Avenged Sevenfold hoped to make Life Is But A Dream... even weirder by having Lionel Richie sing on it

M Shadows and Lionel Richie
(Image credit: Juan Aguado/Redferns, Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images)

Avenged Sevenfold's new album Life Is But A Dream...is pretty out there, to say the least. With its mind-expanding, sprawling passages of cosmic prog derived from the band's dabbling's in psychedelic substances, it's by far their most experimental release yet, and one of the standout albums of 2023.

Apparently, the band actually planned for it to be even weirder, and at one point, were in talks with pop/soul/R&B legend Lionel Richie to guest on the album.

The planned collaboration was revealed last week when A7X frontman M Shadows discussed the new record in conversation with metal content creator Nik Nocturnal.

As Shadows explains, the metallers had wanted to recruit Richie to sing a part on the song Beautiful Morning, a segment of which now features two female guest vocalist instead.

"We were talking to Lionel Richie about doing the vocal part there", he notes, before revealing how Richie's busy schedule as a judge on American Idol got in the way of the unlikely crossover.

"At the end of the day, he got too busy with America's Got Talent or whatever. But he was gonna sing that [section], 'It's a beautiful morning / It's a beautiful day.'" 

Well, as disappointing as Lionel Richie's absence on Life Is But A Dream...is, there's certainly more than enough weird and wonderful moments elsewhere on the record to feast on, with tracks influenced by a wide array of artists including Daft Punk, Elton John, Pink Floyd and Kanye West.

Listen to the full interview below, and to find out more about Avenged's new album, you can do so in the new issue of Metal Hammer. Order the magazine here

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.