AVENGED SEVENFOLD will release its sixth studio album, "Hail To The King", on August 27. The title and the cover artwork (see below) were uncovered via an online scavenger hunt that led fans to different web sites that were hosting puzzle pieces.
Asked what fans can expect from the follow-up to 2010's "Nightmare", AVENGED SEVENFOLD guitarist Synyster Gates told Revolver magazine: "I think our songwriting has improved by leaps and bounds. Sonically, this record is our biggest record by fucking far. When you turn this fucking thing on, it blasts your fucking head off."
The new disc was once again produced by Mike Elizondo and is the first to be wholly written without drummer and key songwriter James "The Rev" Sullivan, who died in December 2009. Sullivan has since been replaced by Arin Ilejay, a former member of CONFIDE.
Regarding how Arin did during the recording sessions for the new album, Gates said: "He came in fucking hot and tore us a new asshole. It was really, really cool. He has impeccable groove, which we've always known. But what I don't think we knew is his proclivity for taste. He is one of the most tasteful drummers I've ever heard in my life. He got that caveman, fucking barbaric huge groove philosophy that we were trying to go for on this record. He really got it in his heart and soul. We definitely had to work with him on it. On the first day of recording, I think everybody was getting to him, so he started overplaying and trying to show his stuff a little bit more. And we said, 'Dude, you've just got to lay back and do what we've been talking about for the last fucking nine months.' And he came in the next day and just blew everybody's mind.
"Originally, we thought that maybe we'd have to write the drum parts. M. Shadows [vocals] and I play a lot of drums. I've been playing drums since I was 16. And Jimmy had given me a fucking thousand lessons if he's given me one. We're not great or anything like that, but we definitely understand the drums and are huge fans. We thought that we maybe were going to have to arrange all of these songs, especially on day one. But when he came in on day two, it was just so refreshing. Everybody had goose bumps and we were just looking at each other like, 'Holy shit, this kid's a monster.'"
AVENGED SEVENFOLD will celebrate the album release by playing a free show at the Hollywood Palladium on August 26.
The new disc was once again produced by Mike Elizondo and will follow up 2010's "Nightmare", which earned the band its first No. 1 album on The Billboard 200 chart.
M. Shadows last year hinted at the direction of the band's next studio LP, telling Metal Hammer that it will not sound like "Carry On", the group's contribution to the video game "Call Of Duty: Black Ops II". Shadows explained, "The new album has a lot more of a [BLACK] SABBATH / [LED] ZEPPELIN feel to it than 'Carry On'. There's definitely more SABBATH in what we're writing, and we're proud of 'Carry On', but this album is going to be on a whole new level."