Avenged Sevenfold is known for their bombastic rock sound, but this new album doesn't feel very conventional. It doesn't have the layered vocals, god-like guitar solos or theatricality that has always characterized their music.
Nevertheless, The Stage is an excellent step up for the band. It's a more complex and ambitious album than City of Evil or Waking the Fallen, but it still maintains their signature bombastic sound and a sense of power.
Musically, The Stage has a variety of genres, from hard rock to heavy metal. It includes songs with brass instruments, acoustic guitars and a synth-like guitar arpeggio, but it also has a lot of aggressive thrash metal riffs.
Tracks that stand out on The Stage include the first single, “The Stage,” which focuses on humanistic themes and how people struggle to stay grounded in a world of fear and uncertainty. The song explores the narrator's journey from loneliness to feeling grounded in the world.
The song is also a great representation of how Avenged Sevenfold's music can evolve from simple riffs to power ballad territory. After the introductory organ intro, Synyster Gates' guitar riff kicks in to create the perfect mood for the song. Brooks Wackerman's double bass drum pattern is also featured, making for an exciting and enthralling rhythm section. Finally, M Shadows' powerful vocal style is showcased in the bridge of the song, which transitions into a full-band power ballad without getting too heavy or fast.