On Oct. 28, Avenged Sevenfold became the first band to release a surprise album in both the physical and digital formats. The campaign leading up to the release of The Stage was groundbreaking and was capped off by a special 360-degree, virtual reality performance atop the roof of the Capitol Records building, their new label home. After all this, the campaign netted the group a No. 4 debut on the Billboard 200 chart.

In total, Avenged Sevenfold shifted 76,000 copies of The Stage as Billboard reports. The California group sold 72,000 physical copies with the remainder coming from track equivalent streams and streaming equivalent album, two metrics that now count towards a band's total number of units moved.

The Stage did not manage to top the charts like Avenged Sevenfold's two previous albums, Nightmare and Hail to the King. The album also sold roughly half the amount of copies as both of these records which posted 163,000 and 159,000 copies moved in their debut week respectively.

It's worth asking if the surprise campaign, which began with mysterious sightings of the band's Deathbat logo around the world and included a fake tweet from Fozzy singer and WWE wrestler Chris Jericho teasing the new title and alleged release date, was worth it. It will also be interesting to see what this means regarding the lawsuit Warner Bros. Records (the band's previous label) levied against Avenged Sevenfold for breach of contract.

Warner Bros. will be aiming to recoup any financial losses they would have stood to gain from the release of The Stage as Avenged had one album remaining on their contract before jumping ship to a new label. The case is set to head to trial next year.

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