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At the tail end of 2009, while they were enjoying some time off to celebrate the holidays before settling in to record their fifth studio album, founding drummer Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan was found dead in his home at the age of 28, from what was ruled to be an accidental overdose of prescription drugs and alcohol.It was also discovered that he had a heart condition known as cardiomegaly, which may have played a role in his death. “Yeah, absolutely.” But, he adds, “We also realized we needed each other more than ever.” Avenged Sevenfold eventually regrouped, but a rocky road lay ahead.It could be said that the band’s recent collective experience has been something of, to paraphrase Charles Dickens, the best of times, and the worst of times. Review: Schecter's USA Hellwin 100 Guitar Amp, the Product of a Collaboration Between Schecter and Avenged Sevenfold's Synyster Gates Their lowest point is now an indelible part of the band’s narrative.
If I had to write a solo, it would probably take me all day and sound pretty poor."But as far as playing what I want, I don't think there's anything I can't do at this point.
We can read each other's minds almost telepathically now, there's no doubt about it.]]
I can't honestly say with a straight face that every Avenged Sevenfold album is my favorite."But I see the beauty in all of it.
But Avenged, still reeling from Sullivan’s death, weren’t ready to commit fully.
Instead, they parted ways with Portnoy and began searching yet again for a drummer.
For any band, suddenly losing one of its own would be a devastating blow; for Avenged Sevenfold, whose members grew up together and had been friends and schoolmates, the loss was a tragedy of almost insurmountable proportions. Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy came onboard to assist with the recording of what would become Nightmare, and to accompany the band on the ensuing tour.
But the pairing soon proved incongruous: Portnoy seemed to want a permanent position with the group and, in a possibly related move, walked away from Dream Theater, his prog-metal outfit of more than two decades.