Friday, June 8, 2018
By Eric Mackinnon
When Avenged Sevenfold were handed the keys to the Download Main Stage back in 2014 it felt like a coming of age.
A metal band who had climbed the bill the hard way with hard work, kick ass tunes and creating a loyal and plentiful fan base.
I was there in 2014 and it was the kind of set which made me and the guys I was at the set with feel like A7X had arrived. They were now bonafide headline materials and much like following in the musical bootprints of Slipknot five years earlier who had cemented their legacy at Donington Park, it was their time to step up.
Strangely Avenged Sevenfold didn't get the praise afterwards they probably deserved and it's taken four years but they are back at the top of the bill and now is their big chance.
Their opportunity to wind up the bat and knock it the hell over East Midlands Airport and climb alongside the ranks of regular Download Festival top dogs.
They have the live show. The stage presence. The pipes and the riffs. The back catalogue and the tunes now to win over the 80,000 plus expected on the hallowed turf of Donington this summer.
A7X are a band with a foot in the metal camp and a food also stomped in the rock camp. They appeal to fans of both genres and are a genuine crossover heavyweight headliner.
But they are also a band determined to make their own path. Frontman M Shadows has spoken at length about his love for the metal greats of the past which shaped his youth but he insists he is determined his band will make their own legacy and leave their own distinctive mark in the record books of rock and metal.
“Well listen, if they're looking for us to repeat history and be a band that fits in exactly with what they think that should be, they're going to be disappointed,” he says honestly.
“We're gonna make our own path and choose our own way. We will continue to embrace technology and new ways of getting music. Our future is going to look different than any of our bands that we looked up to.”
He continued: “What I do think, is that if we create compelling music and continue to write experimental and different types of records, as well as having that Avenged Sevenfold sound, and going out there and playing for people every year and having fun doing it, there's no reason why we can't continue to play and do it for a long time.
“The reality is, it's up to the fans. If the fans like it, you become the big band. If the fans lose interest, and they don't want to see you live anymore and have no interest in what you're doing, then it all falls apart... and that's OK too.
“It's not gonna look the same as it used to, that's one thing I know for sure. We're going to have to carve our own path and it's going to be different, exciting and I can't wait to see what that is.”
Avenged Sevenfold will lock and load on the Download Festival main stage with material from 2016's well received album 'The Stage' and peppering their new tracks around classics such as 'After Life,' a slice of melodic metal heaven, or the poignant, 'So Far Away' will keep the masses at the main stage as if the Donington turf is draped in velcro.
See you there, horns up, head swinging.