December 3, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 43°F


Review: Hardcore group finds footing

Avenged Sevenfold "Hail to the King"

What has always made heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold great is how each member of the five-person group — composed of a singer, two guitarists, a bassist and a drummer — is extremely talented at his respective instrument. The members of the band are as impressive alone as they are together. The recent release of “Hail to the King” marks the band’s sixth studio album, but it has not lost any skill over time.

The album is extremely reminiscent of ’80s metal bands such as Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath. Vocalist M. Shadows and lead guitarist Synyster Gates bring great intensity. Most tracks, particularly “Shepherd of Fire” and “Hail to the King,” showcase the standard shredding guitar, pounding drums and crooning, nasal vocals expected of the band.

Shadows’ singing keeps the songs from sounding too similar. He croons over the shredding guitar and banging drums, carrying the tunes to different keys, particularly in the case of “Doing Time,” where his voice gets lower and less nasally to lead this jumpy, upbeat track.

With “Hail to the King,” Avenged Sevenfold doesn’t bring any new sound or experimentation, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The band has found a sound that works and continues to produce that aggressive, metal intensity with each song.

Evin Billington can be reached at or via Twitter: @EvinBillington