They started out as metal heroes but, album by album, A7X have waded out into the mainstream until they’ve emerged dripping hard rock riffs.
So it is that Hail To The King finds the Orange County crew sounding less like themselves and more like the bands who inspired them.
This Means War is a close cousin of Metallica’s Sad But True, and there are more than a few nods to James Hetfield & Co in opener Shepherd Of Fire.
Elsewhere, Doing Time fair reeks of Guns N’Roses. Frontman M Shadows even summons up that trademark Axl whine from time to time.
Requiem, complete with mad monks (every metal album should have one, just ask Spinal Tap) is a Sabbath tribute and Coming Home old school Iron Maiden.
But, d’you know, they still rock.
It’s a great album to play in the car and crank up the volume. Sort of singalongamax volume.
The guitar shredding may have been toned down, the anger mellowed – finalé Acid Rain is a power ballad, for goodness’ sake – but Hail To The King still motors.
Perhaps that’s why it beat Naughty Boy and Ellie Goulding to the top of the UK album chart.
And certainly A7X axeman Zacky Vengeance (naff name, sorry) is happy.
“It has been a hell of a ride thus* far,” he says. “Having our first No 1 album in the UK is a monumental achievement for our fans and us.
“I remember playing the 100 Club to prove to our fans that we were willing to start from the ground up again to earn your respect.
“Thank you for putting heavy metal back on the throne. We look forward to growing old with you.”
Avenged Sevenfold play UK dates at London’s Wembley Arena (December 1), The 02 in Dublin (December 3) and Birmingham’s LG Arena (December 5).
* Note: ‘Thus’ isn’t very rock and roll, mate.