Avenged Sevenfold have a very clear, very simple and very focused aspiration. They don't want to put out millions of records and coast on the wave of what they've already done. Instead, they want to be the Metallica or the Pantera of their generation, taking the baton and carrying metal forward into the future. Those are some big words, but if any band can back it up, it's Avenged. Just ask 'em.

In a new chat with Metal Hammer, singer M. Shadows declared the band's commitment to heavy metal, pledging allegiance to the genre by saying, "We really, truly believe in metal. We grew up on the altar of bands like Maiden and Metallica and Megadeth and Pantera, and if bands that are younger could look up to us like that, that’d be the hugest compliment of all time."

In addition to garnering the adoration of millions of headbangers, the band's deepest desires are is to "headline Download. We want to play Rock In Rio," Shadows continued. "The goals aren’t to have millions of records, it’s to be the top of our game in our generation." That's a smart strategy and with the hype and build up to 'Hail to the King,' out Aug. 27, A7X are well on their way to obtaining those goals.

Guitarist Synyster Gates chimed in with his opinion that it's his band that is primed to take the baton handed off by the previous generation of legends. "Not to sound like a d--k, but there’s not a lot of bands that are ready to carry the torch," he said. "I honestly feel like we’re that band. When you start a band it’s totally all fun and games, and it’s all fun now, but there’s no more games. We’ve had fun, now we want to leave a mark. Now it’s, ‘Let’s make history.’”

So the sex and the drugs are ancillary -- it's the rock 'n' roll that matters. With their combination of confidence and chops, along with the insatiable hunger for it, Avenged Sevenfold can define this generation of metal.