Avenged Sevenfold have never been a band afraid to mess with their own formula and introduce some surprising new elements into their sound. From 2013's unexpected lurch into full-on heavy metal in Hail To The King to 2016's The Stage, with all its proggy meanderings, the one thing you can rely on with each passing Avenged album is to have no idea what to expect.
That said, if a (we can only hope) tongue-in-cheek new video posted by M Shadows is anything to go by, there really is nothing off the table when it comes to potential musical left-turns for the band's next record.
"So Synyster Gates is sitting here [with] me in the studio trying to convince me that he needs to beatbox on this record," Shadows Tweeted on Saturday (July 30). "I told him I would crowd source opinions."
Accompanying the Tweet was a poll asking whether fans wanted beatboxing on the new Avenged album or not - and, in a result we highly suspect was compromised by people being daft, almost 56% voted in favour.
True to his word, Shadows then went on to post a video of Gates in the studio, beatboxing away like a seasoned pro into a mic which, we fear, is hooked into the studio's mixing desk.
Watch the video below.
To troll or not to troll? 😂. Guess we’ll find out 🥸 pic.twitter.com/k9ZW1A7TjoJuly 30, 2022
The fact that the video is captioned "To troll or not to troll?" makes us pretty certain that Avenged are just pulling our leg with this whole thing, but the added "Guess we'll find out" has us feeling nervous. We're sure it's all just a wind-up, really.
To be fair, Avenged Sevenfold have never been shy in admitting their influences from well outside the rock spectrum, with M Shadows revealing earlier this year that Kanye West was one of the inspirations on their current writing process for album number eight. "The thing about Kanye is that he is pulling from such great soul music," Shadows explained. "I didn’t grow up with that stuff - my dad listened to Boston and Alice Cooper, I didn’t get that taste of black music and old soul. So, diving deep into jazz musicians… we’re not trying to do a jazz record, but the chord changes and progressions are so eye-opening to us."
We still think beatboxing on an Avenged album is a step too far, and we suspect Avenged know that all too well. Just don't completely rule it out. You never know how far a band will go for a laugh.
The new Avenged Sevenfold album is expected in early 2023.