tue 20/02/2018

CD: Avenged Sevenfold - Hail to the King | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Avenged Sevenfold - Hail to the King

CD: Avenged Sevenfold - Hail to the King

Likeable riff-fest from US west coast metal stalwarts

Mr Skull makes his triumphant 420,000th appearance on a heavy rock album

There is no guarantee of success in any area of rock and pop but those who wish to succeed through sheer graft might look to metal as their main chance. While multiple bands in other genres have fleeting, unpredictable moments in the sun, a decent metal act ticking the right boxes with the fans and initially willing to slog the circuit for 350 nights of every year, especially in the endless wilds of Middle America, can build and build and build. Look at Iron Maiden, possibly the biggest band of their vintage in the world. They do what they do with thundering, enjoyable efficiency, are beloved of generations of fans, top the album charts globally, and can fill the biggest stadia on every continent with ease.

Avenged Sevenfold, occasionally revelling in a similar twin guitar attack to Maiden, are on the same path. The five-piece from California started out in the harsher realms of tough, extreme metal, but their sixth album bridges the bite of their past with more easily palatable heavy rock. It opens with a doom-laden horror film church bell before “Shepherd of Fire” pits riffs against horns, followed by the title track in classic Eighties metal mode, featuring shrieked lines such as “There is a taste of fear when the henchmen call/Iron fist to tame them/Iron fist to claim it aaaaaaaall." .

However, Hail to the King also dabbles in a variety of styles. The jagged, pumped riffage of “Doing Time” recalls classic Guns’n’Roses; if only the production were a bit dirtier, something that could be said for the album as a whole, and there are a couple of almost balladic slowies to change the pace. Even bombastic epics such as the faintly Carl Orff-ian “Requiem”, with its choral opening, and album closer “Acid Rain”, prove likeable, if preposterous to the non-metal layman.

Avenged Sevenfold bring a lightness of touch to their heaviosity and will only grow bigger as a result.

Watch the video for the song "Hail to the King" overleaf

They started out in the harsher realms of tough, extreme metal, but their sixth album bridges the bite of their past with more easily palatable heavy rock

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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