Hail to the King
With its 2010 album Nightmare, Avenged Sevenfold focused more on heavy riffs than double-time metallic thrash. The group’s sixth album, Hail to the King, continues that trajectory. Blistering guitar-god wrath, dramatic symphonic orchestration, fret-burning solos and thundering drums bear the influence of the hardest rockers from the past several decades: early Metallica, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Motörhead. Dramatic, poignantly written rockers like "Shepherd of Fire", "Crimson Day" and "Hail to the King" frame M. Shadows’ menacing vocals with brooding beats and orchestral horns. And yet for all of the burning intensity, the band offers a moment of light with "St. James", a song recorded in homage to drummer Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, who passed away in 2009.