The Stage (2016)

Avenged Sevenfold

A Master Class from Synyster Gates  

Why kid ourselves, some of their designs are absolutely horrible if not straight up tasteless. Pure made in the USA. Despite this, the one-of-a-kind sound of the Schecters signed by Synyster Gates has hoisted them among the favourites of a great number of guitarists that inhabit the planet. For the leader of Avenged Sevenfold it ain't necessary to show anything from up there, being the best heavy band on stage,  although there are more than enough reasons to listen to him on his new, and symbolic seventh album, The Stage, where there is an abundance of technique and talent, to give a master class.

has put itself half way up the progressive metal road, but well-mannered, from Dream Theater - Mike Portnoy lent them a hand on the brilliant Nightmare (2010) - and the heavy romantic melody of Him. The metalcore thing is already history. They have never been a ‘battle’ group, nor does their biblical name which refers to Cain put them among numerous American groups obsessed with religion. They say they just want to entertain. And to sell, was the reply of the band most presumptively ‘authentic’ of rock.


Well if it´s about selling records, it doesn’t seem very clever to start up their new release with an 8-minute song not suitable for sensitive ears, and with the debut of a new multi-national company to boot. The Stage, however has shot up the lists of downloads, when it was made available at the end of October, to levels A7X hadn’t reached for years.   

It is, therefore, a matter of opinion, even if, right off the bat, it may seem unfair to say or hear, in an album which leaves few concessions to the gallery   What is indisputable, is that great part of their success is due to Gate’s guitar, or to be loyal to his birth certificate, to that of Brian Elwin Hener Jr., an interesting point on him is that his father, Brian Hener, better known as Guitar Guy, together with his Strat, is largely to blame for his son being a superstar of rock’ n roll.     

Papa Gates,
his second nickname, was very well known back in the day for his American television appearances and almost since the beginnings was bound to the band as an arranger, so on this occasion he takes the lead on the spectacular solo of Angels.

Without leaving out someone no less important, between son and pop, we can also often see another guitar,  Zacky Vengeance’s one.  Zacky is the group founder and perfect on rhythm guitar.  His real name is Zachary James Baker, a punker at heart, with hands of steel and habitually shows off with his Schecter S-1 Elite Vengeance Custom. Certainly more beautiful than the Synyster ones.

They all bow before Clapton, or before Stevie Vai if we don't want to go that far back, but new generations look first to the Schecters of the 30-year-olds like Gates or Vengeance, or at the 8-string Tosin Abasi Ibanez , when buying a guitar. And that, just as in any other walk of life, is how the world spins. With the grace of Metallica, the future is theirs.

(All images: ©CordonPress)