Avenged Sevenfold is an American rock band from Huntington Beach, California, formed in 1999. The band consists of vocalist M. Shadows, lead guitarist Synyster Gates, rhythm guitarist Zacky Vengeance, bassist Johnny Christ.
In 2001 Avenged Sevenfold emerged with a metalcore sound on their debut, “Sounding the Seventh Trumpet,” which included primarily screamed vocals. They released “Waking the Fallen” on Hopeless Records in August 2003. The album featured a more refined and mature sound production in comparison to their previous album.
The band changed their style on their third album and first major label release, “City of Evil,” which features more melodic vocals and power ballads. It debuted at #30 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. The lead single "Bat Country" reached #2 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart and #6 on Billboard's Modern Rock chart. Propelled by this success, the album sold well and became Avenged Sevenfold's first gold record. It was later certified platinum in August 2009.
The band continued to explore new sounds with their 2007 self-titled album and enjoyed continued mainstream success, debuting at #4 on the Billboard 200. Two singles, "Critical Acclaim" and "Almost Easy" were released prior to the album's debut. Soon after, their drummer, James "The Rev" Sullivan, died of heart disease and combined effect of drugs and alcohol in 2009.
Despite his death, the band continued on with help of then former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy and released and toured in support of their fifth album “Nightmare” in 2010 which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, a first for the band. The title track reached #51 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart and also reached #28 on the Rock Songs chart.
In late 2010, Portnoy announced via Facebook that he would no longer be working with Avenged Sevenfold. The band posted a statement on their website in December 2010 stating that Mike Portnoy will not be their permanent replacement for The Rev. In January 2011, Avenged Sevenfold announced via Facebook that former Confide drummer Arin Ilejay will tour with them starting that year. Whether or not he will be joining the group in a permanent position is not yet known.