With their new Hail to the King, the Huntington Beach, Calif., fivesome Avenged Sevenfold has released six studio albums that have, for the most part, steadily increased in both popularity and metallurgy. Pop punk and screamo leanings long behind them, Avenged Sevenfold have by now embraced full-on trad power-metal mythopoeia. And while they may or may not pull that style off, the über-gothic stained-glass-window metal of "Requiem," for instance, is certainly ambitious. But it took them 12 years to get there, and this playlist charts their course.
Highlighted here are the group's biggest radio singles, including four that have placed in Billboard's Hot 100: 2005's "Bat Country," 2010's "Nightmare," 2011's "Not Ready to Die" and 2013's "Hail to the King" itself. Several other tracks have received Top 20 airplay on one or more rock radio formats. The oldest songs here are "Warmness on the Soul" from 2001's Sounding the Seventh Trumpet and "Unholy Confessions" from 2003's Waking the Fallen, both released on the L.A. indie label Hopeless Records. The mix also includes three more semi-rarities: "Carry On," "Crossroads" and the Pantera cover "Walk" from 2008's Live in the LBC & Diamonds in the Rough CD/DVD package. Who could ask for more, huh?