Singer M. Shadows was born on July 31, 1981, so let's get to know him a little:
1. His full name is Matthew Charles Sanders and he was born in Fountain Valley, California.
2. The first time he listened to rock music was when his father gave him a "Guns N 'Roses" tape as a gift.
3. He started playing the guitar when he was a child but he acquired his musical ability when he learned to play the piano.
4. His first band was a punk band called "Successful Failure" in which he was a guitarist.
5. In 1999 when he was only 18 he formed with his drummer friend James Sullivan the band "Avenged Sevenfold", they also added their friend from guitar school Zachary Baker and complete the band joined bassist Matt Wendt.
(Photo: Lisa Johnson)
6. Although he is not a religious man, Shadows gave the band the name based on the story of Kane and Abel from the Bible.
7. He decide on the nickname M . Shadows since he felt he was the gloomiest character among the band members, and the idea to adopt nicknames came from bands they grew up with like "Guns N' Roses" with Slash and Head + Munky From "Korn".
8. In 2001 "Avenged Sevenfold" released their debut album "Sounding the Seventh Trumpet". Shadows often use this album with the growling roars befitting "Metalcore".
9. That same year the lead guitarist and also a childhood friend of Shadows Synyster Gates joined the band.
10. A year later the band left their record label and signed with the label "Hopeless Records", they re-released their first album and started getting exposure.
11. In 2003 they released their second album "Waking the Fallen". The single "Unholy Confessions" was released from the album, but the song "Eternal Rest" entered "Kerrang" magazine's "666 Songs You Must Own" list. "Metal Hammer" magazine ranked the album 6th on the list of the 100 best albums of the 21st century. On this album, you can already feel the change in Shadows' voice that moves more towards the graul-free singing.
12. In 2003 the band left its label and signed with "Warner Bros. Records" and in the same year, Shadows underwent surgery due to a problem with his vocal cords.
13. In 2005 the band released their third album "City of Evil". On this album, the band's style began to move more from Metalcore to Hard Rock / Heavy Metal. The album features several very successful singles such as "Burn It Down", "Beast and the Harlot", "Seize the Day" and one of the band's beautiful songs "Bat Country". The album entered "Rolling Stone" magazine's list of the 100 greatest metal albums of all time.
14. This is without a doubt the band's breakthrough album that brought it international exposure, following that A7X was invited to Ozzfest and performed together with bands like: "System Of A Down", "Disturbed" and more.
15. For the benefit of this album Shadows worked hard to improve his vocal abilities. He wanted to convey roughness and power in clean singing without growling. He worked for 9 months with a famous vocal guide named Ron Anderson who worked with artists like Axl Rose and Chris Cornell, and indeed on this album he almost didn't growl and his vocal color got a uniqueness that now characterizes the band.
16. Not only because of the musical change but also because of the length of A7X performances and the length of the tour Shadows decided to change his approach to singing. He felt he was unable to endure long performances and often even developed warts on the vocal cords following his screams, growl, and roars.
17. In 2007 A7X released its fourth album bearing the band's name and despite mixed reviews, the album peaked at number four on the Billboard 200. This is also the band's latest album The Rev.
19. In 2011, Shadows won the Best Vocalist Award at "Metal Hammer" Magazine's Golden God Awards. At the same ceremony, the band picked up two more awards Guitarist of the Year and the Album of the Year awards.
20. In 2013, the band released their sixth album "Hail to the King". The album went straight to number one on the Billboard charts and achieved that status in the European charts as well. The album included several successful singles such as: "Hail to the King", "Shepherd of Fire" and "This Means War". On this album, the band changed their style with influences of blues rock, reminiscent of "Led Zeppelin" and "Black Sabbath", and of course the comparison to Metallica's "Black Album" in this case is obvious ...
21. In 2016, the band released their seventh album "The Stage". Here, too, the musical direction has changed by several degrees and is moving more toward prog-metal. This is the band's first concept album with the main theme being artificial intelligence and the self-destruction of society. The album peaked at number four on the Billboard 200 and earned the band a Grammy Award nomination in the Best Rock Song category.
22. Shadows has collaborated with many artists such as: Slash, "Steel Panther", "The Confession", "Good Charlotte", "Fozzy" and more.
23. The game "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4" has the character of Shadows who can be chosen as a game character.
24. In 2018, the band released an EP called "Black Reign" which includes all the songs that were included in the games series "Call of Duty: Black Ops".
25. In June 2023, the band released their eighth album "Life Is But A Dream...". The album comes out almost 7 years after their previous album "The Stage" and for the first time since the album "Nightmare" it also includes contributions from the late drummer The Rev in the songs "Mattel" and "Beautiful Morning".