Album Review: Hail To The King by Avenged Sevenfold
By: Juan Barragan
Hail To The King
Warner Brothers Records
Avenged Sevenfold recently released their sixth studio album titled Hail To The King. This album stands out due to the fact that it’s the first whole album the band has recorded with their new permanent drummer, Arin Ilejay. The band encountered tragedy in 2011 when Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan passed away unexpectedly. With the band’s future in limbo and a tour to fulfill, Avenged Sevenfold brought in the expertise of ex-Dream Theatre drummer Mike Portnoy. Portnoy was happy to fill in for a few shows, but ultimately, did not want to be a part of Avenged Sevenfold, which is why Ilejay was brought in.
The album’s feel will undoubtedly surprise much of the band’s fan base. The traditionally fast-paced songs with chugging distorted riffs are replaced by a much more melodic and softer sound. This is not to say that the band has completely changed. “Hail to the King,” is a perfect example of a great hard-rock song that has a lot of energy and potential to get fans in a concert pit anywhere with the devil’s horns in the air. However, the overall sound of the album can remind listeners of the surprise Metallica’s fans experienced when listening to the band’s self-titled album, commonly known as the black album.
The faster paced songs will be found near the end of the album. “Coming Home” is definitely a song that people will mosh to at shows if the band decides to play it live. The work of the lead vocalist, M. Shadows, is the most stable sound that fans will be able to recognize in this album. M. Shadows did not change his vocal style at all compared to the previous album.
Overall, fans will be able to appreciate the shift in the band’s musical direction. Although the band is clearly still hard rock, the album consists of what can be considered to be hard rock ballads, which fans have received positively for other bands in previous years. So far, Avenged Sevenfold has enjoyed great success in terms of this album’s sales are concerned. The success was so great that the album was #1 on the Billboard 200 days after its release.