This is the second of five short blogs this week reviewing the most prominent new songs from the world of rock and metal. Please check out yesterday’s blog where I reviewed Placebo’s ‘Too Many Friends’ if you missed it.
Today I will be reviewing the title track off the upcoming Avenged Sevenfold album ‘Hail To The King’, which is the sixth attempt from the Orange County rockers and the first without any writing credits from ex-drummer The Rev, who died in 2009.
As normal Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates’ guitar playing is fantastic; the guitar leads are clear and crisp and the chords are thick and punchy. ‘Hail To The King’ kicks off with a building guitar hook which extends beyond a minute before exploding into the verse. In a recent interview they stated how they were going for “a Sabbath/Zeppelin feel” and that is immediately obvious with the classic rock inspired intro lead. Synyster Gates’ guitar solos are normally incredible and this one doesn’t disappoint either. Although he has slightly reigned back (presumably to keep with the classic rock/metal theme), the end result is that the solo is well thought out and is definitely not just an opportunity to show off.
In this song M. Shadows’ vocals are completely clean (a trend he has been working towards since 2003’s ‘Waking the Fallen’) and most noticeably the vocals aren’t overlapped. M. Shadows explained that it’s “about one person, one voice… just me and a microphone trying to make it as gritty and as powerful as possible.” The other noticeable thing is how mature his voice now sounds, like a modern day Halford or Dio (just a lot lower down on the register).
But what about new drummer Arin Llejay? If Avenged Sevenfold are happy to have him on board, then we should be too. ‘Hail To The King’ isn’t the most drum-technical of songs, but his sound seems to complement the band and I am looking forward to hearing his contributions to the album as a whole.
Overall, ‘Hail To The King’ is a very good song. It shows progress, moving on from 2010’s somewhat disappointing ‘Nightmare’ and has reignited my love for the band. This album could be the one to launch them into the very select group of bands representing the pinnacle of metal. Although, by today’s standards, I’m not sure many would identify this as metal.
Recommended Avenged Sevenfold:
- ‘Chapter Four’ from ‘Waking The Fallen’
- ‘A Little Piece of Heaven’ from ‘Avenged Sevenfold’
- ‘Beast and the Harlot’ from ‘City of Evil’