I want YOU, the VIEWER, to leave a comment down below to request an album for me and another person to review. Any artist, any genre, we’ll give it a chance.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Hail to the King, the sixth album from Avenged Sevenfold. Due to music being very opinionated, I brought my cousin Robert on board with me to assist with the review.
In green is my opinion. I wouldn’t consider myself a “fan” of A7X, not because I don’t like their music, as I actually enjoy a lot of the songs I hear from them, but because I don’t follow their tours or discography. Although I’m not a “fan,” I’m familiar with their music, and I am eager to take a closer listen at their most recent album.
In blue is my cousin Robert’s opinion. He is a huge fan of A7X, and he’s eager to review Hail to the King with me. If anyone knows Avenged Sevenfold, it’s Robert. He has been very defensive of the band as of late, as they have been criticized by long time fans for ripping off other bands and simplifying their music. He is the expert of this review.
Not interested in this band or familiar with them? These reviews will you give you a taste of their music. Let’s start our track-by-track review.
Shepherd of Fire
Shepherd of Fire kicks off the album properly. It’s a cohesive song that showcases the whole band. The drums are exciting, the guitar has a sound that is individual to Avenged Sevenfold, and the vocals are top notch. Though M. Shadows is loud and nasally, his voice isn’t overbearing. In fact, it pairs well with the music, making it feel true to A7X and their signature sound. Shepherd of Fire lets us know that Avenged Sevenfold is back with another album. In terms of the influence, the riff is very reminiscent of Enter Sandman from Metallica, notably.
At first I really did not like Shepard of Fire, but after giving it another listen, I realized that it’s a wonderful start to a headbanging album! While the drums may be simplistic on the album, and though we still do not know Arin’s full potential, the drums in this song are awesome. The riffs are amazing and the upbeat tempo establishes the foundations of the album.
Hail to the King
Technically, Hail to the King isn’t a busy track. It’s not A Little Piece of Heaven or Afterlife. Regardless, it is an enjoyable song. The chorus is easily the highlight of this track, and I really dig how Shadows sings it. The guitar solo is a joy to listen to as well. Hail to the King isn’t a wild track with four hundred layers, but its simplicity is what makes it enjoyable and memorable.
Hail to the King is the only single so far from the album, and it deserves to be one. This song is fit to be a metal anthem because of the guitar work. The drums are simple yet again, which is how metal sounded back in the day. M. Shadows’ voice is very good throughout the song. The solo is one you will never forget, and just like with every A7X song, it has a great bridge.
I have the urge to headbang upon hearing Doing Time. Shadows’ vocals paired with the edgy guitar is a great combination. Doing Time keeps on going. It’s loud, fast, and constantly fluctuating. For those who are unsatisfied with A7X’s new drummer, Doing Time is a slap in the face, as he kills it on this track. Doing Time is a short little track that doesn’t give you a moment to breathe. This song would make a great show opener.
When my cousin Jordan first heard this song, he thought it was Axel Rose of Guns N’ Roses singing. This song does have that GNR sound to it, and it is very upbeat. I always blast it and speed to it on the highway (I do not overdo it with the speed). Shadows’ scream at the beginning of this song as well as his loud vocals shows he has a damn good voice after all these years. This track may be short, but it is a great song because of the riffs and the drums. Doing Time also has the fastest tempo of the album, and it really makes you headbang and go insane!
This Means War
This Means War features the most captivating guitar riff of the album. Unfortunately, the song reminds me of the mediocre movie by the same name. Regardless, this is a great song. Shadows’ vocals, thus far on the album, have been top notch. Sounding angry on an album is very difficult for artists to do, and Shadows nails it on every track, notably this one. Either he’s a hell of a singer or he’s an angry guy. It’s likely a combination of those two things. In terms of influence, This Means War’s riff strongly resembles Metallica’s Sad But True.
This Means War is one of my favorite songs on the album, though tons of people say it sounds too much like the Metallica song ‘Sad But True’. This is true, but the songs sound similar at best, not a complete rip off. This Means War’s riff is amazing, and M. Shadow’s vocals are some of the best I have heard from him. This really shows he is in his comfort zone, and it only gets better from here! I also love this song because the band does a great job as a whole, setting the scene for a classic metal sounding album! To you old fake A7X fans, and the haters shut the !@#$ up, grow up, and learn how to thoroughly listen to, analyze, and tell the difference between a good song and bad song.
(You crack me up Robbie.)
The Spanish at the beginning of the song was the best part. I’m just pulling your legs. Hey, I thought it was funny, cut me some slack. This song is haunting, actually. When Shadows sings with the guitar, it sounds quite chilling. The effect put on his already nasally voice by the guitar amplifies the already sinister sound of the song. It reminds of the nuts who play tracks backwards and claim to hear demonic messages. It’s a ridiculous thing, but it comes to my head because the song is so dark. I also noticed the orchestra resembles Kashmir, which is a positive thing.
Requiem is one of the demonic sounding songs from the album, and it’s very intense, but a lot of metal back then and nowadays sounds demonic. I love the Latin choir in this song, and the orchestra is amazing. I love Shadows’ growling here. This song makes you feel like you are in a nightmare, horror scene, or in some inferno. This is what true metal is! The bridge after the solo is unforgettable, and the drums are just amazing. Arin joined the band knowing he could not replace The Rev, just like how Jeff Coffin knew he could not replace LeRoi Moore of the Dave Matthews Band, so please do not be overly critical of his drumming. There is still a strong drum presence within the band, and this is one of the songs that shows it. Just remember, the drums are supposed to be simplistic, and that is the point of a classic metal album!
What? My ears aren’t being assaulted by electric guitar and shouting 5 seconds into the track? Who changed the album? Oh wait, this is still A7X. Crimson Day is the calmest song off of the album. The guitar has a classic sound to it which helps to soothe your ears after Requiem. It’s a nice track and fits well within the album, though it is not a song I would personally listen to individually. Regardless, Shadows deserves some praise for his vocals. This guy can sing, and sometimes we can forget that because he yells a lot.
Crimson Day is my second favorite song on the album, and it reminds me of my favorite song of all time, Seize the Day by Avenged Sevenfold. I freaking love ballads, and this song gives closure since it is soft, easy to listen to, and calming. The lyrics are beautiful, along with the guitar. I fell in love with this song right away, and I know it will be a fan favorite. It may be slow, but it is a song to sway your lighters to and to be thankful for.
We’re back to sinister sounding music. Heretic delivers some nice guitar work, though it didn’t really stand out to me. It reminds me of A Little Piece of Heaven at parts, which is never a bad thing, but Heretic fell a bit short for me. It’s too repetitive for my taste.
Heretic is the second demonic-sounding song on the album and it’s also the 2nd and final song to have a Halo name! Go figure, both are the demonic-sounding tracks. Anyway, the intro guitar is cool, and I love how M. Shadows voice changes from a lower pitch to a higher pitch. I love the chorus of the song, and once again the solo and the bridge are great. This is another dark song that pays tribute to the good old classic metal days that my dad grew up in.
I enjoyed Coming Home. The lyrics are strong and stimulating. This is an intense song. It is individual, cohesive, and it’s one I feel will become a fan favorite. It has a very epic feel to it, and the narrative is captivating. The band does a great job with Coming Home (take a look at Ulysses by Alfred, Lord Tennyson). As for the influence that is very obvious, Coming Home resembles Iron Maiden’s Number of the Beast.
Coming Home is by far the best song on the album and it’s my favorite! According to M. Shadows, the lyrics are all about the crazy madness that happens while they are on tour. This album shows how great of a vocalist M. Shadows is because of his vocal variety, and it is his best by far. The drums are great, along with the bass, but what really steals the show is the guitar work of the best guitar duo, Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance. When I first heard this solo it blew me away, and I listen to this song over and over again for the solo. This is by far the best Avenged Sevenfold solo. This is one of the best Avenged Sevenfold songs of all time, and you will be a fan the moment you hear it. Another well written song both lyrically and musically. It shows that these guys have talent.
Planets is an interesting song. It is different from everything else on this album. It still sounds like Avenged Sevenfold, but its arrangement and Shadows’ vocals are unique to the song. The horns were a nice touch, though I wanted more of them throughout the song. At times, it sounds as if there is a whole orchestra behind the band, making Planets sound grand. Still, Planets isn’t a song I would personally listen to, as it’s very heavy, contrary to what I listen to.
Planets is about…well…planets colliding. It is the final heavy and dark song of the album. It is not one of my favorites. It is a necessary track, however, as Acid Rain is a follow-up to it.
Good things happen when this band incorporates a piano into their music, and so I had high expectations for Acid Rain. I finally see the story here. Planets is the end of the world and Acid Rain is the conclusion/aftermath. It’s a sad, honest song. The violin complimented the piano and the lyrics, making Acid Rain an individual track. It’s definitely not the best this album has to offer, as it lacks the calculated anger that fuels A7X, but it is a nice finish to a great album. The song gets bonus points for adding the sound of rain to the song. It was a well needed relaxer. Definitely not an influence but surely an unintentional similarity, Acid Rain’s piano sounds a lot like Depeche Mode’s song ‘Heaven’s’ piano.
Acid Rain is a really unexpected way to end this album. I love how depressing this song is, and it’s an emotional one. The track is well orchestrated and it’s a great conclusion to the album. I love the piano because reminds me of my favorite A7X album, the self-titled record. Acid Rain is a perfect lament to end what is the best modern-sounding, classic metal record of this generation.
Thank you, Avenged Sevenfold, for changing your sound once again and not giving a damn about what anyone has to say. This is my second favorite album by the band and PLEASE give it a great listen and physically buy it. You will not regret it. It is the record of the year for sure, and it was worth the three year wait (like Fire Emblem Awakening which is the best 3DS game).
Rob you crack me up.
Thanks once again for reading this review and HAIILLLL TO THE KING! HAIILL TO THE WORLD! Just remember our king will always be our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. God bless you all, Amen.
Robert…you’re hilarious. Haha.
My Top 3
This Means War
Robert’s Top 3
This Means War
Overall, Hail to the King is a great all-around album. Avenged Sevenfold has delivered a solid record with many solid tracks. The fact that I enjoyed this album is a feat, as my primary genre isn’t metal, or close to it. Regardless, Hail to the King from Avenged Sevenfold is a strong T-Bone. There isn’t a track that is poor, but I reserve Filets for albums that are outstanding and remarkable to me personally. If you are an Avenged Sevenfold fan, I urge you to pick up Hail to the King. It won’t disappoint!
Below is Robby and I’s video review for Hail to the King! (2 parts)
Be sure to request an album review in the comments below!