Avenged Sevenfold arguably has one of the most loyal and passionate fanbases of any modern heavy metal band. So naturally, there should be a reasonable level of elation from deathbat worshipers everywhere in response to the band’s newest single, “Hail to the King.”
The song- hot off the presses as of two hours ago- is like a three-way hybrid of Iron Maiden, Guns N’ Roses, and Metallica. It includes much of what one would expect from a standard A7X tune: and a gravely M. Shadows vocal performance, a powerful rhythmic backdrop from Johnny Christ and Zacky Vengance, and a collection of Synyster Gates lead riffs that will hurt the fingers of the guitar-illiterate. The only notable deviation from the band’s typical metalcore/classic metal formula is the contributions of Arin Ilejay (who replaced the late James “The Rev” Sullivan earlier this year). Ilejay pounds away at his kit and makes it clear that he is a solid replacement for a nearly irreplaceable musician.
“Hail to the King” packs a punch, but not a wallop. It lacks the overtly-dominate hooks and stand-out guitar riffs displayed on older songs like “Beast and the Harlot” and “Nightmare,” but it still gives listeners a strong sampling of the upcoming album’s potential.
Avenged Sevenfold- “Hail to the King:” 3.5/5
Listen to “Hail to the King” here: