In 1999 the band Avenged Sevenfold was formed in Huntington Beach California, their name was derived by M. Shadows referring to the story of Cain and Abel found in Genesis 4.24 in the Bible, even though the band did not play religious music. The original band members were: Zacky Vengeance; James ‘The Rev’ Sullivan; M. Shadows and Matt Wendt and they all assumed a nom de plume which had been their nickname in High School. Justin Sane (bassist) of the band Suburban replaced Matt Wendt. In 1999 Synyster Gates (lead guitarist) joined the band. Sane attempted suicide in 2001 and was replaced by Dameon Ash.
Their debut album ‘Sounding the Seventh Trumpet’ was recorded on Good Life Recordings label, while the members were still in school and about eighteen years old, and was released in 2001. They started gaining recognition, while touring on the Take Action Tour and performing with other bands like Shadows Fall and Mushroomhead. Their first album was re-released in 2002 by Hopeless Records.
Their new member Johnny Christ (bassist) played on their second album ‘Waking the Fallen’ recorded on Hopeless Records in August 2003. The band played with the Vans Warped and was profiled on Billboard and The Boston Globe. 2004 saw the band leaving Hopeless Records and signing up the Warner Bros Records. Their song ‘Unholy Confessions’ saw the rounds on MTV2’s Headbanger’s Ball. Avenged Sevenfold released their third album ‘City of Evil’ in June 2005 and it debuted at #30 on the Billboard 200 Album charts and was genre was noted as Metalcore. This album was the one that got magazine reviews and launched the band into international favour. In 2006 after playing in the Ozzfest the band beat several contestants for the Best New Artist on the MTV Video Music Awards. Their single ‘Bat Country’ reached #6 on the Billboard Modern Rock Charts, #2 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Charts and their video ‘All Excess’ topped at #1 on MTV’s Total Request Live. This sent their album into a spin and they gained their first Gold record and in August 2009 it reached Platinum.
In October 2007 Avenged Sevenfold released two tribute albums ‘Strung Out on Avenged Sevenfold: Bat Wings and Broken Strings’ and ‘Strung Out on Avenged Sevenfold: The String Tribute’. The album ‘Avenged Sevenfold’ was also released in October 2007 and it debuted #4 on Billboard’s 200 list and won the ‘Kerrang! Awards’: ‘Album of the Year award’. In September 2008 their two-sided CD and Live DVD ‘Live in the LBC & Diamonds in the Rough’ was released. December 28th, 2009, Avenged Sevenfold’s drummer, James ‘The Rev’ Sullivan, was found dead in his home of an overdose. At this stage they considered disbanding, but the joining of Mike Portnoy to replace The Rev and the single ‘Nightmare’ was digitally released in May 2010 on Amazon.com, but was soon removed. The album ‘Nightmare’ was released worldwide in July 2010 and debuted as #1 on the Billboard’s 200 Album list. Although Portnoy rejected joining the band, he still toured with them in December 2010. January 2011 the band announced that Arin Ilejay would be touring with them that year, he was still not considered a fulltime member at that stage. In April Avenged Sevenfold headlined the Golden God Awards organized by Metal Hammer, and on the same night Mike Portnoy won ‘Drum Workshop’s Best Drummer’ for his work on the ‘Nightmare’ album and the band won three awards ‘Epiphone Best Guitarist’ (Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance) , ‘Best Vocalist’ (M. Shadows) and ‘Affliction’s Album of the Year’ (Nightmare).In 2011 Arin Ilejay was formally accepted into the band.
At the Revolver Golden Gods awards in April 2012 Avenged Sevenfold won the awards for ‘Best Live Band’ and ‘Most Dedicated Fans’. In September the same year the song ‘Carry On’ was featured in the video game ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops II’. The album ‘Hail to the King’ by Avenged Sevenfold was eventually released in August 2013 and reached #1 on the American Billboard 200, the Finnish, the Canadian, the Irish, the Brazilian and the British album charts.
Avenged Sevenfold has released six studio albums, eighteen singles, one live album/DVD/compilation and have sold more than 8 million records worldwide. Their genres were recognized as Metal Hard Rock and Metalcore, though they did deviate to songs that fell within Punk Rock and Ballads.