The first time I heard I “Hail to the King” I was driving home late at night, when this ripping guitar into starts… I hear some chunky rhythm come in.. and then the drums just kill it… The vocals begin and… it sounds like M. Shadows?
I had never known Avenged Sevenfold to get radio play on my local stations so this was a welcome surprise. This song quickly became one of my current favourites, and it pretty much gives me everything I could want in a heavy song.
I had the opportunity to see A7X live at Warped Tour about 10 years ago, so around the City of Evil time, and that performance blew me away. These guys are still one of my top live acts to date. I definitely feel lucky to have been able to see The Rev in action – that was a dude that lived up to, and surpassed the hype about his playing. My Chemical Romance took the stage after them for a performance that was so disappointing that we didn’t even bother staying until the end. We weren’t alone; the crowd thinned out considerably only a few songs into their set.
With ”Hail to the King,” the band has a bit more of a classic rock-metal-ish feel – quite a turn from their original metalcore roots. I love the grit in M. Shadow’s voice, as it gives the song a bit more of an aggressive feel, than say, some of the songs on City of Evil. The song also brings to mind a bit of Manowar, when the chorus hits, and just in content it could be ripped from the Manowar lyric book. And although he will never escape endless comparisons to The Rev, I think Arin Ilejay (formely of Confide) is a wicked talented guy and a great fit for the band.
Check out the video below:
(also, tell me M. Shadows doesn’t look like Mitch Hedberg in this video)