The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
CD AVENGED SEVENFOLD HAIL TO THE KING REVIEW

AVENGED SEVENFOLD

HAIL TO THE KING

2013

 

 

A NEW ERA FOR A7X

 

 

It’s quite amazing the difference a drummer can make to the sound of a band. To be honest that’s something I’ve rarely ever considered before, I mean outside the real greats the drummer isn’t the first thing that normally jumps out of the sound but here it’s a big part of the picture. God bless The Rev.

 

 

As far as the A7X legacy goes this is an album which will please fans and new listeners alike. Previous release ‘Nightmare’ with Mike Portnoy on the drum stool was a fitting progression for a band that had suffered such a loss; and you can feel that continued progression here, perhaps even more so. The band feels like it has finally decided that it has more to offer than just topping the genre most frequently attached to it – ‘Metalcore’. On ‘Hail to the King’ you can see A7X taking up the vacant crown of America’s biggest Metal band. The guys are ready believe me…  

 

 

You might as well pull out the big guns first and opening track ‘Shepherd of Fire’ immediately brings to mind Metallica of a certain vintage and from thereon in it’s pretty relentless and seemingly effortless. Sure it may not sound as heavy as it has in the past but this is a far sturdier ship we’re sailing in. A7X in 2013 could become the biggest Metal band in the world – the compositions are tighter, the melodies more intense, the fist-pumping choruses bigger and better and the guitars now have that level of understanding that is almost telepathic. Then add to that Shadow’s best vocal performance to date, it’s scary stuff…

 

 

In an album that has everything including strings and horns as well as those cool spoken-word interludes that the band manages so well without sounding self-conscious over faintly ridiculous as many do, there’s little room to come up for air.  

 

 

On the “intensely melodic but heavy” scales we have the title track ‘Hail to the King’; the wonderful ‘Heretic’, and the ferocious ‘This Means War’. All are bona-fide classics. Heavier still ‘Requiem’ is a masterpiece and one of our favourites along with ‘Coming Home’. The lighter side of the album though shines equally brightly, giving the album a great balance with ‘Crimson Day’ and ‘Acid Rain’ demonstrating a control and a range you might not have considered the band of Shadows capable of previously.

 

 

This is a very special release and some might even call it daring. A7X have stepped out of their comfort zone and are now set to take on the world.  A modern classic.

 

 

Mark Diggins

 

AVENGED SEVENFOLD HAIL TO THE KING REVIEW 2013