Album Reviews, Metal / Hard Rock — September 20, 2013 at 6:21 pm

REVIEW: Avenged Sevenfold – Hail To The King

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Avenged-Sevenfold-Hail-to-the-King

Artist Name: Avenged Sevenfold
Album Name: Hail To The King
Label: Warner Bros.
Reviewed by: Ben Calleja

7

 

Since their beginnings in 1999, Avenged Sevenfold have been able to constantly evolve. Each and every one of their singles and albums have been carefully planned and well executed, and when the band told their fans that they were changing their sound, they were not kidding. With this new album, Hail To The King, Avenged Sevenfold have steered themselves away from their early metalcore days and focused their efforts to bring back the sound of their major influences such as Metallica, Led Zeppelin and Iron Maiden.

Hail To The King is Avenged Sevenfold’s least complex but most solid album yet. Stripping down the technicality of the drumming – which could partly be due to the absence of their former drummer, the late Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan – the guitars sound heavier and the choruses encourage its listeners to chant and sing along. 

Out of the eleven tracks, the strongest in the album include “This Means War” and “Requiem” which bring out the darkness that one looks for when listening to the band’s music, while “Coming Home” and “Planets” bring back the memory of what Avenged Sevenfold once were. 

Unfortunately, I felt like I was actually doing time listening to “Doing Time”. Being the shortest of the album (3:27), it had possibly been written within five minutes. It is the big letdown of Hail To The King and really sounds like a filler track. But saying that, “Doing Time” could be one of those songs that eventually grows on you – but that may take some time. 

Despite not being one of my highlights, the title track “Hail To The King” captures the classic eighties sound that I believe that Avenged Sevenfold was aiming to achieve.

The deluxe version of Hail To The King contains the bonus track “St. James”, and just for that, it’s worth buying it. “St. James” is the best song of the whole album, and I mean it. The faster tempo, the guitar solos and style and the more technical drumming are definitely the perfect combo for long-standing fans. “St. James” could have been the final song of the non-deluxe album, but let’s say that it adds an element of surprise to the deluxe version.

The stylistic change of Avenged Sevenfold has paid off, as they managed to top the U.S, U.K and Australia album charts with Hail To The King. Yes, Avenged Sevenfold have brought metal back to the top of the charts; a feat that seemed to be near impossible with today’s strong pop music culture. 

Hail To The King sounds different, but when listened with an open mind – as if Avenged Sevenfold were a brand new band – it’s a pleasurable and enjoyable experience. This album is noticeably Metallica-inspired in terms of music composition and tones, but that isn’t exactly a bad thing as it could be Avenged Sevenfold’s best opus since City Of Evil.  

 

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Ben Calleja has a passion for loud rock music and jamming on the guitar. Ben is currently in his third and final year of uni, studying Music Industry at RMIT. Ben’s favourite thing to do would be cranking up the tunes in the hope that he introduces great rock music to his neighbours.