Avenged Sevenfold singer M Shadows picks his ten favourite concept albums

Avenged Sevenfold
(Image credit: Press/Brian Catelle)

US metal quintet Avenged Sevenfold sent a few shocks through their fanbase back in 2016 when they released the unashamed prog metal concept album The Stage.

This year they taken everything a few steps further with their supremely avant-garde radical new album Life Is But A Dream..., which Metal Hammer describes as "Bold, ambitious, divisive and, quite frankly, batshit insane" and "Life Is But A Dream... tore up Avenged's rule book, set it on fire, seasoned it with hallucinogens and ingested it."

So we asked Avenged frontman M Shadows to tell us all about his favourite concept albums, and we have to admit, the man has taste.


Pink Floyd - The Dark Side Of The Moon

Pink Floyd

(Image credit: Amazon)

“This could be the greatest record of all time. Besides Money there are no singles; you go from The Great Gig In The Sky to Us And Them, and it’s this thing that flows and makes you feel something.”

Pink Floyd - The Wall

The Wall cover art

(Image credit: EMI)

“This was the first Floyd record that really spoke to me. I was at Lake Powell looking at the stars and put it in, and that night I listened to the whole thing in awe.”

Quyeensrÿche - Operation Mindcrime

Operation: Mindcrime cover art

(Image credit: EMI)

“My dad got me into it and said it was the greatest concept record of all time, so I finally gave it a spin and then I would play it everywhere, all the time.”

The Who - Tommy

The Who - Tommy art

(Image credit: UMC)

“It’s just brilliant musicianship and brilliant songwriting. This record spoke to me around the same time as Operation: Mindcrime because I wanted to get more into concept albums.”

The Beatles - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Sgt peppers

(Image credit: Apple Corps)

A Day In The Life is probably one of the greatest ending songs of all time. I throw this album on and I’m blown away by how eclectic it is, every song just sounds like
a different band.”

Dream Theater – Metropolis Pt 2: Scenes From A Memory

Metropolis Pt 2: Scenes From A Memory cover art

(Image credit: Elektra)

“This record was shown to me by The Rev when we were on Warped Tour and I listened to that every day for like six months. It just blew me away. It was my first introduction to Dream Theater.”

The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds

Beach Boys

(Image credit: Capitol Records)

“This is one of my favourite records of all time. It’s more personal to Brian Wilson and he wrote it by himself, more away from the surf stuff and it was more about his heart and love songs.”

My Chemical Romance – The Black Parade

My Chemical Romance

(Image credit: Reprise Records)

“I’ve always been a My Chem fan, we took them on tour when they did the Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge record, but I think Black Parade took them to a whole new level.”

Rush - 2112


(Image credit: Universal)

“I love 2112. I could pick this just for Neil Peart’s drumming alone. I’ve loved everything about Rush. I got into them with Moving Pictures but 2112 is one of the all-time greats.”

NOFX - The Decline


(Image credit: Fat Wreck Records)

“I don’t know if it’s strictly a concept record but it’s five tracks that were one song about the state of America and it’s fucking awesome. It’s poignant, great music, Fat Mike at his best.”

Luke Morton joined Metal Hammer as Online Editor in 2014, having previously worked as News Editor at popular (but now sadly defunct) alternative lifestyle magazine, Front. As well as helming the Metal Hammer website for the four years that followed, Luke also helped relaunch the Metal Hammer podcast in early 2018, producing, scripting and presenting the relaunched show during its early days. He also wrote regular features for the magazine, including a 2018 cover feature for his very favourite band in the world, Slipknot, discussing their turbulent 2008 album, All Hope Is Gone.