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HARDWARES

AVENGED SEVENFOLD

Hail To The King

(Warner Brothers)

Reviewed by : Mark Gromen
Rating : 7.0

Not really something that I’d usually be drawn towards, but having twice (unwittingly) been privy the large contingent of young, metal-leaning fans they gather in concert, and more importantly, a recent interview where they claim to be on a mission, to educate those same youngsters about the “classic” metal outfits, via this new record, reportedly the heaviest, further investigation seems warranted. Following an arty intro, apart from the groove, the opening ‘Shepard Of Fire’ owes a bit to METALLICA. Don’t get excited, it’s ‘Enter Sandman’, not ‘Whiplash’, down to the brief spoken word section. Speedy (AC/DC ?) fretwork is the only thing heard to start the title track, but it quickly falls back into that aforementioned, mid-tempo stomp, with “Hey, Hey” shouted chorus. Lots of screams and dissonant guitars on the short, catchy ‘Doing Time’, with a GnR swagger. Overall, the vocals are clean, with a raspy/tough edge. Even a seemingly raging title like ‘This Means War’ fails to rise above The Black Album’s ‘Sad But True’. With a smattering of Latin lyrics and the occasional rat-a-tat drum pattern, ‘Requiem’ slows to a plod. ‘Crimson Day’ is a ballad. While never as overt as someone like EVILE, ‘Heretic’ threatens to finally blow the roof off the WEA offices and after a subtle mid-section, features some spirited guitar. Follow-up ‘Coming Home’ retains the new found (albeit all too short-lived) drive. Why back-to-back, towards the tail end of the disc? Space ‘em out. A solo piano (atop wind sound effect) greets the closing ‘Acid Rain’, an atypical, smooth delivered bluesy 70s turn towards prog. Expanded version will include a bonus track, ‘St. James’. Would be interested why it’s left off and this one made it.

Sure this isn’t what they meant about educating their masses about the true Gods and I really hoped to be able to tell the BraveWords.com faithful that AVENGED SEVENFOLD had matured into a legit metal outfit, but no. Still would prefer to listen to this brand of hard rock over whatever’s on FM radio. And to think they’re still on a major label.




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