The dapper and tattooed theatricality of Avenged Sevenfold has prevailed throughout the twelve years the band has been in the industry. A7X is an explosive icon of this generation’s metal craze.
Formed in 1999 in Huntington Beach, California, by high schoolers M. Shadows, Zacky Vengeance, The Rev and Matt Wendt, the band has risen from typical garage band status to sexy rock band connoisseurs.
July 2011 marked 10 years since Avenged Sevenfold’s debut full-length album, Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, hit stores. At a mere 18 years old, core members M. Shadows, Zacky Vengeance, Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan, Synyster Gates and former bassist Justin Sane teamed up with Good Life Recordings to release the album on July 24, 2001.
In 2002, Hopeless Records hosted the re-release of Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, showcasing a well-rounded full band sound and gaining the members a generous helping of four-star ratings and some well-deserved recognition.
In the summer of 2003, Hopeless Records birthed the band’s follow-up record, Waking the Fallen, introducing Johnny Christ on bass, nesting with the group for years to come. After extensive touring with groups such as Shadows Fall and Mushroomhead in support of their debut album, Avenged Sevenfold was offered a spot on the Vans Warped Tour in sight of their growing fan base from the 2003 release. Following two years of appearances on the Vans Warped Tour, A7X filmed a music video for their single off Waking the Fallen, the all-familiar “Unholy Confessions.” Without hesitation after premiering their video on MTV2, the band departed from Hopeless Records and hopped on board Warner Bros., home of crowd favorites such as Disturbed, Deftones, Green Day and Eric Clapton.June 7, 2005, marked the band’s major label-debut with City of Evil. The album contains the grime and grittiness that appeals to many of their fans; however, M. Shadows demonstrates a vocal style trained to the likes of Guns N’ Roses. City of Evil is a mile-marker for the band in that it escalated their versatility within the metal genre and earned an international following, placing them at No. 30 on the Billboard 200. “Bat Country” achieved No. 2 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Charts and received No. 1 on MTV’s Total Request Live for a music video inspired by the movie adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.City of Evil was dubbed Avenged Sevenfold’s first gold album and eventually went platinum in 2009.Two years after the release of City of Evil, Warner Bros. channeled the fourth full-length album, self-titled and in stores on October 30, 2007. Within the year, more than 90,000 copies were sold, putting the album at the No. 4 spot on the Billboard 200. Four singles, including “Critical Acclaim,” “Almost Easy,” “Afterlife” and “Dear God,” were recognized with an animated video created for “A Little Piece of Heaven”; however, because of its content, Warner Bros. released it only to registered MVI users online. Their self-titled album earned the band Kerrang’s “Album of the Year” with more than 500,000 copies sold.On December 28, 2009, friends and family of the band received word that James “The Rev” Sullivan was found dead at age 28. Despite the group’s consideration to part ways, the first single and title track, “Nightmare,” from their fifth full-length album was released on May 18, 2010. It has been stated that Nightmare is a dedication to The Rev and that in his place, former drummer of Dream Theater and also one of Sullivan’s idols, Mike Portnoy, but would manning the drums in the studio for Avenged Sevenfold. Joining the band on tour would be drummer Arin Ilejay, formerly of Confide. Nightmare’s harrowing lyrics and gyrating instrumentals gained fans’ blessings but left conflicted feelings for critics. However, the determination and commitment of the A7X family have overshadowed public expectations, debuting Nightmare at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for 2010.On May 2, 2011, “Not Ready to Die” was released on iTunes and was to be included in the Escalation DLC pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops. Currently, the band is set to headline the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival, which runs until October. Supporting bands include Three Days Grace, Seether, Bullet For My Valentine, Escape the Fate, Sevendust and many more.