Avenged Sevenfold Singer Talks New Record: 'It's More Bada-s, Straightforward Rock'

M. Shadows discusses the "bare bones, riff-oriented approach" on "Hail to the King."

Ultimate Guitar

Avenged Sevenfold frontman M. Shadows recently discussed the sound of the group's upcoming release "Hail to the King," calling it "very riff-oriented."

As the band discussed their gear in an exclusive Guitar Center clip, the singer focused more on the new record and the band's general approach to it.

"On this record, we want a very bare bones, riff-oriented approach," Shadows said. "Because it's really easy for us to say 'That melody would sound great here, throw this background vocal here, here's this harmony.' We had to restrain ourselves from doing that just to keep it more bada-s and just more straightforward rock."

The frontman also discussed his own approach to singing on the upcoming album, pointing out once again that he is looking to avoid overdoing things with overlapping vocals and to basically keep the sound as raw as possible.

"It's all about one person, one voice, no overlapping vocals and just very bare bones," he said. "It's just me and a microphone trying to make it as gritty and as powerful as possible."

Guitarist Synyster Gates discussed the new album during a recent Revolver interview, saying that "it blasts your f--king head off."

"I think our songwriting has improved by leaps and bounds," the axeman said. "Sonically, this record is our biggest record by f--king far. When you turn this f--king thing on, it blasts your f--king head off."

"Hail to the King" is set to drop on August 27 via Warner Bros. Records as the sixth record in the group's opus. Their previous album, "Nightmare," managed to top the Billboard 200 chart upon its 2010 release.

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66 comments sorted by best / new / date

    If you intend to post A7X hate, be aware that it's not 2006 any more.
    so you mean that because its 2013 i cant not like these guys and then share my opinion about them in the comments section. ok and i assume pants go on your head now too, right?
    He just means that people that have been complaining about the band for the past 7 years have nothing better to do and should have, by now, found something else to poke fun at/consume their waking hours with.
    Then again, the same can be said about people who have been listening to this band for the past 7 years.
    I've never taken the time to express any distaste for this band. So I guess I'll pick up now. These guys blow.
    So excited!
    Wait, no harmonies!? What about Synyster Gates' glorious tenor-backups!? NOOOO!!!
    I hope by straightforward they don't just mean watered down. Would like to see some impressive guitar work too.
    I don't think you'll ever have to worry about that with A7X. They've always been super-creative guys and they've always set high standards and goals for their work. It's just them trying to say that, once again, they are reinventing themselves.
    Why are people complaining about the album cover? Since when have you bought/pirated a CD based on the album cover? I know I haven't. I am looking forward to this album. I like the fact that they are different and strive to be different then anyone else.
    Guns N' Chains
    In defense, I probably wouldn't be here typing this today if I didn't stumble across an 'Appetite For Destruction' cassette tape in my parents music collection when I was about 12-13 years old. Literally changed my life. When I saw that album cover, I was immediately interested and thought it looked badass. Took it and listened to it and was immediately hooked. And very soon I found out that the music was even better than the album cover. So it is of my opinion that album art could go a long way to attracting one to music. Its kind of like a selling point, imo.
    I remember in 2008 when you couldn't openly enjoy Avenged Sevenfold without being a "fag" or a "queerbait" or what have you, and here five years later I find myself putting on tracks like Sidewinder or even Radiant Eclipse and I just think to myself "Now...just what about this band did I think for so many years was so ****ing gay?" You can't really deny they've got some pretty impressive back catalog. And now, here I am actually anxious to hear what they're gonna do next!
    The rev wrote a lot of big songs: afterlife, little piece of heaven, and almost easy to name a few. And he was prominent on nightmare, nightmare itself and fiction that I know of, also most if not all of the orchestral arrangments.. This will be the first album without jimmy's writing. I'm very anxious to see what they are really made of. I hope it will be excellent.
    It's weird seeing M Shadows with long hair. But...with the things that they've said about this album, I'm sure I'll enjoy it very much.
    I'm very excited about the new album. The Rev was a huge part of that band, but I'm very curious to hear Arin's contributions. The drumming in Not Ready To Die is pretty badass, so hopefully the new album is on par. It's gonna be tough to follow up Nightmare, but they rarely disappoint.
    Man.. This kinda worries me lol We'll see though.. I hope they did some new creative stuff on here. I know a lot of people will not agree with me but i think nightmare is their best cd, but i like the whole catalog. Let's hope this one is a great one as well!!
    So pumped for this album. Appears to me like its going to be a strong comeback for this band.
    There's something very off putting about M. Shadows looking like a young Bob Rock.
    Mr. Von Eichel
    Why does he have hair?
    Looking at all of them i think that they are reinventing their image. Which imo is great, they really look like they cleaned up and grew up a lot in the past years.
    My thing with A7X is that they have about 2 or 3 awesome songs on each album and the rest is just filler IMO. I can't sit down and listen to an album all the way through without skipping songs that are just boring to me.
    Can't wait! Glad they're goin strong after The Rev. You could really hear it in Nightmare how it affected them.
    I like this, I love all the harmonies and shit but sometimes the riff become buried under everything else, Im excited to hear this and see them in December!
    I'm looking forward to the new sound. I've always liked how their albums have each had their own musical niche. Keeps it fresh.
    Haven't been the biggest fan of theirs lately because I felt the guitars have been very lackluster compared to their early works. This news gives me a glimmer of hope.
    '"Because it's really easy for us to say 'That melody would sound great here, throw this background vocal here, here's this harmony.' We had to restrain ourselves from doing that just to keep it more bada-s and just more straightforward rock."' Douchiest statement ever. You can't force it to sound bad-ass by stripping the musicality off. Maybe more raw but bad-ass? WTF?
    If you think that is the douchiest statement ever then this must be the first internet site you've ever been on.
    Fair enough, fair enough, did go *a bit* overboard there. Douchiness might be the wrong term anyway, just thought it was extremely silly with that "yeah yeah we quit doing stuff and it's more bad-ass now" attitude.
    I see you got a pretty good point there, but I wouldn't disagree with what Shadows is saying either. With so much music being overproduced with super complex arrangements these days, if done tastefully the 'less is more' approach could most definitely yield to be...for lack of a better term, badass!
    Their music was great when they actually put some thought into it. This is probably gonna suck with their current attitude.. lets see.
    "Hail to the King," calling it "very riff-oriented." Lets hope its not death magnetic style of riff upon riff.
    Tiago Sa
    Remember, it's not a let down if you always saw them for what they are.
    For what they *were i think you mean. They've come extremely far from when they started and i wish them nothing but luck, especially considering how well the dealt with the death of a band member. Slayer nor Slipknot even come close to this level of professionalism in dealing with such grief.
    Yea but the deaths in Slipknot and Slayer were of the main songwriters.
    Sir Stoney
    The Rev actually contributed to a lot of the writing process for A7X. On their self titled album it shows of a lot of his input. Unfortunately, he died before we got to see what Nightmare could have been.
    Tell me, what's unprofessional about what Slayer or Slipknot did? Slayer and Slipknot continue to perform shows and do their thing. Slipknot, more so than Slayer, respects what happened to Paul and continue the band, even though in the past they always said that they wouldn't continue Slipknot if they lost a member.
    In the time it took Slipknot to get their shit together for one show, Avenged released an album and toured it. Also, Rev was was more central to the songwriting that Paul Gray from what I've heard. Slayer are still off the charts for me because Jeff's death is much more recent.