Avenged Sevenfold is a five-piece metalcore band that achieved mainstream success with their unique fusion of metal, punk-pop, and post-hardcore that put impressive musicianship on display.
When they started their band in 1999, the members were still in high school in Huntington Beach, California. Even so, it didn’t take long for M. Shadows (vocals), Zacky Vengeance (guitar), Synyster Gates (guitar), James Owen “The Rev” Sullivan (drums), and Johnny Christ (bass) to make a name for themselves with their aggressive mix of metal, hard rock, and punk-pop.
Even though the band had no religious message or goal, their name comes from the Bible story of Cain and Abel and the verse "You shall suffer vengeance seven times over."
For their 2001 debut, Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, they stuck to a strict metalcore aesthetic but had shifted to a more modern rock and heavy metal direction by 2005, with City of Evil. The success of the single "Bat Country" helped propel the album to number 30 on Billboard's Top 200. The band's accomplishments were recognized when they took home the "Best New Artist" trophy at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards.
With the release of their self-titled fourth album in 2007, Avenged Sevenfold found success in the mainstream before the untimely passing of drummer James "The Rev" Sullivan in 2009. In spite of this, the band carried on with the help of Mike Portnoy, formerly of Dream Theater, on drums. They dropped Nightmarein 2010 and once again managed to cast a spell on audiences all over the world.
In 2013, Avenged Sevenfold released the album Hail to the King, which featured new drummer Arin Ilejay of Confide. The album included a bonus track entitled “St. James” in honor of “The Rev” and debuted on the top spot of the Billboard 200—a first for A7x. After the album came out, Ilejay left the band due to "creative differences." He was replaced by Brooks Wackerman, who would man the kit for the band’s 2016 studio album, The Stage.
To date, Avenged Sevenfold has released seven studio albums and 31 singles. The band enjoyed global popularity and has been singled out as a pioneering force in the New Wave of American Heavy Metal.