By slowing down the pace, and taking on duller tones, Angels show Avenged Sevenfold to be capable musicians who don’t need to rely on walls of gain or searing speed to make a point, although the changed musicality highlights a nasal quality in the vocals. With its reference to Nero fiddling while Rome burned, Roman Sky features a string backing and is an unexpectedly soft and restrained song, and one on which Shadows’ vocal approach works best. At fifteen and a half minutes long, Exist is The Stage’s – and indeed, Avenged Sevenfold’s – longest track. Perhaps too long, with its shifts and turns ultimately lacking coherence, although the spoken word section from Neil deGrasse Tyson – written by him, specifically for the record – is a wonderful surprise.

This is an extract from a review originally published on the 19th November 2016. Please visit Renowned For Sound to read the full review.

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