Avenged Sevenfold - Hail to the King

Avenged Sevenfold Hail to the King cover
Avenged Sevenfold
Hail to the King
A7X would have taken a totally different direction if they hadn’t signed with a major label back in 2003 after their second and finest album, to date, “Waking the Fallen”. That may have worked out great for their own fame & fortune but their musical shares have started taking the downside. They soon changed their style and their more “metalcore, modern thrash metal” days were over. They did sustain some elements from their “older days” but that was for the sake of it. Now with their sixth release, they display exactly what they had to do in order to become friendlier to the big masses.
“Hail to the King” is the first full-length album which features the new drummer Arin Ilejay (ex-Confide). The album has a straightforward approach and it’s the more riff-oriented work of the band so far. Hence, “Hail to the King” can be described as a “modern” heavy metal album… but there’s more than that. The band strives to copy Metallica at some parts (“This Means War” for instance), on “Requiem” they are trying to sound like a symphonic metal band and on the 3 cheesy ballads, “Coming Home”, “Crimson Day” & “Acid Rain” they desperately struggle to be “radio-friendly”… alas, they utterly fail on all levels. Moreover the production, which was done by Mike Elizondo (Dr. Dre, Eminem, Alanis Morissette, Maroon 5 etc.) is a tad “dry”, and the drums are a bit upfront in the mix. It was a weird choice for a metal band to work with a “mainstream” producer.
Soon before they get the whole thing together, their “major label” days will be over and then what’s there gonna be for them? Major labels do not care for music quality over money. Why A7X have chosen to change their style and become something else, less metal and more modern & commercial is beyond my understanding. Just keep in mind that from the moment their label stops being satisfied with the “massive sales”, then they will find themselves out of this “secure and easy going” place where the press praises them and the big festivals respect them more than they should… if your fan base consists of mostly teenagers… what can you do and expect when all the bright days are gone…?