After a three-year hiatus, Avenged Sevenfold is back with their long-awaited album “Hail to the King.” Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, the group decided to strip things down and go for a simpler approach, a major risk in the music industry. However, their efforts were not in vain, as “Hail to the King” may just be Avenged Sevenfold’s best album to date.
Diehard fans won’t be disappointed, because while the band has gone for a simpler, harder rock feel, every element of their style has been maintained. The album kicks off with “Shepherd of Fire,” featuring a slow, almost orchestral opening, followed by the classic Sevenfold style fans have come to love. From there, things only get hotter with the title track, “Hail to the King.” “Doing Time,” “This Means War,” and “Requiem” follow, each presenting a variety of riffs, rhythms, and guitar solos sure to induce instant head-banging.
After this, the album arrives at “Crimson Day,” a softer, more emotional piece. This stands out – the lyrics are beautiful and the overall feel is somber and almost sweet.
Then the album spirals back to classic Sevenfold with “Heretic,” “Coming Home,” and “Planets.” As with the first four songs, each is varied yet maintains Avenged Sevenfold’s style.
At the last spot on the album, but far from the least, we have “Acid Rain.” This track will turn the heads of most listeners. Instead of embracing a hard-rock vibe, “Acid Rain” is a slow, piano-based song. While it’s not the style Sevenfold fans have come to know and love, it’s beautiful and more than worth spamming the replay button for.
“Hail to the King” had monumental standards to live up to, especially after the long wait. However, it far exceeds all expectations from the moment you hit the play button. Every track is a new piece of amazing music, from the heavy-riff-based “This Means War” to the melodic and orchestral “Requiem” and the gorgeous “Acid Rain.”
Avenged Sevenfold has created another musical masterpiece; “Hail to the King” deserves every bit of praise it receives. I strongly recommend it to any Sevenfold fan, or rock fan in general, as the variety will appeal to all kinds of audiences. This is an absolute must-have.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.