‘Hail to the King’: single out now
Artist: Avenged Sevenfold
Single: Hail to the King
Album: Hail to the King
Number of Tracks: 10
Release Date: 27 August 2013
Label: Warner Bros. Records Inc.
After three years of waiting and a good deal of online hype created over the last few months, Avenged Sevenfold have finally re-entered the spot light with their new single ‘Hail to the King’. Now available on iTunes, the new track is the title piece for their upcoming album, which is expected to be available from the 27th August.
Anticipation levels will have been running high leading to this release. Despite his death during the recording of their last album, ‘Nightmare’, in 2009, late Avenged Sevenfold drummer Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan still had time to write and even record several of its components. Now, the ‘Hail to the King’ single acts as the first taster of a full Avenged Sevenfold album recorded without any input from one of their most influential members.
From a superficial perspective, the California quintet has adopted a similar strategy to the one they used for the ‘Nightmare’ single (2010). Again we hear a few eerily resonating opening bars, followed by a very rhythmic power chord-based main body. While this worked last time, ‘Hail to the King’ just doesn’t deliver it with the same enthusiasm. It’s rather simplistic in its structure compared to the previous single, maintaining the same tempo and rhythm throughout. As always, guitarist, Synyster Gates, does offer up a solid solo, however, compared to the soaring harmonies of the ‘City of Evil’ album (2005), it’s fairly lack-lustre. The extensive length of Gates’ input seems to also suggest its use as filler for a generally bare track, rather than a demonstration of what the band is really capable of.
There is hope though. The simply worded chorus of ‘Hail to the King’ definitely has the potential to become the one that will be belted rather than sung by audiences in upcoming shows. Further reassurance also emerges through the general tone of the song. New drummer, Arin Ilejay’s, slow pounding drums do hint at this only being the beginning of a far more epic phenomenon, something fans will have to count on if they wish to see a return to the winning formula of songs like ‘Afterlife’ and ‘Bat Country’.
Avenged Sevenfold, the new line-up (left to right): Zacky Vengeance (guitar), Johnny Christ (bass guitar), M. Shadows (vocals), Arin Ilejay (drums), Synyster Gates (guitar). (Picture: www.billboard.com)
Having been through such a major shake up in recent years, it is very likely that we are about to see Avenged Sevenfold start to return as something a little bit different to what we’re used to. While this re-entry is off to a shaky start, the potential to bring back what saw the band break through in the first place may still exist somewhere within the tracks that are to make up the new album in August:
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