Avenged Sevenfold
Hail to the King


5.0
classic

Review

by ColdGobra USER (5 Reviews)
September 8th, 2013 | 58 replies


Release Date: 08/27/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Let’s talk about social stigma, prejudgment and lack of objectivity, since all these words are vital when considering the acceptance of new Avenged Sevenfold album.

Firstly, social stigma is “the extreme disapproval of (or discontent with) a person or group on socially characteristic grounds that are perceived, and serve to distinguish them, from other members of a society. Stigma may then be affixed to such a person, by the greater society, who differs from their cultural norms”.
Now, granted, this can be applied in various ways, it’s still tightly coupled with the existing attitude towards “Hail To The King” in the following manner.

Avenged Sevenfold have tried many times in the past to steer away from the so called ‘mallcore’ or even more ridiculously tagged ‘post-mallcore’ persona with the most notorious attempt, giving Mike Portnoy a sit on the drummer’s chair. Why were they labeled ‘mallcore’ is beyond me, but their previous (or rather, early) work was indeed somewhat metalcore. The latter is not as bad as numetal per se, but the fact that Avenged Sevenfold enjoyed the warm reception of mainstream media (especially young teenage girls) that somehow distorted the quality of their music to the kvlt-in-the-making metal community. A band that can actually make good riffs, delivers a solid production and is liked by… mainstream? Surely, that mustn’t be the metal we’d listen! And so the social stigma was conducted. Avenged Sevenfold soon became a poster band for what is heavy YET not heavy enough to satisfy the kvlt community.

Secondly, prejudgment by definition means “making a decision before becoming aware of the relevant facts of a case” is a logical progress from social stigma and is as such relevant to further discussion. Let me make a soft reference: Justin Bieber will be forever Justin Bieber, no matter what Justin Bieber does. He is much more than just a human, he became a meta-persona, an adjective, a symbol. He can never be anything else than Justin Bieber with all the negative touch that the word itself represents. We, as humans and part of the civilization, are unable to detach Justin Bieber from the Justin Bieber meta-persona. Sadly, same can be said for Avenged Sevenfold. Which brings us to the final and the most important characteristic when discussing the aforementioned band: lack of objectivity from the recipients, which is evident from all the reviews on this page (or any other page for that matter).

Now, I tried to be as objective as possible when discussion, analyzing and somewhat enjoying the “Hail To The King” (hereinafter referred to as HttK) and I’ve come to the following conclusion.

Being a fan solely of the “Waking the Fallen” and “City Of Evil”, I’ve felt left down by the band many, many times before. When their self-titled album was released in 2007 I felt short of laughing. It was bad, it was unlistenable and most of all, it was meaningless. It didn’t touch me, it didn’t offer me anything new (or anything new that I’d actually enjoy). Given the ever growing set of bands, I forgot about Avenged Sevenfold (unfortunately, I couldn’t forget their self-titled effort it was that bad). Now, years later, I saw much hype behind their new offering, HttK. A lot of negative reviews, bad reception and an unconvincing single grabbed my attention (as a train-wreck would). I gave this album a try.

After listening to it for many times on repeat (which was a sign of me perceiving this music as bearable), what struck me the most is the lack of –core in their sound. Musically they seem to be growing up. Riffs are solid heavy metal and nobody can deny that. The intro to the HttK is the very epitome of heavy metal, as is the rest of the song. Another thing that grabbed my attention were the vocals of Mr. Matthew Charles Sanders. Given all the medical troubles he had with his throat, vocals still sound bearable. Nasal singing, a concept he solidified, seems to be toned down, which is a step in the right direction.
This Means War is another great example of a maturing band that accepted heavy metal as their basis. And that they do well. The way the intro riff resembles Iron Maiden’s best efforts is remarkable. Crimson Day is another great example of how far the band is capable to push their limits. A semi-ballad with clean singing would have been (and was) a nasal nightmare in the past, however, this time around they not only make it listenable, they make it sound enjoyable. And this is coming from a person who has an allergic reaction to rock ballads.

But that only shows how skilled the Avenged Sevenfold became. The diversity in their songs is remarkable. From the Latin chants that open the Requiem, to the piano driven intro on one of the most memorable and emotionally erecting songs I’ve heard in a while, namely Acid Rain. No one with a common reason and the ability to judge music without the influence of the peers can deny the growth and the progression of Avenged Sevenfold.

As much as lyrics seem trivial or uninspiring, I find them enjoyable and a perfect fit to accompany the musical background. Sure, one could (and has) sifted through the lyrical ability of the aforementioned Mr. Sanders and copy the verses out of context to make them sound meaningless and silly, but there are two sides to this story. Now, granted, lyrics were never their strongest points, they completely deliver on HttK as an album. With verses, such as “Children still play in the garden / Dance as the sun slips away / Not even stars last forever / Cleanse us acid rain” (Acid Rain) one can’t help but to feel. Of course, the angst is present (e.g. This means war: No home to call my own. / No finding someone new. / No one to break the fall. / No one to see me through.) but it’s not overplayed as it would be in the deliverable of bands, such as Korn.

After all is said and done, I’m still enjoying this album and keep interrupting the likes of Kayo Dot, Ulcerate or Gorguts on my playlist when I feel the craving for some good old fashioned metal, with a touch of novelty and 21st century influences.
And remember: music is a subjective matter. As much as I like Avenged Sevenfold’s latest deliverable, I can completely understand that many of you hate it, despise it or even loathe it. May it be peer pressure, social stigma, prejudgment, lack of objectivity or you simply don’t dig it – you have the right to hate it as much as the rest of us have the right to love it.

And love it we do.


user ratings (719)
Chart.
2.3
average
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
September 8th 2013


14761 Comments


Will never check this album out, but this was a pretty interesting read. Pos'd the counteract the negs it will inevitably receive.

Digging: Off Minor - The Heat Death of the Universe

ColdGobra
September 8th 2013


57 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thank you both. Granted, I might have exaggerated with the 5, but it's definitely a solid record.

FrozenVain
September 8th 2013


2446 Comments


holy shit

"I might have exaggerated with the 5, but it's definitely a solid record."

That was funny. You are funny.

ColdGobra
September 8th 2013


57 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thank you for your response.

FrozenVain
September 8th 2013


2446 Comments


You should probably remove the first paragraph because the summary is quite similar

fr33convict
September 8th 2013


11694 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Pos'd. As much as my opinion on the album differs from yours, I still thought this was a very well written review.

ColdGobra
September 8th 2013


57 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thank you fr33convict.

FrozenVain I agree, first paragraph was a duplicated of the summary, thus removed.

FrozenVain
September 8th 2013


2446 Comments


Holy crap, ColdGobra! I had that same avatar a while ago. Sweet.

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
September 8th 2013


14761 Comments


I miss your Jox The Mighty avi

FrozenVain
September 8th 2013


2446 Comments


@Jac

Heh, yeh he's cool

warlordfun
September 8th 2013


390 Comments


I haven't listened to this band before, but your review is excellent. You managed to support your opinion with strong arguments. A pos from me.

Minus.
September 8th 2013


2680 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

" All I will say is that I'm happy to be on this website and I'm glad that I can post stupid, pointless shit like this comment on the internet."


Well, you have definitely achieved your goal

Merkmon
September 8th 2013


6 Comments


This seems defensive of the album as a whole, when if its really deserving of a 5, you wouldn't feel the need to end it with "music is subjective, so anyone can love anything". This seems to be acknowledging that you yourself can see bad things with the music. That being said, pos'd for being well written.

renegadestrings
September 8th 2013


1450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

holdin the cold its so cold its so colden yall, coldengobraaa.

that being said, i've really been trying to give this album a fair chance. it sucks being the only guy in my group of friends who says, "yeah they have talent, but after City of Evil, they've just been all over the place." This album isn't terrible, but there's just nothing interesting about it at all. and i mean NOTHING. for a starting band, this sin is forgivable. For A7X, who had their own trademark sound (City of Evil = A7X), this is just nothing.

alt. nothingcore

Crawl
September 8th 2013


1629 Comments


Good review. Doesn't read like 5 at all, though.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins on Io

Lambda
September 8th 2013


2455 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

"Now, I tried to be as objective as possible when discussion, analyzing and somewhat enjoying the “Hail To The King"

Yeah, "somewhat enjoying" equals a 5. You clearly just 5'd this record to get more readers. Besides that, there are grammar mistakes all over the review. It is absolutely horrendous, just like this album.

"And remember: music is a subjective matter. As much as I like Avenged Sevenfold’s latest deliverable, I can completely understand that many of you hate it, despise it or even loathe it. May it be peer pressure, social stigma, prejudgment, lack of objectivity or you simply don’t dig it – you have the right to hate it as much as the rest of us have the right to love it.

And love it we do."

I almost vomited in my mouth reading that.

Lambda
September 8th 2013


2455 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

"No one with a common reason and the ability to judge music without the influence of the peers can deny the growth and the progression of Avenged Sevenfold."

Yeah, because haphazardly sticking a shitty, out of place chant at the beginning of a song on an album full of 80's metal ripoffs really signifies "growth and progression."

Underflow
September 8th 2013


2579 Comments


As someone else mentioned, you sound far too defensive about your position. If you divorce your
opinion from those of others your review will be better for it.

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

Rawben
September 8th 2013


178 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Review is actually not bad... until the end.

Digging: Celldweller - End of an Empire - Chapter 01: Time

OceanMechanic
September 8th 2013


504 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

The point that you're making with this review is spot-on. Everyone just gives this album a 1 because it's Avenged Sevenfold and it's apparently hip to hate on them. While the album is definitely not a 5 in my books, I certainly agree that there's a ridiculous and uncalled-for amount of prejudice surrounding this band.

Digging: The Smashing Pumpkins - Adore



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