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http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/avenged-sevenfold-1377540906.jpg Hail to the King

Avenged Sevenfold

Hail to the King

Warner Bros.
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August 27, 2013

The bowels of hell used to disgorge metal messiahs like Avenged Sevenfold all the time. But these days, the band's vision of mainstream headbanging is as adorably quaint as a glow-in-the-dark Iron Maiden poster in a rec room that Dad converted to storage space in 1994. Fusing elements of goth, screamo and what was once called nu metal with the late-Seventies new wave of British metal-metal, their sixth LP piles clarion solos atop clean, sludge-chug riffs. Vocalist M. Shadows nearly busts a kidney calling down a Satan-y apocalypse on "Shepherd of Fire," and the ballad-­storm "Acid Rain" is Romeo and Juliet by way of Queensrÿche. Suicide: still a solution after all these years.

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