If Avenged Sevenfold has spent the past decade-plus maintaining a toe in the alternative hard-rock world, the band's sixth studio album, "Hail to the King," pitches the quintet completely into the metal mainstream. But A7X arrives there entirely on its own terms, with a 10-song set that blends the riffy explosions of "Shepherd of Fire" and "Doing Time" with full-bodied epics like "Requiem" and "Acid Rain" that are fortified with muscular orchestrations.

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