Back in 2016 when Avenged Sevenfold released The Stage, M. Shadows described it in a Facebook post as a “grower album”. In other words, it is an album that grows on you the more you listen to it and subsequently becomes better in your eyes…or ears, in this case.
At that time I was a bit surprised about the post, given that I was not a big fan of the album…at that time. However, after listening to some interviews about the creation of the album, I decided to give it another shot. And then another, and then another, to the point where I realised it’s insanely good, once I got passed my peeves about the lyrics and singing choices the band and Matt took. I mean I still find some of the lyrics from The Stage song and Sunny Disposition annoying, but the songs as wholes are really really good.
Grower album are a trick. I remember back when Rise Against released Endgame in 2011, the album didn’t tick at first. And while I don’t know if the band’s intention was to make it a grower album experience. But to me it was. I didn’t like the album at the first listen. But I gave it another shot. And then another, and then another until I realised that the songs, while different than previous albums such as Sufferer are actually very good and some of them helped me through some tough times in college, so there is that.
We live in an age of instant gratification. It is not as bad as people make it seem to be, but not really good either, as people don’t tend to have as much patience with certain things anymore, things that end up being very good in the end.
Grower albums are just an example, because the same can be said about people dismissing various gadgets as useless because they can’t spare 5 mintues to understand how they work. I almost returned a perfectly good GPS device because of this. But I really needed it and after spending, guess what, 5 minutes to figure out its quirks, I realized how great it actually is.
In the end it’s all down to each individual, but what I’m trying to say is that mastering something takes time. It could as little as 5 minutes to figure out a solution to a small problem or years of practice in order to gain a new skill. Grower albums function in the same way. It takes some time to get the beauty of them, but once you do, you realize the beauty of them. In the words of Axl Rose, “all we need is just a little patience”.