Avenged Sevenfold weren't shy about wearing their influences on their sleeve for their 2013 album, Hail to the King. The O.C. band were clearly channeling the mid-tempo stomp of Metallica's "Black Album" on their sixth LP, and for years, some fans have criticized the band for ripping off that very specific sound. Now, A7X singer M. Shadows has admitted that he and his bandmates "cut a little too close" to 'Tallica on that record.
Shadows made the admission in a Twitter thread where he was casually chatting with a fans about how Hail to the King holds up today, and someone asked him directly if Metallica were on the brain during the writing process.
"Loved the record. Still do," the fan said. "Although I must know one thing, was 'Sad But True' and 'Enter Sandman' running through your minds when recording 'Shepherd of Fire' and 'This Means War'?"
"Yes, in hindsight we cut a little too close," Shadows replied. "But all you can do is learn and move on."
As it turns out, following the lead of the most commercially successful metal album of all time has paid off for A7X. This whole Twitter interaction began when one fan praised the record for being underrated, and Shadows chimed in to say it's the album of theirs that racks up the most streams — by a mile.
"Hot take: The Hail to the King album by [Avenged Sevenfold] is amazing and deserves respect" one fan tweeted. "So many people chaff at the 'simple riffs' and classic hard rock sound, but the album has incredible complexity under the surface, if you really listen."
"'Hail to the King' (the song) streams more than double any other tracks we have weekly," Shadows replied. "The album is on track to out-sell all the others… yet a portion of the fan base acts like it was a failure by all accounts."