Wow! I just finished listening and then listening and listening again to the new Avenged Sevenfold album Hail To the King. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the band’s new album. I was sure it would be good, but this album isn’t good, it is outfreakinstanding.
Hail to the King is the first album without Avenged Sevenfold’s drummer Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan. “The Rev” was always such a driving force in A7X’s music, I was wondering how the band would handle his tragic loss, and how it would affect their music. A7X’s music has definitely changed, but it has changed for the better in my opinion.
What A7X has done is change their tempo, and completely move away from their metalcore roots. The band has crafted a bunch of songs that could easily be staples on rock radio everywhere. The change of tempo doesn’t mean that Synnester Gates and Zacky Vengeance don’t play their asses off. There is some fine guitar work on this album, and I hear little bits of Megadeth, Metallica and even Guns N’ Roses influence in the music on Hail To the King. Kudos to drummer Arin Ilejay, who does a find job behind the kit on this record.
The first four songs “Shepherd of Fire”, “Hail To The King”, “Doing Time” and “This Means War” really set the stage for this album, by delivering several excellent, hard rockin’ numbers that will have you hooked after the first listen. While these are my favorites, the great songs don’t end there.
I like the creepiness of “Requiem”. I look for Damien Omen to show up every time I listen to this one. “Heretic” is one catchy rocker that I would love to see A7X perform live. I love the lyrics on this song. “Acid Rain” is one of those deep cuts on “Hail To the King” that will keep me spinning this disc for a long time. I love the haunting piano melodies on this song.
This may be the most mainstream A7X album yet. It is rare when an album exceeds my expectations, but I believe this is Avenged Sevenfold’s best album yet. I thought some fans would be unhappy with A7X’s current direction, but judging from he fact that the album is # 1 in the U.S., Canada and the UK, most A7X fans must think it is pretty cool too!
If you buy one version of the album, get the Deluxe version of the album, which will give you two cool A7X coasters, and a password for a free download of the bonus track “St. James” which is a pretty cool song too!
I won’t be surprised to find “Hail To the King” on top of many best of 2013 lists. It really is that good! Check it out!
Rating: Out of 10
01. Shepherd of Fire
02. Hail To the King
03. Doing Time
04. This Means War
06. Crimson Day
08. Coming Home
10. Acid Rain
Bonus Track (as a download from the A7X website)
Avenged Sevenfold is:
M. Shadows – Vocals
Synyster Gates – Lead Guitar
Zacky Vengeance – Rhythm Guitar
Johnny Christ – Bass
Arin Ilejay – Drums
Avenged Sevenfold have released the following statement announcing the new drummer, Arin Ilejay, who will be joining them on the “Nightmare After Christmas” tour. Arin previously played in Southern California metal outfit Confide.
We recently asked several friends who knew Jimmy and his style, and also knew our music and each of our personalities to suggest drummers to tour with us starting this year. Our long time studio drum tech, Mike Fasano, recommended Arin Ilejay. We’ve rehearsed with Arin and have been impressed with his technical skills, attitude and work ethic. We’re very excited to tour with Arin and hope all of you will give him the warm welcome to the family we have.
Thanks for your never ending support. It means the world to us.
See you on the Nightmare After Christmas tour.