[REVIEW] Avenged Sevenfold – “Hail To The King” (2013)

Artitst: Avenged Sevenfold

Album: Hail To The King

Label: Warner Brothers

Release: August 27th 2013 (US)

Purchase on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/hail-to-the-king/id672046420?i=672046422&ign-mpt=uo%3D2

Track Listing:

1. Shepherd of Fire

2. Hail to the King

3. Doing Time

4. This Means War

5. Requiem

6. Crimson Day

7. Heretic

8. Coming Home

9. Planets

10. Coming Home

Hail to the King marks the sixth studio album from the Hunington Beach, California metal band-Avenged Sevenfold, and their fourth under Warner Brothers Records. This marks the bands second album without long time drummer The Rev-who passed away in 2009 (though he did contribute some drum parts to the bands previous album, “Nightmare”). This also marks their first studio album with their touring drummer Arin Ilejay.

The new album feels like a natural progression from “Nightmare”. You could tell the instrumentals were heading toward a more ‘classic rock’ feel-and thats where this album ends up. Much like you could tell “City of Evil” was an in-between album for A7X, bridging the sounds between “Waking The Fallen” and “Avenged Sevenfold”, the bands previous effort, “Nightmare” felt like a bridge between the sounds on the self titled release-and this new one, “Hail To THe King”.

The songs are catchy, very catchy. The sound is very dirty, very classic straight forward punch you in the face and keep moving hard rock. Stripped away are all the hardcore / metalcore elements that became synonymous with A7X’s earlier releases, and replacing them is just an old fashioned stand up-throw your fists in the air and melt some faces hard rock / heavy metal. Synyster Gates solo on “Doing Time” is just one of those moments where you’re just like “dear god…..i can feel my face melting now!”

The songs have a rather grand scale feel to them, the opening of “This Means War” makes me feel like im about to ride into war-and than segues into a riff that is very reminiscent of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”. The lyrics are powerful, and while a song called “This Means War” would usually be some sort of political commentary (kind of like “Critical Acclaim” on the self titled), its really not. The songs about an internal war of someones own personal life. Things change, it leaves someone broken and on the brink of suicide.

The album smells of a style of hard rock seemingly dying out. Sure, we have bands like Pop Evil, Vains of Jenna, and the like pushing this kind of sludge rock forward-you don’t see it as much anymore, on as on as grand of a scale. Overall, the new A7X album is killer, with pulse pounding drums, powerful vocals, and a guitar that screams like only Synyster Gates can make it. I see images of bands like Iron Maiden when I listen to this album. It feels more like a natual progression of what these sludge metal bands were doing back in the day. Just straight up face pounding hard rock. No gimmicks, no spin kicks in the crowd. This is not a hardcore album by any stretch of the imagination. Take early Metallica, Iron Maiden, throw in a pinch of Stuck Mojo, and dabble in a bit of current acts like Pop Evil or Vains of Jenna-and you have the new Avenged Sevenfold sound. M. Shadows voice is as powerful as ever-and he’s grown so well into the clean vocals. I put him up there with names like Corey Taylor, as one of modern metals best straight up singers.

“Hail To The King” is available int he US on August 27th- go check it out. It will be available at all brick and motor CD shops, as well as digitally on iTunes, Amazon Mp3 and Google Play. A7X is currently on tour right now, and will be heading back out on the road with the Deftones later this year. Check out http://www.AvengedSevenfold.com for all the information and details.

I’ll leave you here with the title track, and lead single  – “Hail To The King”

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