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Avenged Sevenfold Drummer Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan Remembered One Year After His Death

Soren McCarty / WireImage

On Dec. 28, 2009, Avenged Sevenfold drummer Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan was found dead at the tender age of 28. The Rev’s death rippled through the hard rock and metal community, as we lost a talented man in the prime of his life.

While the band was able to continue on, achieving a number one record with ‘Nightmare’ when it was released this summer, Sullivan’s memory certainly remains. And his loss is still felt by his bandmates and fans on a daily basis.

Revolver magazine has memorialized The Rev in both a special issue and in their year-end edition, which is a tribute to the fallen heroes of our genre. The magazine’s editor in chief Brandon Geist told Noisecreep, “As M. Shadows says in the new issue of Revolver, ‘It sucks that sometimes when someone dies, a lot of people start paying attention.’ And certainly after Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan’s death, a lot of people who might not have given Avenged Sevenfold’s music an honest chance gave the band a real listen. And hopefully they will continue to, because ‘Nightmare’ is one of the most diverse, virtuosic, and ambitious metal albums in recent memory, and certainly the most mature record of A7X’s career.

“A key songwriter for the band, as well as its drummer, The Rev wrote many of the album’s finest moments, and so ‘Nightmare’ not only provides a moving epitaph for him but also underscores the magnitude of his loss. Rest in peace.”

At Noisecreep, we’ve often mentioned how it feels like Dimebag Darrell was riffing from the grave when Pantera unearthed demos from the ‘Cowboys From Hell’ and ‘A Vulgar Display of Power’ sessions. It is like The Rev was serenading us from beyond with his writing on ‘Nightmare,’ which was carried out by Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, who was one of The Rev’s favorite skinsmen.

The Rev’s legacy is impressive and will undoubtedly be long lasting to the horde of kids that wear the band’s signature ‘death bat’ in some form.

The Rev was the anchor for the band’s sound and style throughout their career; on ‘Sounding the Seventh Trumpet,’ where heads began turning at this pack of Orange County kids who were able to modernize Iron Maiden-style metal; then ‘Waking the Fallen,’ which truly established A7X as a major player that wasn’t from the East Coast in the galvanized American metal scene; with ‘City of Evil,’ the band’s major label debut and the record that sent them into the stratosphere of young hard rock; on ‘Avenged Sevenfold,’ which furthered the band’s reputation as a molten yet melodic monster; and finally on ‘Nightmare,’ which landed at number one and was considered both a return to form and a step forward for the band.

The band posted a statement on its website, saying it doesn’t know if a permanent drummer will ever be named. While that remains a constant question mark, The Rev’s legacy will keep him in our hearts and minds forever. No matter what A7X does, his fingerprints will still be on the band.

Watch Avenge Sevenfold’s ‘Afterlife’ Video

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