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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A definite change for Avenged Sevenfold
Avenged Sevenfold's influence passed through my music taste a few years ago, but still I find myself intrigued whenever they bring out new material, so, around once a year I still put a new Avenged Sevenfold on the speakers and see whats new.

The first notable thing is that this is the first album where Jimmy 'The Rev' Sullivan's influence is no where; he was...
Published 12 months ago by Smatch

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull is an understatement
So you liked Avenged Sevenfold's previous intelligent, unique and energetic albums, and want more? Well, you've come to the wrong place. This album is the most awful disappointment an Avenged Sevenfold fan could expect from a new release.

Prior to Hail To The King, Avenged Sevenfold's music was thoughtful, technical and really quite progressive within its...
Published 13 days ago by Benjamin Strange


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull is an understatement, 7 Sep 2014
This review is from: Hail To The King (Audio CD)
So you liked Avenged Sevenfold's previous intelligent, unique and energetic albums, and want more? Well, you've come to the wrong place. This album is the most awful disappointment an Avenged Sevenfold fan could expect from a new release.

Prior to Hail To The King, Avenged Sevenfold's music was thoughtful, technical and really quite progressive within its genre. Here, however, we have none of that whatsoever. Listening to the word 'boring' repeated for a boring 60 minutes in a boring monotone voice would be less boring than the songs on Hail To The King. There is not a shred of Avenged Sevenfold's innovative edge here - instead we are treated to the most boring riffs from Metallica's 'discard' pile, dull song structures a la Justin Bieber, and, every now and then, a helping of Synyster Gates recycling his old solos. Every now and then they try and do something different, such as the choral Latin intro of Reqiuem, but it just comes across as so awfully cliche it is embarrassing, it almost sounds as if they're parodying themselves.

If you can find anything of interest on this album, I applaud you. I for one could not. As I am writing this I am listening to Save Me from Nightmare, a song into which Avenged Sevenfold managed to fit more material of any worth than if they wrote another 1000 'Hail To The King's. I am hoping this is nothing more than a lull in Avenged Sevenfold's otherwise shining discography, but it seems with Nightmare they have peaked. Perhaps it is the absence of the song-writing genius The Rev, perhaps they just got lazy. Either way, this album is dreadful.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A definite change for Avenged Sevenfold, 30 Aug 2013
By 
Smatch (South West) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Hail To The King (Audio CD)
Avenged Sevenfold's influence passed through my music taste a few years ago, but still I find myself intrigued whenever they bring out new material, so, around once a year I still put a new Avenged Sevenfold on the speakers and see whats new.

The first notable thing is that this is the first album where Jimmy 'The Rev' Sullivan's influence is no where; he was such a huge influence on the music you can hear that loss of input. I think it was remarkable that the band carried on after such a massive loss, both musically and emotionally. They did, and this album once again marks another change in their musical style.

I wasn't that impressed when hearing the single for the first time as it didn't feel like it was painting the right picture for the album; it was painfully simple, not very dynamic and just very formulaic. After giving the whole album a listen it was clear there was much more to it than the single promised.

It opens with 'Shepherd of Fire'. A very dark, moody baritone brass intro mirroring the chords and a thudding drum riff. This song sets the tone for the rest of the album and reveals straight away how much this album is influenced by previous legendary metal bands.

After 'Hail to the King' comes 'Doing Time', probably one of the weakest on the album, it really is quite forgettable, even a stylish Slash/Dimebag hybrid of a solo can't really save it.

'This Means War' is unashamedly a direct descendant of Metallica's 'Sad But True', from every element possible: drum, guitar and lyrical timing. Thats not to say it isn't an enjoyable song, and a couple of underlying guitar harmonies do colour the song nicely and the solo is not a Hammett rip-off at least.

'Requiem' is a slow plodder of a song and leads smoothly from 'War' and presents the first full wah solo Synyster Gates has done I think. The lyrics are are as epic as the semi-ridiculous Latin chanting that opens the song, but again I think it ties together as a good song.

'Crimson Day' takes a cue from James Hetfield's clean guitar tone from 'The Black Album' and is a soft ballad. I actually enjoy Shadows' voice when harsh and loud but it isn't versatile enough here to give anything but a rather flat dimension to a softer song like this, and he has to rely on some vocal layering to thicken it up a bit.

Too many elements close to the end of 'Heretic' are extremely similar to the verse from 'Buried Alive' from previous album 'Nightmare', some of it is almost note-for-note, especially the harmonious guitar leading up to the solo, which is actually a good one: it reminds me of a Paul Gilbert solo actually; slightly more raw but melodic yet technical with a very iron maiden-like harmony to close it out. One of the better solos for me.

'Coming Home', again has a very prominent maiden influence, the verse especially. And its full of solos. Its a good fast song.

'Planets' exhibits simple thudding drums, with a trombone again underlining the chorded intro and later in the song (its actually a bit James Bond-like in places), its quite a dark sounding opening riff and typical of this album the opening chords are translated into muted thuds for the verse.

'Acid Rain' is doubtless the most surprising song on the album. Avenged Sevenfold have attempted ballads before, but none as good as this; with a piano/strings intro which is threaded throughout. Its waltz-like (the timing is in 3/4) and the tone in Shadows' voice is surprisingly impressive in all aspects, notably in in the chorus.
This song sounds like a ballad Guns n' Roses could have written if they were in original dominant form today, which is not a knock in any way as it has a definite originality and is, for me the song I'll most likely play again over the next couple of days.

Being a guitarist myself I should talk about Brian Haner's (Synyster Gates') solos; they are radically different from anything he's done before, visceral in places, from a classic tapping Van Halen influence to very bluesy vibrato reminding you of early Guns n' Roses Slash, and still with a big lean towards the raw leads of Dimebag. And then of course the classic Avenged Sevenfold harmonies. That all being said, his solos still retain the uniqueness that stands him apart from the majority of modern rock/metal guitaristgs working today.

Its a stripped back album, with clear influences of eighties and nineties metal throughout, but not produced in a way that inspires a very raw feeling in my opinion, it may well be a little too over produced, it doesn't really have that grit that Metallica's 'The Black Album' had.
I think that even though a little derivative at times it isn't a bad a thing that their influences are so discernible either, because they mostly pull it off. I enjoyed the album, but there is nothing groundbreaking to be found here. It makes you wonder if the band are ever going to stop changing their sound, or whether they'll settle on this and refine. I'll be ready for the next.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hail To The King, 17 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Hail To The King (Audio CD)
Excellent album I would definitely recommend it to anyone. Very pleased to get it so quickly.
Hail to Avenged Sevenfold!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, just not great, 8 Sep 2013
By 
thetincanman (Cardiff, Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hail to the King (MP3 Download)
Like many other people have already mentioned, this album sounds more like a mis-matched collection of tributes to their heroes, rather than a single piece of work by the band.

When you compare this album to their previous output, I'm sorry to say (in my opinion), it doesn't come close. No tracks really jumped out of the speakers and gripped me, and after 3 or 4 more plays of the album, I still feel the same way.

Having said that, it's not offensively bad, it's just missing the edge & hooks of previous releases.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hail To The King, 6 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Hail To The King (Audio CD)
This album is a step in a different direction for Avenged Sevenfold, especially without the Rev's unique song-writing style. As a fan of 80's/90's metal, I absolutely love this album. It is great music to put on just to rock out, or as background music. I'm not sure if the new songs will bring as great a reaction live as their old music, as the change in direction has polarised a lot of fans. It is admittedly a very stripped back album, but it's simplicity is one of the reasons I enjoy listening to it so much. The influence of Metallica, as well as Iron Maiden, is more evident here than on their previous albums, which seemed to draw more inspiration from bands such as Pantera. As a bass player, I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed playing along to this album, and I am sure that any musician would really enjoy doing this too. Thanks to Amazon, I managed to buy this album for £6 on a one-day offer, so thank you very much for fantastic value- this will be in my CD player for a very long time!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars AX7: The Tribute Album, 1 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Hail to the King (MP3 Download)
I guess I should say from the beginning that I like this album. It is 'solid' across the board, and certainly has enough going on to be interesting and invite repeat listens. Nonetheless, as a number of other reviewers have noted, both here and in magazines, Avenged Sevenfold here wear their influences on their sleeves, and so strongly do these influences emerge, there is the unavoidable feeling that the band have lost their own sense of identity. It is difficult not to listen to the tracks on offer and not find yourself thinking of them as each paying tribute a band formative for AX7, song titles moving aside for the thought of 'ah, this must be the Maiden Song' or 'hmm - sounds a bit like Sad but True, must be the Metallica song'. Overall a listenable album, but rarely offering anything fresh.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as "Nightmare", 9 Oct 2013
This review is from: Hail To The King (Audio CD)
Firstly, I like this album. However, it's just not a punchy as "Nightmare" or "City of Evil" which are fantastic. Perhaps it was a tall order to follow these great albums. In addition, on some of the songs the vocals is just too low (or am I going deaf?). No probelm with the previous albums.
"Hail to the King" as the title track also isn't as strong as I'd hoped for.
So overall it's a good album, but I expected better unfortunately.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hail to The King, 19 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Hail To The King (Audio CD)
Being a massive AX7 fan I waited with anticipation for this release. However, I'm rather disappointed to say its just ok. Not a patch on much of their earlier stuff, and quite 'lacking' in anything that really reaches out and grabs you. Still sticking with though, but I have to admit that its not really growing on me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 15 April 2014
By 
Mr. R. Harper "StThrobber" (Cardiff, Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Hail To The King (Audio CD)
I have been aware of Avenged Sevenfold for many years, but never listened to them, but I was listening to Team Rock Radio yesterday and heard Nightmare, which I thought was very James Hetfield influenced vocally. A mate of mine said to listen to this album and to be fair, it's epic.

As an introduction to a band's music, I can only say I wish I'd listened to them much much earlier.

It's probably much heavier than I normally listen to, but I absolutely love this album
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When all is said and done, this is Avenged Sevenfold's greatest feat, 27 Aug 2013
This review is from: Hail To The King (Audio CD)
After three long years, news broke of a new Avenged Sevenfold record. For A7X fans, this was the news of the decade. Over three year old questions were being answered: Will there be a new record? Who will be their new drummer? Can they pull it off without Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan? To answer the latter question, yes they can.

Sure, before really getting into details, the album does lack a certain quality that Avenged Sevenfold had before, I can't quite put my finger on it, but was obviously inspired by The Rev's writing. He wrote songs such as "Seize the Day", "Afterlife", "Welcome to the Family", "Fiction", and the always most popular, "A Little Piece of Heaven". Coming into the record, you had to know that a song of that direction, of that calibre would have no hope of appearing, so I wasn't disappointed when I didn't hear it. However, the new record came with surprises I was certainly not expecting...

Going into the record, the band stated it would be more bluesy, stripped back and heavy. The 1980's and 1990's were big influence on the band, and why not? Metallica, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Guns N' Roses, Pantera and more paved the way for them, why shouldn't they pay homage to their heroes? Following the release of the single, "Hail to the King", all was not looking up. It was certainly stripped back, formulaic and simplistic. But, that didn't mean I wouldn't still go for it.

"Shepherd of Fire" opens with the chime of a chuch bell, followed by the rumbling of thunder and enter the drums and bass. I can safely say that this record is Johnny Christ's biggest triumph personally, as he can be heard throughout the whole 60 minutes and produces good stuff. The opening track proves us wrong about our ideas regarding the record, with a heavy verse, groovy chorus and an amazing performance throughout. "Hail to the King" follows, and I think after the first track, you begin to appreciate this song more, even though it is simplistic, it is formulaic and could be passed as a Metallica song if James Hetfield was on vocals, but still, it hits hard and proves to be very enjoyable, even though the conclusion of the song is a little anti-climatic (was expecting a scream at the end). The next song, to me, is a crossover between "Chinese Democracy" by Guns N' Roses and anything Scott Weiland touched. It has that feel to it, yet "Doing Time" does deliver in its own little way. At just under three and a half minutes, this is the weakest song, but is enjoyable while it lasts. You may also see a resemblance between the opening of this song with either "Bat Country" by A7X or even "Hell Yeah" by Rev Theory.

Track four must be Metallica's best song yet! Oh wait, it isn't "Sad But True Part 2", it's "This Means War". All joking aside, the song could get Avenged into a little bit of heat with how closely it resembles one of Metallica's top song, however, there is enough difference, mainly the solo, to lay that to rest and really get into the song. It's hard and heavy, just how Avenged wanted it, and delivers. If you aren't a fan of Metallica or 1990's metal, you'll like this song regardless. Following four tracks with clear influence comes "Requiem". The Latin chant, the crazy riff, the ground-and-pound drums, the evil vocals. Like nothing I've heard before, and is one of the standout tracks. "Crimson Day" is a song I found hard to get into, and it took five or six listens, however, I have come to realise the song isn't as bad as I thought, in fact it's good, but the placement certainly doesn't help following five very strong songs. Next up is "Heretic", and Megadeth proves to be the influence here. It's catchy as hell, and the bass guitar is a prominent feature throughout again. Very happy.

I don't know how to explain it, but "Coming Home", musically and lyrically, sounds like Iron Maiden. The intro sort of resembles "Run to the Hills" by Iron Maiden vocally, in its structure and deliverance, and the whole song has Maiden's vibe: adventurous and groovy. Anyway, the song is one of the best on the record, as said before, it is groovy, features a few great solos, and an outro performed by Papa Gates. Next up is "Planets". I said nothing could touch "A Little Piece of Heaven". For me it just did. Yeah, it's not quite as outgoing as the 2007 hit, but it features crazy ass horns and trumpets, a great, groovy chorus and a mid-section that blows your mind. M. Shadows vocals are so strong and aggressive, it's awesome. Good guitar solo, and the song flows nicely into the best song on the record, and one of my personal A7X, no scratch that, one of my personal rock favourites. With a title like "Acid Rain", you don't expect, at least I didn't, a piano, strings and an orchestra, but it has it. A Pink Floyd solo in the middle tops it off as an emotional journey formed by tearful lyrics, amazing vocals, awesome drums and a great piano part. It reminds me of a Queen song, I don't know why. I could sort of imagine Freddie Mercury singing this, or is it just me?

To top it off, "St James" is a great light to the dark of "So Far Away", telling the story of The Rev from a happy point of view. Should be a proper track, it is very popular and cheerful.

Overall, "Hail to the King" provides an album full of surprises, some memorable and unique guitar solos, a great overall performance and memorable tracks. "Shepherd of Fire", "This Means War", "Requiem", "Planets" and "Acid Rain" are the top tracks. Arin Ilejay has proven the haters wrong; he is a damn good drummer with amazing skills and a hint of his own style brewing. It may be a little too familiar for some fans of 1980's and 1990's rock music, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. New fans will enjoy, old A7X fans may be split, but a good effort.
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Hail to the King
Hail to the King by Avenged Sevenfold
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