Are they paying homage or should they be paying royalties?
This is the burning question, at least among longhairs, inspired by “Hail to the King,” the latest record from SoCal hard rockers Avenged Sevenfold.
Leading up to the release of the disc, the band made no secret of their intent to make an album evocative of their favorite records from the metal greats who inspired them as teenagers.
But they did more than “Hail” their heroes, here.
“Doing Time” sounds so much like vintage Guns N’ Roses, especially frontman M. Shadows’ mimicking of Axl Rose’s vocal phrasing, that it must have been recorded in embarrassingly tight American Flag bicycle shorts.
“Heretic” owes a tip of the conductor’s wand to Megadeth’s “Symphony of Destruction,” while Metallica looms so large over much of the album, see “This Means War,” that it’s only a matter of time before their drummer starts collecting Basquiat paintings.
But, hey, if “Hail to the King” does come across at times as a heavy metal karaoke session, it’s also a good one. And for younger fans of the band who may not be familiar with all of the album’s reference points, it may become as beloved as the records that it was inspired by.
And this, in the end, was Avenged Sevenfold’s aim.
Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at email@example.com or 702-383-0476. Follow on Twitter @JasonBracelin.