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“For a lot of people, this is the death of Avenged Sevenfold”: Synyster Gates reflects on reception to Life Is But a Dream…

“But for a lot of other people, it’s a birth. The birth of a different band.”

Synyster Gates performing live

Credit: Daniel Knighton/Getty Images

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Avenged Sevenfold’s eighth studio album Life is But a Dream… arrived earlier this year to mixed reviews from critics and fans, with some lauding the quintet’s fearless foray into the musical unknown, and others discarding it as a venture too far from the realms of familiarity.

And as a band highly tuned in to the community – they launched their own NFT-based fanclub, the Deathbats Club, in 2021 – it’s no surprise they’re acutely aware of the album’s varied reception thus far. Guitarist Synyster Gates, however, is seeing positivity in polarisation.

“I think with an album like this, time is on its side,” he says in a new interview with Metal Hammer. “I’ve been using this analogy: both of my parents’ favourite band is The Beatles. My mom hates everything post-Sgt. Pepper’s, my dad couldn’t care less about the early stuff. They both still respect the fuck out of it, but it’s not for them.

“So, for my mom, Sgt. Pepper’s was the death of The Beatles, and I think for a lot of people this is the death of Avenged Sevenfold. But for a lot of other people, it’s a birth. The birth of a different band.”

Reflecting on the mixed response to the album, which has included a fair proportion of negative reactions, Gates continues: “Funnily enough, I thought it could go either way.

“We’ve actually had really amazing support from the press, so I don’t want to make people think that we feel like we aren’t supported by the press at all. I actually feel it’s good that it just hasn’t been ignored.

“Even the bad reviews, people have talked about it. People are still interested in us, so that’s all I could ask for, really. The negative comments, I feel they’re the minority. I think people have been really thoughtful in considering this album.”

In other news, Avenged Sevenfold were recently announced as one of the headliners for the 2024 edition of Download Festival, alongside Fall Out Boy and Queens of the Stone Age.

“We are super excited to be playing Download for the third time,” said Avenged Sevenfold’s Synyster Gates upon the announcement. “As they say the third time’s a charm, so hopefully we get it right this time! We appreciate everyone coming back and joining in the madness and the fun.”

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