other genres sucks...
    I'm a musically open-minded guy, but I can't deny that M Shadows' vocals did get pretty gay. Not being a homophobe, not being a hater. Just the best word to describe it.
    That is homophobic and is far from the best word to describe a vocalist's style.
    >Uses "gay" as a derogatory term to describe something >"Not being homophobic" Ummm, something went wrong with this, mate...
    Oh for god's sake. "Gay" HAS become a derogatory term, but I'd bet most of the people who use it today as an insult don't actually have a problem with gays, as it's just become something to say. Stop being so damn sensitive.
    Perpetuating the primary term for homosexuals as an insult is homophobic. Take responsibility for the words you use.
    We use a word that describes a social minority (often looked down on) to refer to something we aren't quite fond of and it's their problem if they feel offended. Bunch of overreacting bastards right? Hurray! Yeah, it's true that some people who use it as an insult don't actually have a problem with homosexuals, but it shouldn't be hard for them to realize the contradiction of using such a term. Oh well...
    Gay regarding vocals is when they sound whiny and strained but not actually powerful and emotionally moving, with lots of "yeah"s and "cmon"s. It doesnt have a strict definition, but i have a particular ear for them.
    @DarthTyrannus83, Then just say "The vocals sound whiny, strained, and emotionally weak, and there are a lot of 'yeahs' and 'cmons.'" That describes the vocals and it doesn't bring homosexuality into it.
    Mainstream hard rock? Clearly you haven't heard A Little Piece of Heaven
    "They are not metal" lol. Who cares if they are metal or rock? Does that change how their music sounds like? Does not being metal make the music sound worse?
    A little reading comprehension would help you. I mentioned being metal because Mr Shadows was talking about metal. All i was saying, A7X is not a good band, whether theyre metal or not. And in this particular case, they mention being metal and talk about its quality, but themselves are not a proper metal band, and their hard rock, or whatever it is, is not particularly good, at least to me.
    but u still respect metallica dont u? dont be a hypocrite.
    Where did i mention respecting Metallica? No i dont, they only have the first 4 mid decent albums, after that they only put out stuff that embodied what i hate in metal, and the first 4 albs are nothing special compared to a lot of quality thrash from 80s, 90s and now, either.
    I'm just not a fan. I could never get into them and a lot of bands similar. Would probably list to a song on the radio if it came on, but other than that, I really don't like them. I wouldn't say I hate them, but I hate how much over-publicity they get. A lot of pages on Facebook will only reference them when it comes to music in the 00s and a lot of fans of them I know rave about them constantly.
    What a load of bollocks, Ive been hearing constant awesome rock and metal bands and just because they arent on the radio doesnt meen it doesnt exist anymore or "dropped of" Besides their not exactly "metal" are they?
    My two cents: Metal didn't necessarily "drop off" after the 90s. It just got to the point where metalcore became the flavor of the month and a bunch of bands followed that formula (including A7X). Bands that didn't adhere to that formula got pushed to the back, and that style of music got real stale real fast. But that sort of thing happens all the time. Look at what happened when all the so-called hair bands hit the scene. I don't think metal is ever going to be at the "forefront" of music, but you know what? Who cares? It's always gonna be around, despite the trends that seem to be here today and gone tomorrow.
    No reason to hate the new drummer just because the old drummer died. Good for them they moved on! It's what I would have wanted if I were a deceased drummer. Looking forward to the record.
    'Metal Dropped Off After the '90s' This statement is completely untrue in the context it is being used in. More people like metal now than ever did in the 90s. I very much remember being part of a subculture which compared to now was much smaller. There was no such thing as big visible shop*S* in the centre of cities where you could buy shirts or whatever. He is probably unwittingly referring to the quality of the metal scene which is now very much diluted by quantity and also the modern lack of standout characters (short of people like Devin Townsend, natch). Oh, who is this guy anyway?
    Irwin Navarro
    Arin really DOESNT deserve the hate.. Listen to his work on songs like Carry On, Not Ready to Die, and even in Confide's Shout the Truth.. Its really awesome. Yes, he's no The Rev or Mike Portnoy but he is helping the band continue and the band is cool with him..
    I agree, Slipknot were your last big band to come out and have widespread success - though, we took influences from the same bands everyone else does, but we just wanted to make something different - is a bit of an odd thing to say
    "Metal Dropped Off After the '90s" "We feel that metal dropped off after the '90s in terms of production and songwriting" Says who? The douche that contributed exactly to that. Matter of fact, metal has never had higher production and songwriting than from late 90s and on till now.
    Metal actually has droppe after the 90s.. There's nothing like Pantera anymore
    Lamb Of God says hi.
    Lamb Of God is pretty awesome.. Still you get the point
    One does not measure the success/quality of metal music by its popularity. The fact that metal is not as widely recognized as it was in 80s/90s doest take anything away from is current quality. For the record, it only got faster, more technical, more texturally encompassing, intricate and interesting. The whole "music back then was so much better" thing is bullshit thats only true if you only consider popular mainstream stuff.
    the point is that more and more metal music has turned into mainstream bullshit.. Yeah, there is still ****ing awesome metal bands but it's mostly just screamo/growl, shredding, double bass bursting..
    And Metallica was the "forefather" of that movement. ITs also that with time, naturally, more bands appeared and so the percentage of shitty bands also increased. We also have internet so people instantly get to know any band that pops out, thats why it seems like theres more shitty metal now than ever. Well it might be true, but im not a bit concerned by it, as the good stuff more than compensates for it. Im more worried that a lot of so called music lovers dont appreciate metal.
    I feel bands like Karnivool are writing more interesting stuff now. There's a lot more exploration in metal than before
    There doesn't NEED to be something like Pantera anymore, but there are plenty of knockoff bands if that's what you're looking for. Plenty is going on in Metal. It hasn't really "dropped."
    I do agree to an extent but we still have some great metal bands come out of the 2000's. I mean look at Trivium, Killswitch Engage and Machine Head for example.
    Metal is alive and thriving more than ever before. There is an intelligence to song structures that has emerged that makes it borderline educational to listen to. (Animals as Leaders, Meshuggah, amongst others) Slayer, Metallica and Megadeth aren't the only credible metal musicians around you f*cking cupcake-face Nikki Sixx wannabes.
    Hit the nail right on the head. Metal may not be on the forefront (kinda ironic he says that) but it's not exactly dead either.
    Cat speaks as if 90's Black, Doom and Death Metal weren't there. I mean, Death's ****ing Human came out in 96, and this jack is gonna tell me metal fell off? Get the **** outta here.
    Pretty sure metal hasn't dropped off in terms of production and songwriting since the 90s, infact it's exactly the opposite. Metal has become much more diverse, intelligent and interesting than it ever was in the 80s. Ignorant comments like "metal isn't as good as it used to be" only come from people who haven't listened to any metal beyond the more mainstream bands.
    Coming from one of the bands who ruined metals badass image and reputation in the first place hahaha
    There's more people listening to metal now than in the 80's simply because this generation is larger. You still see less radio play and exposure for metal bands now.
    what the hell would this poser know about metal music after the 90's.
    Considering he was born in the early 80's and grew up listening to metal in the late 80's and through the 90's, a lot. And after the 90's? Well, he's met most of the more prominent musicians in metal in the past 10 years, so he probably has a pretty good grasp on it.
    "I asked if he was okay with the hate he was going to get" h8erz gonna h8? Really now? He joined your band, I'm pretty sure he is in it because he wants to, not to win any popularity contests. I don't enjoy their music, so they probably shouldn't consider my opinion on their drummer anyhow; it's their band for crying out loud.
    link no1
    He probably is in it because he want's to be in it but some people don't want to be hated either. I can imagine it being pretty rough if I joined a band just because I wanted to play guitar with them only to be constantly hated and frowned upon by all their fans because I'm not the 'old guitarist' when I've not done anything wrong at all.
    here you folks go
    I just listened to that.... "The record will surprise people, because the drumming is completely different to anything we've done before" yeah, except completely similar to anything a middle of the road band would do. If your drummer has the capability to play better, then he totally should, everything else is just excuses.
    What about The Rolling Stones' Charlie Watts? Anyway I like this song. I think it's got a pretty cool and unique feel to it and I'm looking forward to the new record
    This guy just doesn't really have the knowledge of what bands and flavours are out there. Metal is still going hard, you just have to look for it and not wait for it to come to you straight from MTV. Also, I agree with the irony here as well.
    I don't even like metal that much (I'm a fusion guy whose appreciation for metal kind of tapered off throughout the years) but I think Animals as Leaders are insanely good. Huge fan of their stuff. I'm excited for the future of metal and instrumental music in general if the Tosin Abasis of this world start forming bands and making records.
    Just gonna throw this out here, there are many good bands that have come out but if you've ever been out touring you can quickly see Metal Bills are some of the worst to be on because so many so called musicians out there just want to play metal and are usually the worst bands of the show. Not saying there aren't good ones out there but it pretty sparse and the rock and acoustic acts tend to be much better, more entertaining, much better attitude, have better songs, and are just better people. Remember you can be good on your instrument but that doesn't mean your band is any good...
    I really hope the rest of the record lives up to what he's describing. Cause the single's really boring.