Power of Metal.dk has published their review of “The Stage.”
I’ve gotta tell you, I’m blown away. Just when I thought the band was starting to leave their best days behind them, they totally turn the tables and release this gem of an album. These songs show a serious growth for the band. It may push some longtime fans away, but they aren’t going to play by anyone’s rules. It’s great that they don’t want to be pigeonholed, and this album will help people see their multitude of influences. They did what a lot of popular bands won’t do these days, and that’s make an actual album, and not a collection of singles.
The addition of Wackerman on drums was a perfect choice, and his style compliments what Sullivan gave to the band with his incredible drum talent. Synyster Gates continues to show off what he does best in crafting memorable solos and an original guitar sound. The fact that I don’t see him mentioned among the top-tier of modern guitar heroes is criminal. And the whole band has elevated their collective musicality to include progressive metal (especially with “Exist”), and they do it so seamlessly that I think they can definitely help draw in fans from that subgenre with little to no hesitation.
While the band may get some new flak from fans for taking a different approach to their career and songwriting, I think “The Stage” was just what the band needed to show not only all of their fans, but the people that routinely put down the band, that they are here to stay, and reinvention is something that won’t hinder their legacy, but make it grow and flourish.