With their latest album dropping next week, Avenged Sevenfold promises to unite fans of hard rock under a more classic sound. Their 2005 major label Bat County debut launched this band into the spotlight, and yet their experimental nature often alienated fans. Pulling away from their thrashing, screaming sound, Hail to the King draws sharply from legendary bands like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin.
Opening with a dark and foreboding guitar riff, the song quickly lends its way into a classic heavy metal sound that wouldn’t feel out of place if it was released in 1989. And yet, it has a much needed presence on today’s rock airwaves. Its heavy percussion and wailing guitars combine timeless metal greatness with the crisp production of today.
M. Shadows’ raw vocal delivery adds to the classic sound. Moving away from the close throated, screaming delivery of today’s metal bands, he sings with a defiant snarl that delivers the lyrics powerfully. Telling the story of a tyrannical king, war and chaos through epic, but often cheesey lyrics, Hail to the King definitely feels epic. The chorus has a powerful melody that is sure to have crowds singing along, horns in the air and heads banging.
Overall, Avenge Sevenfold definitely pleases this solid throw back. Hail to the King is a solid song that pays tribute to its roots. The classic arrangement and raw vocals might remind us of many other classic bands, but they also remind us why we love those bands in the first place.
Final Score: 4/5