Avenged Sevenfold Hail to the King

Avenged Sevenfold Hail to the King
4
Like an actual monarch, Avenged Sevenfold's latest, Hail to the King, will undoubtedly face intense public scrutiny. It is the group's first record with absolutely no musical contribution from deceased drummer the Rev, and the first full release featuring his replacement, Arin Ilejay. Leery fans will find the uninspired drumming to be the least of their problems, as it fits perfectly with a far more glaring issue: uninspired songwriting. Unfortunately, Avenged Sevenfold's sixth album is a mid-paced snore-fest through the drudgery of pop-metal/rock. Their issue isn't the sound itself — 2005's City of Evil was a pop metal masterpiece — but of a band finding a comfortable place and failing to make any further strides. The occasional irresistible hook is lost in an ocean of mediocrity (one that lasts 53 minutes). After it concludes, Hail to the King makes it challenging for listeners to recall any specific moment, which defeats the purpose of a pop (metal) album. (Warner)