Avenged Sevenfold have been one of the bands from the modern era of heavy metal that have exceded my expectations in songwriting, technique, and performance. Blending a melodic hard rock vocal style with hard-core punk screams, and fluidly incorporating two excellent lead guitars into some intricate guitar riffs, they've been a perfect metal band in my opinion. Not to be overshadowed, they also had one of the best heavy metal drummers of this generation.
On December 28th, 2009, drummer Jimmy Sullivan "The Rev", was found dead at his home. The world of metal will not be quite the same without The Rev's inspired and talented drumming behind Avenged Sevenfold's music. Even beyond his drumming talents, The Rev was also a major contributer in song composition for this band, as well as providing a unique voice for backing vocals. On a few songs on their later albums he even shared some lead vocals.
Saddened by this sudden loss of a key member of one of the best young heavy metal bands, I feel it's best to honor The Rev by reviewing more of his band's music. Since I learned of his passing I've been revisiting A7X's music. I've particularly enjoyed watching thier concert DVD, "Live in the LBC".
Avenged Sevenfold filmed their performance at the Long Beach Colliseum on their recent tour, for this DVD. It's a great show in front of a home-town crowd, as the band itself is from southern California. Throughout the show you can see how vital The Rev was to their live performances. Particularly on songs like "Critical Acclaim" & "A Little Piece of Heaven", where The Rev sings some key lines, you can really tell exactly what was lost from the world of heavy music on December 28th- not just an excellent drummer, but a truly talented musician.
My recommendations from Avenged Sevenfold's live DVD:
Beast & The Harlot
A Little Piece of Heaven
Rest in peace, Rev...
(images from http://www.avengedsevenfold.com/)