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.
The lead vocalist or lead vocal is the member of a band who sings the main solo vocal portions of a song. The lead vocalist may also play one or more instruments, and is usually the "leader" of their group, often the spokesman in interviews and before the public. The lead vocalist is sometimes referred to as the frontman.
In certain types of music, notably soul and Motown, there is a line-up of a lead vocalist with a named group of backing vocalists (Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Diana Ross & the Supremes, Gladys Knight & the Pips). Such line-ups can be very fluid, with both the lead vocalist and the backing group pursuing independent careers; and frequent personnel changes are not uncommon. While members of backing bands were often replaceable, the lead singer would be regarded as having a more marketable name and would have to hire or fire backing musicians at will. Cases of backing bands "defecting" to rival vocalists were rarer, but did happen on occasion as seen by Tony Orlando and Dawn.