When Avenged Sevenfold dropped a touring bombshell on the UK a couple of months ago, I’m pretty sure we all went into a state of shocked excitement. It’s been a good few years since the Sevenfold boys braced us with their presence on this side of the pond, so we were understandably getting ahead of ourselves when the announcement came.
However, our excitement was not unfounded. Just days later, Avenged Sevenfold announced the release of their album, ‘Hail to the King’ and confirmed it would be in our hands and blasting our eardrums before the dates in December.
Our expectations were high- after the brutal, heartfelt, all killer, no filler 2010 album, Nightmare, and a significant period of inactivity, anything less than spectacular would make it hard for Avenged to win over the UK again.
We were not disappointed.
Okay, with the best will in the world, the album isn’t a 10/10 piece of perfection like 2007’s self titled ‘Avenged Sevenfold’. There are some tracks that are just short of being awesome, and there are some tracks, like Acid Rain and Crimson Day leave something to be desired, with Crimson Day in particular highlighting the weaknesses in Shadows’ vocals through drawn out notes and less than memorable riffs.
However, despite these shortcomings, songs like title track ‘Hail to the King’ and ‘Heretic’ are catchy, pumped full of the true spirit of rock and roll and are guaranteed crowd pleasers. The introductory nature of ‘Shepherd of Fire’ does a great job of reintroducing the listener to the unique style in which Avenged produce their music, layered with complex instrumental pieces that come together to create a strong opening track.
My personal favourite track, ‘This Means War’, combines traditional A7X riffs and heavy beats with brutal lyrics, creating the overall effect of a track you literally have to sing along to as though Mr. Shadows is riling you up to fight in the Sevenfold Army. Get your warpaint at the ready and be prepared to bash in some teenyboppers in the name of one our our more beloved re-established Gods of rock and roll- Avenged Sevenfold.
All in all, we can’t wait for Avenged Sevenfold to set down on our shores again this December and prove to the Brits that they deserve to be at the top of their game. Although, on a purely shallow and personal note, we really hope Shadow’s loses those curtained locks before the tour. Bring back that badass buzzcut, M!