Who is M Shadows?
Matthew Charles Sanders was born on July 31, 1981 in Fountain Valley, California, USA. He is a singer, musician and songwriter, best known for his performances under the stage name M Shadows, as the lead singer of the band Avenged Sevenfold. He is one of the founding members of the heavy metal band and is considered by many to be one of the greatest heavy metal frontmen of all time.
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M Shadows net worth
As of early 2020, M Shadows net worth is estimated to be over $25 million, primarily earned through the success of the band, Avenged Sevenfold, one of the most recognized in the heavy metal genre, making music since the 2000s.
He has also worked with other bands and with the video game franchise “Call of Duty”.
Early life and the beginning of a career
While M was born in Fountain Valley, his family later moved to Huntington Beach, where he grew up with younger sister Amy Sanders, who is now known to play in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). He developed an interest in music at a young age, thanks to his father who gifted him his first cassette of the band Guns N’ Roses, sparking an interest that only grew as he got older.
He eventually learned to play both guitar and piano, skills that would also help him learn more about tone and voice. He attended Huntington Beach High School and during this time he aspired to start a band. He briefly joined a punk band called Successful Failure, but it was short-lived. He then reconnected with some friends from high school who had similar tastes in music. This led to the formation of Avenged Sevenfold, where he was joined by The Rev, Zacky Vengeance and Matt Wendt.
Shadows didn’t want to use his first name because he didn’t like the way it sounded as an artist. Instead, he alone adopted added the first letter M and shadows because he felt he was the darker character within their group. They also chose to use nicknames because it was a popular custom among rock groups that inspired them. Over the years, the band has released music and received widespread acclaim for their diversity when it comes to their portrayal of rock and metal.
They also promoted themselves through the use of dramatic imagery, which became more apparent over the years.
Their debut album “Sounding the Seventh Trumpet” helped them on the scene, but it wasn’t until their third album “City of Evil” that the band really took off. The group enjoyed great success until 2009, when their drummer The Rev passed away suddenly. The band continued with drummer Mike Portnoy for their 2010 album “Nightmare” which reached the top of the Billboard 200. They eventually hired drummer Brooks Wackerman and continued to release music, ending with “The stagewhich debuted at number four on the Billboard 200.
In addition to his work with Avenged Sevenfold, M was a guest on albums by other well-known bands. He was featured on .’s album “Feel the Steel” Steel panther, and helped produce The Confession’s album “Requiem” – he ventured to learn more about production to help Avenged Sevenfold with their album releases as well. Other music projects he has had include working with Slash on his solo album and making music with the band Device.
In 2012, he made his first foray into the world of video games with the development of ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops II’, in which he made a cameo contribution by doing motion capture and recording speech lines.
He is an avid player of the popular first-person shooter game and has even participated in professional tournaments. One of his latest video game projects is “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4”, in which he plays a playable character thanks to the help of a good friend who works for his developer Treyarch. It can be selected as part of the game’s Battle Royale mode, in which countless players battle each other on a large but progressively smaller map.
Vocal power and style
Shadows’ vocal ability has been praised countless times, not only for its range and versatility, but also for its evolution during his career with Avenged Sevenfold.
At the beginning of his career, he had a louder voice full of growls reminiscent of metalcore bands. Since 2003 he leans more towards melodic lines, but still keeps his love for screams and grunts. After signing to a major record label, his style changed even further, focusing more on his voice and melody rather than the screams. He took numerous lessons to improve his style by working with Ron Anderson, who is known for his collaborations with Audioslave and Guns N’ Roses.
The band also contributed, with each member becoming a part of the vocal whole, unlike Shadows who bore the brunt of the work.
This led to rumors that he had lost his ability to scream as a result of throat surgery after damaging his voice sometime in 2003. Other musicians defended him, saying he has indicated more of a singer than a screamer with his music. He’s also a big believer in protecting his voice, preferring to hit the notes over raspy sounds that could damage his throat again.
M married Valary DiBenedetto in 2009 and they have two children together. His bandmate Synyster Gates married Valary’s twin sister Michelle, making the two band members also brothers-in-law. He spends a lot of his free time learning more about music, working on new music and playing video games. He also spends a lot of his time learning more about preserving his voice and setting priorities rest his voice when you are not working with the band.