Avenged Sevenfold are keeping plenty busy nowadays. They just released a new track for the new Call Of Duty video game, and appear at the end of the game after the credits roll to boot. They are also working on a new album, which they previously compared to Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin.
The band is working on the new album with a new drummer, Arin Ilejay. Arin grew up a fan of Avenged and similar sounding bands like Bullet For My Valentine, and according to frontman M. Shadows, he apparently never got into the "classics" like Metallica and Pantera.
“A lot of it’s been us refreshing him on what our influences are and where we’re coming from as a band,” M Shadows tells Revolver about how the process is coming along. “There’s a lot of things that he was never brought up on that we have to quickly get him acquired to such as Pantera and Metallica and Slayer and Megadeth and we’re introducing him to these records that were literally the biggest records when we were growing up. Just records that you have to know. He’s much younger and he grew up listening to Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet for My Valentine, ya know?”
The band remedied Ilejay’s “newness” by handing him Pantera’s Far Beyond Driven and Metallica’s Master of Puppets as required listening and homework. Shadows said that A7X told him, “‘Learn these albums. You need to learn these things” because when we’re talking about ‘groove metal,’ we’re not talking about some Warped Tour band. We’re talking about f—ing Pantera! We’re talking about Black Sabbath, ya know? So we’re getting him acquired to that and I think he’s learning really quickly what we’re looking for. We’re not looking for an overly technically proficient drummer. We’re looking for a guy that knows how to fit the song and be in the groove and play the right thing in the right moment. It’s been cool. It’s been good. He’s been doing really, really well.”
My initial thought is shock, but thinking about it, if somebody was born in the early 90s, by the time they got old enough to get into metal, if they got into it through Warped Tour, as M Shadows joked, they probably would've skipped Pantera. It's somewhat shocking that there are people out there into metal who have never listened to Metallica or Sabbath, but you live you learn.
Certainly, the bands and albums that Avenged are sighting as influences are a positive step in the right direction as far as the sound of the new record.