Avenged Sevenfold albums are usually hit or miss, but the metalcore/hard rock favorites from California have developed a decent track record as of late. This continued, full-album resilience is more than evident on “Hail to the King,” the band’s latest record.
Unlike the entirely-modern roar of past works like “Nightmare” and “City of Evil,” “Hail to the King” pays a massive amount of tribute to the band’s heavy metal predecessors. An immediate Metallica influence can be traced to the blistering intro, “Shepard of Fire, ” and is later carried on through “Crimson Day” and the pulsating Lar’s Ulrich-esque beat of “This Means War.”
There will be some who point a finger at A7X and yell “plagiarism,” but the open-minded will be able to recognize the original spin the band puts on each of the album’s tracks, homage or not.
Truth is, there is actually a notable amount of originality on “Hail to the King.” “Coming Home,” “Requiem,” “Planets,” and the medival-themed title track transcend nearly every element of the band’s past material. Furthermore, the album’s conclusion, “Acid Rain,” is one of the most beautiful and charged ballad songs the band has ever attempted.
Take the ambition of “Nightmare,” the hooks of “City of Evil,” and the dark subject matter of the self-titled album, compliment it with a healthy dose of classic metal homage, and top it off with something fresh and demonic.
What you’re left with is one of Avenged Sevenfold’s finest albums in quite a while.
All in all:
Standout Tracks: “Shepard of Fire,” “Hail to the King,” “This Means War,” “Coming Home,” “Requiem,” “Acid Rain”
Avenged Sevenfold- “Hail to the King:” 4.5/5