Avenged Sevenfold (or A7X for short) have been a mainstream metal band for awhile now and have put out some worthwhile albums, for the most part. My personal favourites being Waking the Fallen and City of Evil. A7X have also put out some very "meh" albums such as Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, their self titled and their previous album, Hail to the King, which was the epitome of mediocrity. Since I wasn't a big fan of HTTK (hail to the king) I wasn't expecting much on the Stage...But, I actually enjoyed this album. The Stage is more experimental then their previous releases, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The Good: The instrumentation sounds amazing, the guitar riffs are nice and heavy, and new drummer Brooks Wackerman shows up big time proving to be a solid addition to the lineup. Some songs reminded me of what I liked off of City of Evil, it just sounded like A7X was playing to make solid music and have a good time doing it. The Bad: M. Shadows isn't the same singer he was on Waking The Fallen, especially with the growth on his vocal cords, sometimes he can't hit those higher notes like he used to. I'm not saying it's all bad..just a minor criticism..as well as some songs are a tad long. Overall Grade: B- A7X lost my interest with Hail to the King and regained it with The Stage, let's see what's next for the metal band from California.