So, Avenged Sevenfold have a new album. Hail to the King promised to be very different for the obvious reason of a completely new drummer. This is their first full album with no musical input from the late drummer ‘The Rev’.
The intro isn’t all that strong and a bit too long. To start with it sounds like you are about to hear some ear blistering metal then it just, repeats. It’s not heavier, it’s not softer, there is no dynamic to ‘Sheppard of Fire’. It’s just there. The same applies to the title track, great build up but to no avail. Nothing comes to fruition. Not even the solos bring it back in the first few tracks of the album, they are uninspired and I feel like I’ve heard it all before.
The first song I genuinely appreciate from this album is ‘This Means War’ and that’s because it sounds like Avenged Sevenfold albeit a slightly more Metallica influenced Avenged, but them nonetheless this song makes my head go. Although slower and slightly more ballad-like, there is a beautiful guitar melody hidden within the basic drumming and attempt at thrash and though the sterile solo rears its ugly head, until about half way through, it’s a good track. Finally.
‘Requiem’ is utterly infuriating. It’s just flat and boring to listen to, again with the basic drumming. I hate to say it but the drumming style on this album has really gone back to basics and it has affected the rest of the music – we miss you Rev. Everything else just sounds poor and out-of-place. The choir vocals are so cheesy, I thought this was Avenged Sevenfold not Cradle of Filth.
It really doesn’t get better, ‘Crimson Day’ is an outright Metallica steal and so is the gentler guitar melody in ‘Heretic’. I am so disappointed and wholly disheartened until the solo in ‘Heretic’. My mind is screaming for stimulation and finally was given some, praise the Lord they haven’t totally lost it.
By ‘Coming Home’ they seem to have finally got back into themselves. This is an outstandingly better track. Don’t get me wrong it still has some 1980’s thrash metal vibes and I feel like I’m listening to Iron Maiden, but this is the motivated Avenged Sevenfold we all know and love, almost everything before this song is just a poor imitation.
Everything about ‘Coming Home’ is just better and I finally have the goose bumps that I’ve been waiting for since track one. Now if I was in Avenged Sevenfold ‘Planets’ would have been the first track on the album, not because it’s good but because it’s powerful. The lyrics are tedious, much like the rest of the album in all fairness but this song had great potential, until M Shadows started whining all over it.
‘Acid rain’ is the last ditch attempt to make this album worth buying. The most important track on any album as far as I am concerned is the outro because it is the conclusion. It solidifies what you have just been listening to. It is the final farewell of that album.
My favourite Avenged outro is ‘Dear God’, that song does everything I want. I get goose bumps, I feel sorrow that the album has ended, more importantly I feel something. I don’t with ‘Acid Rain’. A poor rip off of ‘November Rain’ by Guns and Roses.
I am truly devastated that Avenged Sevenfold’s quality has gotten this bad. I could genuinely cry. While this album is the most consistent in sound and style, it really isn’t consistent in song quality. I feel like I’m listening to a cross of a Metallica covers band and a garage band who have no idea how to write anything original, inspired or motivational.
I worry Avenged have become so accustomed to their height of fame after their self titled album and Nightmare, that they feel no need to try any more. They have created an album, I guess, in homage to the bands who influenced them, Metallica and Iron Maiden mostly, but I think they let too much of that influence slip through.
As horrible as it sounds, I wish they would just stop trying to do better because it is having the adverse effect.
I am so disenchanted with this album.