Avenged Sevenfold have marked their explosive return to studio music by dropping Nobody – a six-minute electric guitar masterclass that previews the band’s upcoming eighth album, Life Is But A Dream…
However, previewing A7X’s first album proper since 2016’s The Stage is only part of Nobody’s objective. Specifically, Nobody also marks the return of Synyster Gates, who uses the song to remind everybody – via a fiery fretboard workout – that he remains one of the best metal guitar players on earth.
Strictly speaking, Nobody doesn’t faithfully subscribe to what one would consider to be the conventional metal mantra, filled as it is with trap-y drum beats, stabbing synth brass lines and some jarring electronic instrumentation.
Having said that, Gates’ guitar chops rear their brutal, none-more-metal head with some hair-raising, chainsaw-like octave bends in the opening exchanges and a littering of lightning-quick arpeggios.
Gates’ own contribution to Nobody, though, peaks around the 4:30 mark, when he’s given free reign for a full minute to go to town on his fretboard, which he does in awe-inspiring fashion.
Through a range of warp-speed sweeps, brain-boggling scale lines and full-throttle licks that tie together each element of the solo into one ferociously neat effort, Gates lays down the gauntlet and stakes a claim for the most technically inspiring solo of the year thus far.
Nobody’s slightly surprising sound is said to be indicative of Life Is But A Dream’s wider sonic direction, which was pieced together over a four-year writing period that was heavily inspired by the writing and philosophy of Albert Camus.
The album is set to arrive later this year, June 2, via Warner Records.
Though metal is what he’s most well-known for, Gates is equally adept at jazz thanks to his time studying at the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles. Proof of his virtuosic versatility can be found in his Django Reinhardt-channeling gypsy jazz jam from 2014.