In this Music Monday Blog, we are going to get into the latest studio record from Avenged Sevenfold. “Hail To The King” is their sixth studio record from this band. We are going to get into the history of this band and then the music. Let us get into the history.
The band was formed in 1999 at Huntington Beach, California. The founding members of this band are M. Shadows, Zacky Vengeance, The Rev, and Matt Wendt. M. Shadows came up with the band name from the Bible’s story Cain And Adel. Justin Sane replace Matt Wendt before they record their first record. Dameon Ash replace Justin Sane around 2001. Justin was checked into the hospital because of drinking too much cough syrup and try to commit suicide. The band recorded their first record, which was “Sounding The Seventh Trumpet” in 2001. Most of the members were around eighteen and still in high school. Johnny Christ replaced Dameon Ash and release their second record, which was “Walking The Fallen.” In 2004, the band after touring several times on the Vans Warped Tour signed with Warner Bros. Records. In 2005, the band released their third studio record and their first under a major label. The record was called “City Of Evil.” They played on Ozzfest in 2006 and also won Best New Artist at the MTV Music Awards. They returned to the Van’s Warped Tour. “City Of Evil” gave them a few hits on the modern rock charts. In 2007, the band released their fourth studio record, which was self-titled. Two years later, their drummer “The Rev” was found dead. At this time, band members in several interviews thought about disbanding and breaking up. However, Mike Portnoy, who was with Dream Theater at time and now with Winery Dogs, stepped up to record the drum tracks for “Nightmare,” the band and the music community loved the fact the music sounded like The Rev was playing drums. “Nightmare” was released in 2010 and it was their fifth record. Mike was not the replacement of “The Rev” and the band found a new drummer, who was Arin Ilejay. In 2013, the band release “Hail To The King,” which was the first record with Arin Ilejay on drums. Let us get into the music.
Shepherd Of Fire
There is some sound effects of rain and a bell to start the song. The guitar comes in with the drums. This is pretty good beginning to the record and this song. The bass playing is pretty good. M Shadows has a nice melody and lyrics. I have to be honest. I kept on hearing how this record is supposed to be different from the rest of their records. To me, it sounds like all their old music. There is a nice guitar solo towards the middle of the song. Their new drummer has about the same drumming style as their old drummer. I love how they ended this song with a nice fade out.
Hail To The King
“Hail To The King” is the first single off this record and is the name of the record. The guitar solo at the beginning is like something off this first few records. The second guitar comes in but it is a little different. I love that guitar riff. The second guitar riff reminds me of something that Metallica would have written. I do not like the fact that the other guitar player is playing a guitar solo throughout this song. That is a little too much. I love the lyrics on this song. M Shadows has melody like something off Metallica’s Load and Re-Load. There is a extended guitar solo towards the back half off the song. I love the back up singing.
I love the music at the beginning of the song. I am really not a fan of M Shadows singing. Hello, you are not Axel Rose and please, stop thinking you are. I love the lyrics. I love the pace of this song. There is a pretty good guitar solo in the last-minute of the song.
This Means War
I love the guitar work at the beginning. I love how the drums and bass are playing at the beginning of the song. I love the sound effect on the nuclear bomb blowing up. The music is really good on this song. M Shadows has pretty good singing and lyrics. I just feel they are listening to way too much 1980’s and early 1990’s metal. They are starting to sound like a cheap version of those bands. There is a nice guitar solo towards the middle of the song. This is a really good song but I just feel this song is way too long.
There is worship singing like church singing at the beginning. The music is pretty solid. I just feel lead singer’s singing is a little loss in the music. I just feel they are running apart. This is just a mess of music and white noise. It kind of came together just before the guitar solo. The guitar solo is pretty good in the mid-point of the song.
There is some nice acoustic guitar work at the beginning of “Crimson Day.” I love the singing from M Shadows. I love the heavy guitar playing on the main part of the song. The acoustic guitar stays in the background. Mr. Shadows has put some thought behind these lyrics. This is a pretty solid song and by far the best one so far on this record. There is some nice guitar solos towards the end of the song.
Here is some old school Avenged Sevenfold fade in guitar riffs at the beginning of the song. I am not a fan of the main part of the song from a music stand point. Mr. Shadows’ singing is not up to his standards. I love how they are using the keyboard in the background. I do not like how they shaped the music around his singing or how he is singing with the music. It does bend good. I love how they pushed the keyboard playing to the front in the back half of the song. There is a well placed and written guitar solo towards the end of the song.
The start of this song reminds me of something from Iron Maiden. The singing is something off Iron Maiden’s first two records with their original singer. The main part of the song is like themselves. The lyrics are good, however, I just feel they do not fit well on this song. There is a pretty good guitar solo half way through the song. I love how they build up the ending as it fades out. I love the double bass action at the end from the drummer.
I love the build up to the start of this song. The drumming and bass playing are insane. The guitar playing I believe are step down to the rest of the record. The singing is pretty solid with some below average lyrics. This song has loss me over the half way point of the song. I love the music but the singing and lyrics are making my mind wander in a bad way. There is an average guitar solo towards the end of the song.
I love how they started the song with the music. Nice touch on the piano. I love the guitar solo over the top of the music. This is a pretty solid song to end this record. M Shadows has some good singing and nice lyrics. There is a pretty good guitar solo in the first quarter of the song. I love the sound effects of rain falling at the end of the song.
Original Line Up:
- M. Shadows – Lead Singer, Acoustic Guitar, and Keyboards
- Zacky Vengeance – Guitars
- The Rev – Drums, Back Up Vocals, and Piano
- Dameon Ash – Bass
Current Line Up:
- M. Shadows – Lead Vocals
- Zacky Vengeance – Guitars And Back Up Vocals
- Synyster Gates – Guitars and Back Up Vocals
- Johnny Christ – Bass Guitar and Back Up Vocals
- Arin Ilejay – Drums
Here is their website and twitter addresses:
Closing, I am happy for any band that gets back on the iron horse and makes new music after a death of band member or a key member leaving a band. I give them a ton of credit and I know how hard it might be to do that again without a brother. However, the member they loss in this band was a key song writer, they wanted to do something different but keep true their sound. I just feel this band has loss too much and they are living on their past success right now. I hope they find it soon because I do love their style. It took me half way through my radio DJ career to really love what this band was doing in the past. I am not saying this is a bad record because it is not. It is a solid record but for Avenged Sevenfold this is not up to their standards. The band came out before this release saying this record will be different from the rest of their music. I do agree to some point but it still sounds like their old music. I just feel the loss of their old drummer made them change their sound. I still recommend checking out his record and let me know what you think of it. Go get some! Drink it! Enjoy it! Metal it! \m/
Bill DJ Weiser