Avenged Sevenfold Caution Why New Album Best ‘Served as a Whole,’ Provide Inspirational Insight
One song does not a full album make, even in the age of streaming. While there was a wide array of reactions to Avenged Sevenfold's new song "Nobody" yesterday (March 15), the band was perhaps anticipating the overreaction off one song and took steps to make sure that their full artistic expression was not overlooked ahead of its release. So there was a note added on to their webstore pre-orders for the Life Is But a Dream album that offered more insight on the upcoming record.
In their note, the band spoke of the journey to reach the album completion, their preference that the record be listened to as one full artistic statement and they provided a little more context about the themes the permeate the new album.
"Avenged Sevenfold's new album Life Is But a Dream is best served as a whole and consumed en masse to truly appreciate its musical breadth and sonic depth," starts the description, before revealing some of the key details about the recording.
"Written and recorded over the span of 4 years, it was produced by Joe Barresi and Avenged Sevenfold in Los Angeles and mixed by Andy Wallace in the Poconos, Pa."
As for what fans can expect, the band provided the following: "The album is a journey through an existential crisis; a very personal exploration into the meaning, purpose and value of human existence with the anxiety of death always looming."
How Death Plays a Role in "Nobody"
While one song does not make an album, it can provide contextual clues to some of the overall themes. In the note accompanying the pre-sale of the new album, the band discusses the "anxiety of death always looming." There are nods to that in "Nobody."
The song's second verse in particular delves into a deathly theme, with the lyrics citing, "I walk with death in final exhalation / And come apart through violent separation / A thousand floors ascend into ether / A lunatic enchanted by the reaper / And down below I leave a stranger laying lifeless as the light begins to shatter the skies / I ascend and leave the 'used to be' and tear the fabric worn to cover my eyes and see / I see."
The song's third verse takes things a step further, moving beyond the initial point of deathly passage. "Breathe in the silence, ebb and flow among the waves / Blur on the spectrum in light come dark in equal phase / All I ever was, has been and will always be / Here I end where I started again beyond death and borne on the wind / I am the sun / I am the sun."
The song's chorus also ties things together with the refrain, "I'm a God, I'm awake, I'm the one in everything / I'm alive, I'm the dead, I'm a man without a head."
READ MORE: The Lyrics to Avenged Sevenfold's "Nobody"
Who Inspired Avenged Sevenfold's Life Is But a Dream?
According to the press release for Avenged Sevenfold's new album, Life Is But a Dream "was inspired by the writing and philosophy of Albert Camus. Accordingly, the lyrics are rooted in existentialism and absurdism, two philosophical approaches often associated with the author's works.
So who is Albert Camus? He was a French philosopher who came to prominence in the first half of the 20th century. He was given the 1957 Nobel Prize for Literature for his "important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times."
He was also a member of the French resistance during World War II, who used his gift for writing as editor-in-chief of Combat, an outlawed newspaper. After the war, he continued to write, and for Avenged Sevenfold fans who want to do the deeper dive, some of his key works included The Stranger, The Plague, The Myth of Sisyphus, The Fall and The Rebel. He died on Jan. 4, 1960 at the age of 46 in a car accident.
Avenged Sevenfold are certainly giving fans plenty to digest ahead the new album, but they've always been ahead of the curve in giving fans a larger experience beyond what's heard on a record. The Life is But a Dream album is currently on track for a June 2 release. Pre-orders are available here.