Just two weeks into 2016, Avenged Sevenfold attempted to sever their contract with Warner Bros. Record, citing staff turnover led to a degradation in the working relationship between the band and the label. The Wall Street Journal has now reported that Warner Bros.' lawsuit against Avenged for breach of contract is set to head to trial next year.

The band exercised the "seven-year rule" set in place by the state of California to protect artists. This allows artists to exit their "personal service" contract after seven years if certain circumstances exist and A7X's lawyer Howard E. King initially told Billboard that “no one on the current [Warner Bros. Records] A&R staff has even a nodding relationship with the band.” With one record remaining on their Warner Bros. contract, the group signed with Capitol Records and released The Stage today (Oct. 28).

Warner Bros. Records will sue over lost income, but will have to try to prove exactly how much they would have lost due to Avenged not delivering the final record of their contract. This will be especially difficult given the unique and sensational campaign behind the band's surprise release of The Stage.

As rumors of the new album's release kicked up, Avenged Sevenfold announced the first-ever live 3D, 360-degree virtual reality stream, which they performed on the roof of the Capitol Records building. Leading up to this, mysterious sightings of the band's Deathbat mascot cropped around the world, building anticipation. Recognizing this, King told WSJ, “We don’t know what Warner could have done with an Avenged album other than screw it up. These are two completely different companies.”

Warner Bros. declined comment on the issue as it is a pending legal matter, but offered, "We’re proud of our partnership with Avenged Sevenfold over four great records, including the last two which were No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.” The label will also issue an A7X compilation titled The Best Of: 2005-2013 on Dec. 2 this year.

Read the full statement Avenged Sevenfold released about the lawsuit back in January here.

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