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Old 02-09-2016, 07:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Review: Avenged Sevenfold - Hail To The King

Now, I am a tad bit of a metal snob. I stubbornly admit that. I tend to keep to the earlier metal of the 70s/80s and often only venture out occasionally for truly great aspects such as Bathory and a few others. But, rarely have I ever found much past the 2000s in the metal genre that I truly enjoy. Judas priest's Redeemer of Souls (2014) being one of the very few exceptions. Along with Bathory's Nordland sequels in the early 2000s and Cradle of Filth's Nymphetamine (2005) among a few others. Needless too say, my prejudice against modern metal were wide and far, but not totally outspoken. I saw most of it as "Nu Metal" despite having some decent encounters with the genre, I was not wholly enthused about the idea of delving into modern metal because of that misconception. Worse still; most of the metal I enjoyed for the last ten years were released from much older bands, which acted as a mask for me to declare a reason why this isn't a part of my prejudice.

This album; Avenged Sevenfold - Hail to the King (2013) has entirely began the smashing of that perspective and has opened me up further to a more potentially great musical experience. I feel I am rather accepting of most things, but have rarely been able to aptly describe my prejudice against this specific era of metal. Now, I truly have no clue. Coming from a band originating from 1999 and having most of its success in an era where metal was lacking in notoriety of the mainstream, I never expected to stumble upon this fusion of Power and speed metal. Instrumentals highly resembling those of the 70/80s with the cleaner production and precision of the modern day, vocal akin to that of Dio and Rob Halford and lyrics deeply rooted in fantastical mythology akin to something out of Bathory. The album presents none of the "Nu Metal" physique I originally expected, it is pure heavy metal through and through. Thrasing and yowling for most of the album and with all the technical fallings and filler one could expect out of a heavy metal album.

Best Songs:
Requiem (Track: 5/10): A power metal song through and through. Fast, heavy and with soaring vocals. Lyrics depicting the fantastic mythological expense mentioned previously. In blunt and easy terms: Something you would envision a berserking monster tearing through an army of medieval soldiers. Or, my personal favorite: Groups of templars dying and slaughtering in the battles of the crusades behind the Papacy and Lionheart. (Gruesome as to be expected; and this is coming from an agnostic man)
Hail to The King (Track: 2/10): Speedy and Power metal bordering on thrash, similar aspects to the first recommended song Requiem with the mythological elements as expected.
Honorable Mentions:
This is War(Track:4/10)
Shepard Of Fire(Track: 1/10)
Dishonorable Mentions/Worst Tracks:
Crimson Day(Track: 6/10) Cheesy filler ballad. Slow, boring and kills the mood of the collage of badass that came previously just a tad.
Primary Criticisms:
1. Top heavy album
2. Mildly repetitive elements
3. Vocals weaken during latter half of the album
4. Lyrical credibility mildly weakens during the later half

Overall Rating: 7.2/10
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