In an unexpected turn of events, Avenged Sevenfold have been sued by their label, Warner Bros. Records, after attempting to break their to-be-fulfilled contract. As a defense, the band have cited California’s “seven-year rule,” Billboard reports.

Read more: Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows: “Metalcore has been left behind”

Since signing to Warner Bros. in 2004, the label has undergone “multiple regime changes that led to dramatic turnover at every level of the company, to the point where no one on the current A&R staff has even a nodding relationship with the band,” said Avenged Sevenfold’s lawyer, Howard E. King, in a statement.

California’s “seven-year rule” claims that a court is unable to impose a personal service contract after seven years from when the deal originated.

Read more: Avenged Sevenfold reveal new drummer

In response to the band’s claim, Warner Bros. has demanded a trial to sort things out. The company is also seeking compensation for the band’s upcoming releases, which they claim to have already funded.

Avenged Sevenfold have shared a statement of their own, which you can read below.

“We recently exercised our rights under California law and notified Warner Bros. Records we would no longer record for them. Few of the executives who have been integral to our continued success are still at the label, and we love and are grateful to them for their hard work. However, since we signed with the label, Warner Bros. has had 3 different regimes, multiple heads of marketing, and none of the senior management or A&R executives who were at the company and responsible for signing us are still there. 

Whatever the activity, it takes a full team to compete, and we no longer know most of our teammates. In the coming days, you may read about the lawsuit our label filed against us for exercising our legal rights, rights the State of California granted specifically to protect artists. You may see mistaken facts or worse. 

One such error we want to make sure you know about: Avenged Sevenfold has never renegotiated its original recording agreement with Warner Bros. Records. Billboard has now corrected its story to reflect the real facts.

Most importantly, we want our fans to know this: we are in the middle of writing a record we cannot wait for you to hear. We expect to go into the studio very soon, and look forward to releasing our new album later this year.

Until then, we wish all of you a happy, healthy 2016.”