By Danielle Gibson
September 2, 2013
Three years since Nightmare, and Avenged Sevenfold (A7X) are gracing us with the likes of Hail To The King, which clearly holds a lot of meaning to the band. It’s the first album not to feature any input from Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan, who died in 2009, but Arin Ilejay brings a new style of drumming to the band.
‘Shepherd on Fire’ starts the album off very eerily – it has your skin crawling. It’s innovative of them and represents the new sound of the album. You may wonder where the usual A7X tricks are; well they’ve been replaced by a bigger sound which is more detailed – but might I add – ‘Enter Sandman’ similarities anyone?
The titular track is satisfying; the long riff intro sets you up for this polished sound which could be considered the bands most mainstream sound yet (as does the album). But this isn’t a bad thing by any means. Many have complained about the simplicity of the drumming, but with the classic metal approach having monster drums like prior albums wouldn’t work with this very riff-oriented track.
‘This Means War’ starts as a solid track filled with heavy, furious riffs but then turns into something very similar to Metallica’s ‘Sad But True’. ‘Heretic’ and ‘Doing Time’ also adopt the furious riffing, with ‘Crimson Day’ taking on more soft vocals from singer M. Shadows. ‘Planets’ and ‘Acid Rain’ finish off the album with the former having an aggressive sound to it. ’Acid Rain’ is pretty much that – a conclusion. You could easily find it at the end credits of a film with the guitar riffs and piano setting a dramatic, melancholy atmosphere.
A7X did warn us about the change that Hail To The King would be for them and for the fans. Throughout the album you can tell who influenced certain tracks (like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Metallica to name a few). So M. Shadow didn’t lie, the band delivered what was promised – a slight change to the usual sound with the style centred on a more blues-rock basis slotting in those classic rock and classic metal sounds. Maybe with the loss of The Rev the creativity that previous albums had will be gone, but this album is more of a departure for the band. Yes, it appears that the bands “edge” has been replaced with a more mainstream approach, but luckily for Avenged Sevenfold Hail to The King is something that will bring in new fans and keep the majority of old fans happy.
Hail To The King is out now and available here.