Blabbermouth has given “The Stage” Deluxe Edition a 9.5 out of 10 stating, “A terrific album just got even better.”
If you appreciated “The Stage”‘s prolonged storyline of mankind’s implosive obsession to perfect artificial intelligence (i.e. the beautiful if unsettling sci-fi film “Ex Machina”), then you’ll hardly be offended by another hour of material stuffed into this deluxe edition. Even with six covers and four live cuts added to this new version’s bonus disc, there’s a new track, “Dose”, to chew on. Nearly as busy as the ambitious fifteen-minute-plus closer, “Exist”, it would’ve fit snugly on the original album had it not been nearly 74 minutes already.
AVENGED SEVENFOLD is nearly by the numbers with PINK FLOYD’s “Wish You Were Here”, and if you’re detecting a common thread of melancholy, all with dashes of progression, it should lend a better appreciation for what went into “The Stage”. The labor inside this album is evident, but the aspiration to make these covers AVENGED SEVENFOLD’s own should be applauded. Carrying the responsibility implied with being labeled a “New Wave of American Heavy Metal” band, AVENGED SEVENFOLD has well answered that call, regardless of whether you find them heavy enough or not.