Released: Jul 15, 2013
Genre: Heavy Metal, Hard Rock
Label: Warner Bros
Number Of Tracks: 1
"Hail to the King" single has the potential to be very radio friendly while still packing a punch and introducing their fans to the new, classic metal inspired direction this album will have.
Hail to the King [Single]
Defect0527, on july 16, 2013 7 of 10 people found this review helpful
Sound: Avenged Sevenfold is one of the most polarizing bands I've seen in the 21st century. If you've heard of them and have listened to more than just "Bat Country" from 2005's "City of Evil" or "Afterlife" from their self-titled record in 2007, you either love this band or you can't stand them. One constant from each of the band's releases is the changes to the music, and the "Hail to the King" single from the record of the same name is no exception. The band has stated this release will be influenced more by Sabbath and Led Zeppelin than their main influences of Iron Maiden, Pantera and Metallica among others, and here they deliver while keeping that identifiable Sevenfold sound. Zacky Vengeance's huge riff and Arin Illjay's simple yet powerful drum beat behind Synyster Gates' noodling riff brings to mind a Sabbath/Maiden/Zeppelin love child.
The love child turns demonic when vocalist M. Shadows begins his growling lyrics about war and chaos. Combined with a melodic chorus that's destined to be a crowd sing along and a neoclassical style solo from Gates, this song (in this man's humble opinion) has the makings of a classic (or at least one of Avenged's greatest hits when that time comes). Mike Elizondo, who also produced the "Nightmare" album in 2010, mans the desk again, and his production matches the direction the band seems to be heading. Where on Nightmare and other previous A7X releases the drums have a very prominent sound and the vocals tended to have multiple layers, "Hail to the King" sports a slightly rawer, more classic sound. Overall I was impressed, and as a single should it left me wanting more. // 8
Lyrics: Avenged Sevenfold have had a penchant for vivid, if sometimes cheesy lyrical imagery throughout their career (see "A Little Piece of Heaven" from the S/T) and "Hail to the King" is no exception. Shadows opens with the lines "Watch your tongue/Or have it cut from your head/Save your life/By keeping whispers unsaid" then proceeds to weave a tale about chaos, lost rights, fictional historical battles and more. Maybe there's a hidden deep message here, but I'd say it's an attempt to emulate an Iron Maiden track. That said, while I personally preferred the late Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan's writing, M. Shadows did a rather decent job on the lyrics and delivered an ear catching melody. // 5
Overall Impression: Overall, the "Hail to the King" single has the potential to be very radio friendly while still packing a punch and introducing their fans to the new, classic metal inspired direction this album will have. As a fan it leaves me wanting to hear more of the album, so it did what it was supposed to do as the single. As a reviewer I say it's another solid lead single for a band that seems to be very underestimated in the metal community, and if "Hail to the King" is any indication, I would recommend even those who dislike Avenged Sevenfold immensely give it a listen.