Impact Arena, Bangkok, Thailand. 20th January 2014
Avenged Sevenfold’s most recent album ‘Hail To The King’ gatecrashed the charts, smashing it’s way to the Number One spot on both sides of the Atlantic as well as numerous other countries. A7X ,as they are better known amongst their loyal fans, are a global phenomenon.
Photos courtesy of BEC-TERO Entertainment
Words: Mark Taylor
It is still the old guard that lead the way but Iron Maiden, AC/DC or even Metallica are not going to be here forever, although no doubt their music will be immortalized. The young Californians have surely learnt their craft from their elders and have matured with each progressing album, even paying homage with a cheeky inspired riff or two.
The bulldozing ‘This Means War’ may well be a little close to comfort to Metallica for some, but Metallica released their ‘Black’ masterpiece almost a quarter of a century ago. To Avenged Sevenfold’s predominantly young audience the ‘Black’ album is something their Dad would listen to; sad but true!
The young generation of today have their own band in Metal and that is Avenged Sevenfold and just like much greatness before them with the Godfathers such as Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin they’ve been inspired by the past, rephrased a lick or two and polished it for a new generation to enjoy and to behold.
Avenged Sevenfold were in the Thai capital for their third visit in their short career on a South Asian tour that has taken in such countries such as China, South Korea and Indonesia, far flung places that many of the greats fear to tread.
Outside the welcoming venue everyone stops in their tracks at 8.00pm and faces the same direction to pay respect to the King of Thailand as the National Anthem is proudly played over a speaker. Half an hour later the crowd will be going wild as they pay respect to the new kings of Metal.
Exploding into ‘Shepherd Of Fire’ Avenged Sevenfold claim the stage and make full use of the area around them with vocalist M Shadows running from the side to side engaging with the youthful crowd, most of whom are clad in black Avenged Sevenfold t-shirts whilst Shadows himself sports a t-shirt of the Swedish doom Metal band Ghost BC.
The hair of all members is short yet stylish in the alternative manner; only new drummer Arin Ilejay has a full set of locks and he resembles Animal from the Muppets with his high energized and enthusiastic thundering visualized antics.
Guitarists Synyster Gates, Zacky Vengeance and bassist Johnny Christ also clearly make themselves known with plenty of foot on the monitor action aided with the help of a raised platform at the foot of the stage. Sadly for this tour there were no hotter than hell pyrotechnics so A7X had to work a little harder than usual to burn it up onstage.
Cries of “Hail, Hail, Hail” greet the title track of their last album ‘Hail To The King’, a crushing yet simplistic modern day Metal anthem. M Shadows spots the first mosh pic gaining a frenzy towards the back and dedicates ‘Beast And The Harlot’.
Shadows makes a speech about only having one life on this world before introducing ‘Seize The Day’ where the first verse is faithfully sang by the Thai audience. Voices are raised again for the chilling intro to ‘Nightmare’ before Sevenfold deliver their stained brutality.
Synyster Gates performs a subtle solo before a thumping knockout version of ‘Afterlife’ before ‘This Means War’ leaves it’s trodden muddy tracks over the Arena. Surprisingly ending the main set is the dark ballad ‘Acid Rain’, a track which is being performed for the first time on this South Asian tour.
After twice being begged back onto the stage for encores of the twin lead attack of ‘Unholy Confessions’ and the insane ‘Bat Country’, with the Thai flag raised complete with bat logo Avenged Sevenfold return once more with the marvelous ‘A Little Piece Of Heaven’ complete with animated graphics.
Older rock fans may well be puzzled as to what all the fuss is about but try telling that to Avenged Sevenfold’s millions of Worldwide fans who, like the Thai fans tonight, worship every move, groove and word.
Afterwards outside the venue hundreds of fans waited for the band to make an exit as the police kept the fans away from a waiting limo cornered in by police vans and bikes, only this was a decoy as the band made a hastily quick exit at the opposite end which made for a pandemic scrum of the Thai fans hoping to meet their idols.
Just like Elvis, the Kings had left the building.
Shepherd of Fire
Welcome to the Family
Hail to the King
Beast and the Harlot
Seize the Day
This Means War
A Little Piece of Heaven