AVENGED SEVENFOLD COMING OF AGE

Image AVENGED SEVENFOLD JUST RELEASED IT’S FIFTH STUDIO ALBUM ON TUESDAY, “HAIL TO THE KING.”  DURING THE BAND’S EXISTENCE THAT BEGAN IN 1999, IN SUNNY CALIFORNIA, A7X AS THEY ARE ALSO KNOWN BY HAS EVOLVED FROM A PUNK METAL STYLE TO A MODERN HEAVY METAL STYLE THAT THEY PLAY TODAY.  TO DATE, AVENGED SEVENFOLD HAS RELEASED FIVE STUDIO ALBUMS, ONE LIVE ALBUM/DVD, EIGHTEEN SINGLES, ALL THE WHILE SELLING OVER EIGHT MILLION ALBUMS WORLDWIDE.  A7X HAS STOOD THE TEST OF ULTIMATE TRAGEDY AND OVERCOME TREMENDOUS OBSTACLES TO END UP WHERE THEY ARE NOW.

     The band was originally formed by M. Shadows, Zacky Vengeance, “The REV”, and Matt Wendt.  The band’s name actually came from a reference to the story of Cain and Abel in the Bible, found in Genesis 4:24.  Although there was a lot of speculation they are not a religious band.  All of the band mates names were actually nicknames that each member had in High School.  Matt Wendt was then replaced by Justin Sane the bassist for Suburban Legends, another up and coming band at the time.

     Avenged Sevenfold’s debut album, “Sounding the Trumpet” was released in 2001, while all of the members were still in High School, a pretty amazing achievement.  At this point Guitarist Synester Gates joined the band and was followed by Johnny Christ  in 2001, as the band began to gain popularity playing with such bands as MushroomHead and Shadows Fall.  In 2003, they released their sophomore album, “Waking the Fallen,” which had a more refined sound.  

     After those albums, A7X joined Warner Brothers Records in 2004.  On June 7, 2005 “City of Evil,” the band’s third album was released and debuted at 30 on the Billboard Top 200, selling 30,000 copies the first week.  City of Evil portrayed a more classic metal sound.  M.Shadows also worked with a vocal coach Ron Anderson, who had also worked with Axl Rose and Chris Cornell in the past.  This did away with the “growling/screaming” vocal tone and achieved a more metal tone with grit.  As their album tour raged on, their lead single “Bat Country” reached number 2 on the Billboard 200 and also number 1 on MTV’s Total Request Videos.

      On October 26, 2007, A7X released their fourth studio album as a self titled hit.  The album debuted at Number Four on the Billboard 200.  Another monumental moment was on April 16th, when they joined Slash on stage to perform “It’s So Easy,” a former Guns n Roses Hit.  Then as the band was growing to new heights tragedy struck.  On December 28, 2009 James “The Rev” Sullivan was found dead at his home at the age of 28.  It was later revealed that James had overdosed on Painkillers.  There was such shock and grief, that the band almost quit.  

     They then recruited Dream Theater’s Drummer Mike Portnoy and released “Nightmare,” their fifth studio album.  The album blew away sales projections and debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard 200.  Nightmare was the band’s best piece in their growing catalog and had a tighter sound and meshed with the more classic sound of the bands metal idols.  Avenged Sevenfold lists Guns N Roses, Iron Maiden, Metallica and Megadeth as their major influences as a band.  Their career took off even further at this time as they even began to headline tours.

     Ok, so yesterday the Band released it’s much anticipated Sixth Studio Album, “Hail to the King.”  Hail to the King leads off with the song Shepherd of Fire, which is a Metallica-esque Blaster that is a direct metal classic.  The Band has shed its hardcore punk sound for the more traditional metal sound.  And why not, just look at the T-shirts that the band wears, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, MotorHead etc and you can definitely understand why this band is ready to take the torch as the next great Metal Band to carry on the next few decades.  Along with Volbeat, Avenged Sevenfold are the new Metallica, the new Megadeth, the new GNR, the new Iron Maiden.

     Zacky Vengeance and Synester Gates are at their best on this album and they establish the dual solo styles of other greats like KK Downing and Glenn Tipton, Dave Mustaine and Marty Friedman, and other greats who use dual lead and backup guitar to produce a power metal sound.  The new drummer Arin Ilejay does an excellent job at producing the pounding bass drum hits that “The Rev” was so known for.  Shepherd of Fire is a song that portrays a theme of the devil singing as if its in the third person.  Hail to the King is another Slam Dunk.  Doing Time sounds like a true GNR song, M.Shadows even sounds exactly like Axl Rose on a few of the lyrics.  The whole album features Synester Gates and some very impressive solos.

    I have now listened to the album three times straight through and I give it a 9/10.  It is definitely Avenged Sevenfold’s best work of art thus far.  Nightmare put them on the map but Hail to the King puts them on top.  In my opinion, they are one of the best modern day metal bands around.  I enjoy listening to them because they are inspired by all of my favorite bands.  This album has a Metallica, Guns N Roses, Iron Maiden feel.  Many of the solos also delve closely to Dave Mustaine and Slash.  M.Shadows has become a stellar lead vocalist and provides the band with a talented front man.  If you haven’t done so, purchase the album today at a local store or on ITUNES.  Avenged Sevenfold has graduated to the next level!  Its been real…Be back soon my Friends!  ROCK ON! HAIL THE KING!

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