Details of the album were unveiled by the band during last week’s 3D, virtual reality performance on the roof of Capitol Records Tower in California.
They decided to sneak-release the follow-up to 2013’s Hail To The King rather than “dropping the breadcrumbs” before the launch, as Shadows said it takes away “the mystique” of the record.
Now M Shadows tells Sirius XM (via Blabbermouth): “We just wanted to give the fans the cherry on top right off the bat and just say, ‘Here it is. You thought we were messing around for a year, but we’ve been working.’
“A lot of bands, you’re hearing what people are saying, or they’re reviewing this, and you’re hearing the vibe of the record before you even get to hear the music, and that’s just wrong to me. I want people to make their own decision.
“Listen to the music and figure it out for yourself, instead of being fed the press release: you know, like, ‘This is what it’s gonna sound like,’ and, ‘It’s our favourite, most melodic, heaviest thing ever.’ It’s so boring at this point.”
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He adds: “We didn’t really tell anyone, except very close people in the inner circle. Because people just like to talk.
“Even though they might not have bad intentions, you just don’t want some person to accidentally tweet something or put an Instagram post up, ‘cause that’s all it takes and then the whole surprise is ruined. And then what are you doing? You’re stuck.
“So this has been really good, and we’re really proud of being able to keep this whole thing secret.”
They recently released their video for title track, The Stage.
Fozzy frontman Chris Jericho revealed how he and Shadows came up with the idea to release fake album details to throw people off the scent of the sneak release strategy.
Avenged Sevenfold tour dates 2017
Jan 10: Glasgow SSE Hydro
Jan 12: Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
Jan 13: Birmingham Genting Arena
Jan 15: Sheffield Arena
Jan 16: Manchester Arena
Jan 18: Nottingham Motorpoint Arena
Jan 19: Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
Jan 21: London O2 Arena
Jan 22: London O2 Arena
Feb 12: Frankfurt Festhalle, Germany
Feb 13: Hamburg Sporthalle, Germany
Feb 15: Berlin Arena, Germany
Feb 16: Dusseldorf Mitsubishi Electric Halle, Germany
Feb 18: Amsterdam Ziggo Dome, Netherlands
Feb 20: Stuttgart Schleyerhalle, Germany
Feb 21: Milan Forum, Italy
Feb 23: Vienna Wiener Stadthalle, Austria
Feb 25: Munich Zenith, Germany
Feb 26: Zurich Halle 622, Austria
Feb 28: Lille Zenith Arena, France
Mar 01: Luxembourg Rockhal, Luxembourg
Mar 02: Paris AccorHotels Arena, France
Mar 04: Copenhagen Valby Hallen, Denmark
Mar 07: Helsinki Hartwall Arena, Finland
Mar 09: Stockholm Ericsson Globe, Sweden
Mar 10: Oslo Telenor, Norway