Avenged Sevenfold vocalist M. Shadows was recently a guest on The Bob Lefsetz Podcast. Shadows discussed the current state of metal as a genre, saying that ultimately the genre isn't going anywhere (despite what Gene Simmons might think). Shadows adds that while the genre isn't going anywhere, he does feel that there could be a little more innovation. Or in his own words, "a lot of bands in my generation are just treading the same waters that Metallica's already done."
"I think the purely metal scene is always going to be there. Like you said, it's always got a pulse," he said. "I don't think the innovation is there, and I don't think the ability for fans to have an open mind for when something is innovative, something is different, is there. I think the great songwriting has been lost a little bit, as well as some of these eccentric pieces of music.
"When Metallica came out there was nothing like that. It seems like a lot of bands in my generation are just treading the same waters that Metallica's already done, and I think when you see great artists, a lot of them aren't in the metal scene. There's a lot of great art out there, and I would argue there are some amazing pop, some amazing hip hop, some amazing R&B, and some artists that are doing truly eccentric stuff."
Shadows criticism of the genre clearly comes from a place of love. Later in the conversation, he adds that people send him stuff on Twitter constantly and that it's mostly more of the same. "I think that hurts metal in a way, because I think a lot of times it's just this regurgitated sound that people will praise, and then it goes away, because if you're not in the scene, you don't care," he said. Shadows later states that he thinks bands like Deftones and Ghost are bringing something fresh to metal, but "overall, as a scene, you don't see the experimentation that I would love to see."
In a recent interview, Shadows said Avenged Sevenfold plans to get back to work on their new album this month, get it mixed in August by Andy Wallace (Slayer, Sepultura, Faith No More), and get it out either late 2022 or early 2023.