Capitol Records

The rumors were true! Avenged Sevenfold are back with their new album The Stage, which they surprise-released last night following a 3D, 360-degree livestreamed virtual reality performance. According to a press release, the guys made history by becoming the first-ever rock band to drop an unannounced album in both digital and physical form. 

Stream A7X's The Stage below:

The new album features lead single "The Stage" and the 15-minute long closing track, “Exist" with a guest appearance by award-winning astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. It's all tied together with Avenged Sevenfold's signature shrieking electric guitar riffs and frontman M. Shadows' maddening vocals.

"Well, man, a lot of it has to do with boredom," M. Shadows told Rolling Stone about the surprise album, laughing. 

"Everyone else is dropping the breadcrumbs, having four or five singles before their record comes out. It completely takes away the mystique of the record; by the time it actually comes out, you've already done 50 interviews about what the record's about and is going to sound like. It's 2016; people's attention spans are so short at this point, who has time for three months of lead-up?"

He also revealed that the album was inspired by artificial intelligence:

"Someone sent me an article on AI that was written by Tim Urban on the website Wait but Why—that was kind of where I stuck my toes in the puddle, and I said, 'OK, I've gotta learn about this!' I felt like this is one of those things that our generation is going to have to answer for, eventually, and I just wanted to educate myself on it."

Check out a Fuse interview all about Avenged Sevenfold's 2010 Nightmare album below: