American metal band Avenged Sevenfold release video game featuring themselves

It is not enough for American rock/metal band Avenged Sevenfold that their albums top the Billboard charts. They want to invade your mobile gaming arena too.

The California quintet, who will perform at The Coliseum on Sunday, released video game Hail To The King: Deathbat late last year, which allows fans to play characters based on their members.

Avid gamers themselves, the band were very much involved in conceptualising and developing the action-oriented, role-playing game, says guitarist and co-founder Zacky Vengeance, 33.

"I was really hands-on in developing my character for the game, from the look to the weapon that I used. I've played the game a lot and I've gotten a lot better at it."

The game shares the same title as their most recent and sixth album, which topped the Billboard charts last year and is based on the fictional origin of the band's mascot, a batwinged skull dubbed Deathbat.

Vengeance, whose real name is Zachary James Baker, says that the band are looking forward to returning to Singapore.

They have a strong following here. Their upcoming show at The Coliseum will be their fourth in Singapore. Their last outing at the same venue in 2012 was sold out.

They first performed here at music festival SingFest in 2007 and the following year at Max Pavilion.

"We've played three great shows for fans in Singapore and even though it's so far away from us, they make us feel right at home when they sing along to the songs.

"I find the fans in Asia in general more amazing, they sing and cheer louder. It's really remarkable, they really appreciate it when we go all the way there to do shows," says Vengeance.

Avenged Sevenfold was formed during his high- school years in California with singer M. Shadows, late drummer The Rev and former bass player Matt Wendt in 1999. Lead guitarist Synyster Gates joined soon after and current bass player Johnny Christ joined in 2002.

Their debut album, Sounding The Seventh Trumpet, recorded while the band members were still in high school, was released in 2001. The album, coupled with extensive touring, raised the band's profile considerably.

Their third album, City Of Evil, released in 2005, remains their biggest-selling album to date, having sold 1.5 million copies in the United States.

Tragedy struck in 2009 when The Rev died at the age of 28 of an accidental overdose of prescription drugs and alcohol.

After considering disbanding in the wake of his death, the group bounced back and released Nightmare, their first album to hit No. 1 on Billboard, in 2010.

The Rev's replacement, Arin Ilejay, has been a permanent member of the band since he joined in 2011, but Vengeance says he still misses playing with their late drummer.

"The Rev was one of our best friends and while we love playing with one another, it's still hard for us to be on stage without our fifth best friend every night."

Aside from their trademark black get-up and tattoos, Avenged Sevenfold are also known for their evolving musical style, which has ranged from metalcore in their early years to the heavy metal and hard-rock slant of their more recent output.

Vengeance says their next album, which they plan to start working on in the middle of this year, will see their music evolve further.

"We've discussed some ideas, but until we start writing we don't know what the new music will sound like. It will definitely be a progress from our past music."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.