The Death Bat returns featuring prominently on the cover of Hail To The King the latest from Avenged Sevenfold. Taking onboard influences from the past going back from the early 90's, Avenged Sevenfold have recorded a more straightforward album relying less on the technical side of heavy metal and releasing an album that's full of hooks and ample potency.
Providing the beats is their new drummer Arin Ilejay with a restrained but still powerful performance being just what's required for this kind of album. I do like his input on "Planets" which is one of my favorite songs one with such a great metal feel and build up. The vocals are strong as is the bass work but it's the guitars that are the brightest stars of Hail To The King. It is interesting to read the credits as there were many other contributors like for the string and horn arrangements on "Requiem".
"Shepherd Of Fire" does remind one not only of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" but also Megadeth's "Trust" . While the slow and mighty "This Means War" is also powerful lyrically telling of a soldier's torment and feelings of poor self worth. This song also has a strong Metallica vibe from that self titled album era performed in a "Sad But True" style. There's more that hints of Megadeth style in "Heretic" and on Hail To The King you may also be reminded of Iron Maiden and Guns N' Roses amongst others as Avenged Sevenfold have taken that inspiration and put it to effective use recording so many agreeable tunes. Hail To The King kicks off strong with "Shepherd Of Fire" and really I find as a whole this album makes for a very appealing A7X experience.
Hail To The King Avenged Sevenfold's sixth album may not please all their fans with the direction they have taken, but for myself this is a great way to follow up 2010's well received Nightmare.
1. Shepherd Of Fire
2. Hail To The King
3. Doing Time
4. This Means War
6. Crimson Day
8. Coming Home
10. Acid Rain
11. Save Me (Bonus Track)