Matthew Charles Sanders (born July 31, 1981), better known by his stage name M. Shadows, is the lead vocalist, songwriter and founding member for the American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold. Shadows possesses the voice type of a high baritone, and is well known for his distinctively gritty singing style as well as occasional screaming.
Avenged Sevenfold (sometimes abbreviated as A7X) are an American rock band from Huntington Beach, California, formed in 1999. The band's members are lead vocalist M. Shadows, rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist Zacky Vengeance, lead guitarist and backing vocalist Synyster Gates, bass guitarist Johnny Christ and drummer Arin Ilejay.
They are known for their diverse rock sound and dramatic imagery in album covers and t-shirts. Avenged Sevenfold emerged with a metalcore sound on their debut Sounding the Seventh Trumpet but their style had evolved by their third album and first major label release, City of Evil, into a hard rock/heavy metal sound. The band continued to explore new sounds with their self-titled release and enjoyed continued mainstream success before their drummer, James "The Rev" Sullivan, died in 2009. Despite his death, the band continued on with help of now-former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy and released and toured in support of their fifth album Nightmare in 2010 which debuted on the top spot of the 200Billboard, their first number one debut. Their latest record Hail to the King released in 2013 marks the album debut of new drummer Arin Ilejay. Hail to the King charted as #1 on the US Billboard 200, the UK albums chart, as well as the Finnish, Brazilian, Canadian, and Irish charts.
In the United States, California is commonly associated with the film, music, and arts industries; there are numerous world-famous Californian musicians. Hardcore punk, hip hop, country and heavy metal have all appeared in California. Furthermore, new genres of music, such as surf rock and third wave ska, have their origins in California.
Rock music is a genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s' and 1950s' rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical sources.
Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with bass guitar and drums. Typically, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature utilizing a verse-chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse and common musical characteristics are difficult to define. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political in emphasis. The dominance of rock by white, male musicians has been seen as one of the key factors shaping the themes explored in rock music. Rock places a higher degree of emphasis on musicianship, live performance, and an ideology of authenticity than pop music.
Warner Bros. Records Inc. is an American record label. It was the foundation label of the present-day Warner Music Group, and now operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of that corporation. It maintains a close relationship with its former parent, Warner Bros. Pictures such as distributing the latter's new music subsidiary WaterTower Music, although the two companies are independently owned. Rob Cavallo currently serves as Chairman of the company.
Warner Bros. Records was originally established in 1958 as the recorded music division of the American movie studio Warner Bros. Pictures. For most of its existence it was one of a group of labels owned and operated by larger parent corporations. The sequence of companies that controlled Warner Bros. and its allied labels evolved through a convoluted series of corporate mergers and acquisitions from the early 1960s to the early 2000s. Over this period, Warner Bros. Records grew from a struggling minor player in the industry to become one of the top recording labels in the world.
City of Evil is the third studio album by Avenged Sevenfold released on June 6, 2005 by Warner Bros. Records. Co-produced by Andrew Murdock, City of Evil contains a more hard rock and classic heavy metal sound than Avenged Sevenfold's previous two albums, which showcased a predominantly metalcore sound. The album is also notable for the absence of screaming vocals. M. Shadows worked for months before the album's release with vocal coach Ron Anderson, whose clients have included Axl Rose and Chris Cornell, to achieve a sound that had "grit while still having the tone". In order to increase stamina and strength on the pedals, The Rev would sit for hours practicing until he could get up to 210 beats per minute.
The album contains some of Avenged Sevenfold's most popular and famous songs, including "Bat Country", "Beast and the Harlot", "Burn it Down", and "Seize the Day", all four of which were released as singles between June 2005 and July 2006. City of Evil was very successful after its release, debuting at #30 on the 200Billboard chart and certified as a platinum record by the Recording Industry Association of America in August 2009. It went on to sell over 1,500,000 copies in the United States, and 2,500,000 total worldwide, making it the best-selling album out of Avenged Sevenfold's discography as of 2010. Also, it is the band's longest studio effort, at 72:52 minutes.