Avenged Sevenfold's new album The Stage was a surprise to just about everyone, especially considering we all thought that the album was called Voltaic Oceans and would be out in December, due to a post on Chris Jericho's social media. Jericho owned up to fact that the name was fake name on the actual release date of their new album, The Stage, which was last Friday. So, that's it for new music from the band, right? Maybe not. Let's back up for a minute.
Remember the original single "The Stage," and how the album art was the eye of a skull? Look at what's in the middle of the eye – it's the artwork for the album before it was even announced.
So going off the assumption that the skull's eye predicts what the band's going to do next, look at the footer of the band's webstore. It's a large image of the skull displayed prominently, with the right eye of the skull being the artwork of The Stage and the left eye being… something, and it looks very deliberately done.
Strange, right? Then there's the fact that when the band played the song "The Stage" live, they included the little spoken word bits in the background of the track. Listen in the right channel around 2:45, where the normal track is replaced by someone saying "Voltaic Oceans on December 9th."
When we reached out for comment on the situation, a rep from Capitol Records said that the band has no plans to release any further albums past The Stage at this time. So is it? Maybe, but the band has a lot to gain by hiding the fact that new stuff is coming, perhaps due to its lawsuit with Warner Bros.
Not to mention the band had flat out said they were still writing and being "wishy-washy" in late August of this year, which (I'm pretty sure) turned out not to be true, considering it just came out.
Oh, and then there's vocalist M. Shadows explicitly stating that the band will be adding seven more songs onto The Stage as time goes on. Here's the quote from Talk Is Jericho.
"This record is evolving. There are things we're going to be adding to the record as time goes on, and it's still going to be part of the record. We don't want to give out what those songs are, but we have about seven more tracks that will be added on to this as time goes on."
So maybe there is another song coming in December as a download pack, or another release altogether? We will know soon enough… but for now, the band's fans are out there trying to prove a conspiracy.