The new album from Avenged Sevenfold, Hail to the King dropped in stores yesterday and I managed to score a copy (gotta love my job)! Overall, it's a really strong record for the band with just a couple of major weaknesses.
The album starts strong with the track "Shepherd of Fire" followed by the powerfully defining title cut. The operatic acapella at the beginning of "Requiem" is a bit awkward and falls flat from it seemingly intended and the ballads on the album ("Crimson Day" and "Acid Rain") are simply awful. Their ballads are prime examples of where they could have taken better notes from bands like Metallica who were masters of power ballads. As I stated yesterday on Facebook, I fear the art of writing killer power ballads is forever lost.
Speaking of Metallica, I hear a lot of comparisons of Avenged Sevenfold to Metallica which I don't think is such a bad thing being a fan of some good old school Metallica. I also heard similarities to some mid 90's Megadeth in the song called "Heretic". Again, it's not so much a criticism as it is an observation because, like I said at the beginning of this review, I think the album is a really strong record for the band and would highly recommend it to fans of the band as well as folks who are on the fence about the band. I'm not going to try and sway the haters. We all know they're gonna hate!
AVENGED SEVENFOLD Hail to the King 3 1/2 Rocker Horns