AVENGED SEVENFOLD has released a new version of the song "Mad Hatter" in response to fan complaints over the original version's mix. The track was recorded for the "Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4" video game and was first made available online on September 17.
"Mad Hatter" is included on AVENGED SEVENFOLD's new EP, "Black Reign", which was issued on September 21. The effort contains all four songs the band has written and recorded for the "Call Of Duty: Black Ops" franchise.
After a number of AVENGED SEVENFOLD fans raised concerns about the initial "Mad Hatter" mix, singer M. Shadows took to Reddit to address the situation, saying that a corrected version, with "more clarity," will be uploaded to all the streaming services and made available to radio stations on Monday, September 24.
M. Shadows wrote: "Hey Guys and Gals - I hope you are all doing well. I just wanted to update you on a situation with 'Mad Hatter'. We saw some complaints about the mix and we totally agree with you! We were pushing the limits in a lot of different ways and once the compression of streaming services and radio got a hold of it the clarity become muddied. I heard it on the radio and was like 'Oh Shit!' The good news is we live in a world were you can quickly fix your mistakes and we have done just that. On Monday all streaming services and radio will switch to this new version with more clarity but we wanted you to get it here first. Check out this link. We hope you enjoy and have a great weekend."
"Mad Hatter" was recorded in Los Angeles this past March and co-produced by the band and Joe Barresi, who helmed AVENGED SEVENFOLD's critically acclaimed album "The Stage", including its Grammy-nominated title track.
"'Black Ops 4' looks insane and is something completely new for fans, so we felt that we should take a similar leap with the music and go for something bigger, darker and more cerebral," said M. Shadows.
About the "Mad Hatter" creative process, Shadows said: "Watching the initial trailers and looking at production sketches reminded me of the 'S-Town' podcast and its main protagonist, John B. McLemore, who was rumored to have suffered from mercury poisoning, or Mad Hatter disease. The idea of Mad Hatter and what it does to the brain is as frightening as the images we were shown. So I decided that the lyrics would shadow McLemore's life. The result is a thick-grooved song that's dynamic and has a weightiness to it."
"We have a very deep relationship with the team at Treyarch," he added. "We're proud to be part of the family and extremely excited for people to enjoy this next chapter and our contribution to it."
"As fans of the game and as world class musicians, AVENGED SEVENFOLD has demonstrated an innate ability to convey the emotion and raw power of the 'Call Of Duty' Zombies experience," said Jason Blundell, director of Zombies at Treyarch. "We're introducing fans to a new cast of characters in 'Black Ops 4' and delivering the biggest Zombies experience to date. With IX, we knew we needed something epic and A7X delivered."
"Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4" is published by Activision and developed by Treyarch with additional development support from Raven Software and PC development with Beenox.
"Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4" is scheduled to come to PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 12.
AVENGED SEVENFOLD contributed music to the previous three installments of the game series, and even appears (virtually) in the second chapter, when they can be seen performing the song "Carry On" in an epilogue after the closing credits.
"Mad Hatter" is the first original material AVENGED SEVENFOLD has released since last year's "Dose", which originally surfaced in the Gameloft mobile game "Dungeon Hunter 5". It later appeared on the "deluxe edition" 2017 reissue of the group's 2016 studio album, "The Stage".
AVENGED SEVENFOLD will probably start working on its eighth studio LP this fall for a 2019 release.
The band recently canceled its summer tour with PROPHETS OF RAGE and THREE DAYS GRACE after M. Shadows was struck by a viral infection that left him "voiceless."
Photo credit: Kameron Pollock