By Campbell Mickell
First things first. The void left from the passing of The Rev, changed the way Avenged Sevenfold would create and perform music. With The Rev, being a huge component of the song writing process meant that A7X had two options when it came to writing Hail To The King. They follow the path that some fans would have expected or go in a new direction, one where they aren't trying to recreate a sound that The Rev had such a huge impact on.
Hail To The King is a bi-product of the now, four core members, growing more mature and accepting their roots and ascent to becoming one of the greatest rock bands of our generation. This album delivers more than just heavy grooves, slick guitar lines, commanding vocals and a hell shaking rhythm section. It delivers something special and in my opinion, missing in today's rock and metal scene.
From heavy soaked riffs, infused with horns like ‘Shepherd Of Fire' and ‘Planets' through to wailing ballads like‘Crimson Day' and ‘Acid Rain' A7X have shown us, with elements of renowned acts like Metallica, Iron Maidenand Guns ‘N' Roses, that they are only just getting started when it comes to finding a foothold in a new age of Rock and Metal without the input that The Rev had.
‘St. James' is a track you can listen to on the deluxe version of the album, a song paying tribute to their fallen comrade, The Rev. A beautiful song, the light to the dark ‘So Far Away' from the record, ‘Nightmare.'
It has been a long three years since Avenged Sevenfold graced us with their ball busting grooves and slick guitar lines. Although some purists and die hard fans of their last five albums may not take to Hail To The King as easy, looking at it from a big rock and metal fan, this album is easily one of my personal favorites from the A7X discography. I'm looking forward to watching and hearing these guys flourish even more.
4 / 5