Avenged Sevenfold's 'Hail To The King' - What you need to know
Metal titans Avenged Sevenfold unleashed their sixth studio album Hail To The King last month and earned their first UK Number One in the process. After a decade that has seen them go from metalcore also-rans to arena headliners, the band are now established as one of the biggest names in rock. Here is what you need to know about their new LP:
What’s The Background?
Hail To The King marks Avenged’s first album without any contribution from former drummer Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan, who sadly passed away in late 2009 during the recording of the band’s previous record Nightmare. After drafting in Dream Theater mainman Mike Portnoy to finish that record and some of the touring that followed, Avenged now have a settled presence behind the kit in former Confide drummer Arin Illejay.
Who Are Their Influences?
As well as their staple diet of classic Metallica, Iron Maiden, Dream Theater and Black Sabbath, the band have also spoken about getting a greater steer from blues-influenced rock n’roll like Led Zeppelin and The Doors.
Who’s At The Controls?
After the success of Nightmare, the band have kept faith with producer Mike Elizondo (Linkin Park, Regina Spektor, Mastodon) for the making of Hail To The King, while Andy Wallace, who has put the finishing touches to records like Jeff Buckley’s Grace, Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory and At The Drive-In’s Relationship Of Command, is on mixing desk duties.
What Are The Stand Out Tracks?
The record’s title track, which is underpinned by an absolute monster of a riff, is one the standout moments, along with ‘Doing Time’, which builds to an enormous chorus. Interestingly, for the first time on an Avenged Sevenfold record, nothing goes past the seven-minute mark, hinting that perhaps the band are reining in their prog-rock tendencies. Fans of old school Sevenfold will also absolutely adore ‘This Means War’ with its thundering grooves and menacing riffage.
Does It Deliver?
This is by far the slickest thing Avenged Sevenfold have put their name to, but it’s no worse for that. Full of the same swagger and bravado that has set them apart over the last decade, Hail To The King is chock-full of skyscraper-sized riffs and massive choruses. As well as keeping the band’s legion of fans happy, this should also win them hordes of new ones.
Hail To The King is available in stores and to download now.