Avenged Sevenfold (abbreviated as A7X) is an American heavy metal band from Huntington Beach, California, formed in 1999. The band’s current lineup consists of lead vocalist and pianist M. Shadows, rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist Zacky Vengeance, lead guitarist, pianist, and backing vocalist Synyster Gates, bassist and backing vocalist Johnny Christ, and drummer Brooks Wackerman.
Avenged Sevenfold are known for their diverse rock sound and dramatic imagery in album covers and merchandise. The band emerged with a metalcore sound on their debut album Sounding the Seventh Trumpet and continued this sound through their second album Waking the Fallen. However, the band’s style had evolved by the group’s third album and first major label release, City of Evil, into a heavy metal and hard rock style. The band continued to explore new sounds with its self-titled release and enjoyed continued mainstream success before their drummer, James “The Rev” Sullivan, died in 2009. Despite his death, Avenged Sevenfold continued on with the help of drummer Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater), and released and toured in support of their fifth album Nightmare in 2010, which debuted on atop the Billboard 200, their first number one debut.
To date, Avenged Sevenfold have released seven studio albums, one live album/DVD, two compilation albums and eighteen singles and have sold over 8 million albums worldwide.
Avenged Sevenfold has been criticized for “not being metal enough”. In response to this, vocalist M. Shadows said: “we play music for the sake of music, not so that we can be labeled a metal band. That’s like telling us we aren’t punk enough. Who cares?” Avenged Sevenfold is one of the notable acts of the new wave of American heavy metal.