I know the new Avenged Sevenfold album "Hail to the King" has been out for a few weeks, but I’ve been having a hard time getting my feelings together on it. On one hand "Hail to the King" is full of catchy hard rock/heavy metal songs that are right up my alley. On the other hand each and every song sounds like something I’ve heard before. Let’s just start with the first track "Shepherd of Fire" is clearly influenced by Metallica’s "Enter Sandman." It feels like they took the "Enter Sandman" skeleton and built a song out of it. Several of the songs on the album have that feeling.
At first that pissed me off. Then I thought about how much I loved Metallica’s "Death Magnetic." Metallica did the same thing with "Death Magnetic." They went back to the skeleton of songs like "One," "Battery," "Dyers Eve," "Orion," and "Disposable Heroes" and put new riffs in place of the old riffs, switched the melody and lyrics up and had whole new songs that were amazing. Why can’t Avenged Sevenfold do the same thing?
I’m still having a hard time accepting the new Avenged Sevenfold record. I really like the songs, but I hate hearing Metallica and Guns n Roses in the songs. A band like Metallica makes everything their own, at times on "Hail to the King" Avenged Sevenfold is doing Metallica rather than making it their own and even though they’re doing it well it bothers me. That said, the album is really good.
One thing I do love about Avenged Sevenfold is that they don’t repeat themselves at all. Each album they’ve done has been heavy, but they song completely different from one another. They’ve done hardcore, they’ve been progressive, and they’ve been pop metal, thrash metal, hard rock. They can do it all. They’re amazing musicians, M. Shadows is a great front man. Avenged Sevenfold fans will love the album.
Old school metal fans will probably turn their back on A7X, but they turned their back on "City of Evil," "Nightmare" and what not, so fuck ‘em. I like the album, I’m a stubborn asshole who’s having a hard time getting over the fact that I can hear the influences of bands I love coming through so strongly on "Hail to the King." They’re influenced by great bands, they do it well, it’s a great album. Forget everything I said above.
BYLINE: Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org.