Avenged Sevenfold - Hail to the King
A7X's latest hits hard and heavy and dares to be epic
California’s Avenged Sevenfold are on the edge of greatness. They are the feral dogs biting at the genre’s underbelly uniting the metal clans with their powerful yet accessible thrash assault. They haven’t crossed over into mainstream consciousness in the way acts like Metallica, Linkin Park and Slipknot have but they are on the brink having just scored their first number one album in the UK with their sixth long player Hail to the King.
They embrace elements of thrash, emo, nu metal and punk but their sound is also distinctly old school paying tribute to their musical forebears, NWOBHM and very much taking the Guns N’ Roses template but doing everything harder, faster and nastier. ‘Shepard of Fire’ is slightly underwhelming opener but when the title track lands A7X really hit their stride. ‘Hail to the King’ is a future anthem, a swaggering blast of pomp and circumstance, a chugging beast of muscular metallic riffs. ‘This Means War’ follows the Metallica blueprint; ‘Requiem’ soars with its cod religious stanza and ominous voiceovers beefed up with strings and brass; ‘Coming Home’ cribs from Iron Maiden; ‘Crimson Day’ is an overwrought, lighters-in-the-air, power ballad. Unmistakably, unashamedly macho, a hugely confident record that never sacrifices melody for power. An unapologetic bid for a seat at metal’s top table, Hail to the King hits hard and heavy and dares to be epic.