The members of Avenged Sevenfold kick back behind the wheel of a classic car in the video for “Shepherd of Fire,” a track off this year’s Hail to the King. The new clip revives the driving motif of their breakthrough “Bat Country” video in 2005 and, while that video played off imagery from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, this video looks just as hellish.
Directed by Wayne Isham (Britney Spears, Metallica), “Shepherd of Fire” juxtaposes images of flames, vultures and skulls amidst shots of frontman M. Shadows attempting to navigate his bandmates along a very windy road (whilst headbanging, no less). Guitarist Synyster Gates even manages to stay on the hood of the vehicle while he plays a fleet-fingered solo and takes a swig of beer.
The song itself is one of the band’s most straightforward heavy-metal numbers; it’s full of thunderous drums and chimes, a minor-key guitar riff and threatening lyrics like, “I am your war.” Shadows even punctuates the chorus with a foreboding, under-the-breath spoken-word part: “And you know it’s right.”
Avenged’s latest album, Hail to the King, debuted at Number One when it came out in late August. It’s a feat they previously accomplished in 2010, when they knocked Eminem out of the top spot with their album Nightmare. Interest in the band was at a high for that release because it was the first album they put out after the death of drummer Jimmy “the Rev” Sullivan, who had been one of the group’s songwriters. Hail to the King is the first record the band has released without any of his songwriting contributions.