Album Review: Avenged Sevenfold - Hail to the King Featured

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The last four years for Avenged Sevenfold have been pretty painful to say the least. Their last album, all the way back in 2010, saw them take a step back from the fast and furious guitar riffs they were accustomed to and take a slower, more lyrically driven route, to help them deal with the tragic loss of drummer 'The Rev'. Now, this album was a very nice change. The lyrical melancholy and change of musical pace was something I didn't expect from the guys from California. Since then, they've been quietly working on their follow up 'Hail To The King' and it is clear that the Avenged Sevenfold camp may never be the same again. It is with harrowing words that I say that the hectic drumming and guitar riff orgies that they made their name for, may never return. However, a new beast has emerged and it is more mature and more metal than they have ever been. 

 

'Hail To The King' is a metal album for metal lovers. The 10 tracks that feature on this album all pay homage to just a few of the most influential bands in metal history. 'Crimson Day' has shades of 'Welcome Home (Sanitarium),' while 'This Means War' sees vocalist M. Shadows flexing his vocal chords to a powerful level - very similar to Bruce Dickinson. Add in the pentatonic guitar licks layered heavily behind it, and Avenged Sevenfold find themselves quite happily sitting alongside metal's greatest musicians. That to me is what this album is: it is their slow start up to becoming one of rocks most prolific modern bands. 'Hail To The King' has such a retrospective attitude about it, that the types of comparisons I made above can't help but be made. It is both a homage to musical greatness but and a teasing as to what the world can expect from this band, as they grow up and leave the mascara and crazy hair styles behind.

 

I can imagine that many Avenged Sevenfold fans will find this album to be a bit of a shock. The death of 'The Rev' and the three year gap between albums has made this band an entirely new machine. I highly doubt that they will release a song as bat-shit crazy as 'Beast And The Harlot' ever again, and I am going to miss the mid-song guitar battles and the chaotic choruses. But as soon as any doubt of their new musical direction appears in my mind, I stick on 'Doing Time' - a song that has shades of old Avenged Sevenfold, as it is slightly more insane than the rest of the album.

 

This album is a very welcome addition to the bands back-catalog. The way each song is structured around a single guitar riff is simple yet effective, giving Synyster Gates a chance to remind everyone that he is one of the most naturally talented guitarists in the world right now. Overall, 'Hail To The King' shows everyone in metal that the band have grown up and are willing to try something a bit more sedated and thought-through. I really do hope they can carry on this style and truly become a part of musical legend.

 

Mark Wiglesworth

I am a student at the University of Portsmouth doing a Journalism and Media Studies degree who has an absolute passion for anything involving films or music. Give me any piece of media, I will do my best to review it.

Website: www.wix.com/wiglesm/reviews

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