Avenged Sevenfold say their new style of songwriting on "Hail to the King" was designed so it would cross borders and be successful in foreign languages. It seems to have worked: the album landed at No. 1 in several nations. But does their songwriting tactic make them a certain breed of sellout, or is this just smart modern music making? Speaking to The Morning Sun (via Classic Rock), guitarist Zacky Veneance explained their change of sound: "We took a conscious approach to try to write in a more direct fashion. Just by nature, we’re always filled with so many ideas and want to cram as many ideas into a song as we can, and I think that gave us a lot of our signature sound. But, looking back, that could be a little bit meandering, y’know?
"At this point in our career we’ve shared so many stages across the world and seen bands like Iron Maiden and Metallica on a nightly basis and see how every person in their crowds knows every word and sings along in unison, and that’s where we wanted to get to. We wanted to write the kind of songs that can really cross any language barriers, any borders and resonate with fans around the world.
"For us to dial back a little bit and have a little more straightforward, singalong appeal was a challenge. In order to do that we had to throw away a lot of stuff. We kind of wrote this album with the rule that if a guitar riff can't stand alone without adding a dual harmony riff or any other stuff, then it wasn’t a good enough riff. So this time instead of adding layers, it was really about peeling back layers." What do you make of their new direction? Do you have a newfound respect for their smarts, or is it just money chasing? Let us know your view in the comments.