Avenged Sevenfold Biography

US heavy metal band formed in 1999 by M. Shadows (Matthew Charles Sanders, 31 July 1981, USA; vocals), Synyster Gates (b. Brian Elwin Haner, 7 July 1981, USA; guitar/vocals), Zacky Vengeance (b. Zachary James Baker, 11 December 1981, USA; guitar/vocals), Justin Sane (bass) and The Rev (b. James Owen Sullivan 10 February 1981, USA; drums). Based in Huntington Beach, California, the quintet originally pursued a contemporary metalcore sound, with screamed vocals and furious hardcore riffs punctuating the powerful heavy metal rhythm section. Their debut, Sounding The Seventh Trumpet, was released in 2001 by the Belgian label Goodlife Recordings, and the following year by US punk label Hopeless Records.

Dameon Ash replaced Sane in 2001, but lasted barely a year before making way for Johnny Christ (b. Jonathan Lewis Seward, 18 November 1984, USA). The band’s second metalcore outing, Waking The Fallen, was released via Hopeless in August 2003. A solid and technically accomplished recording, the album attracted the attention of several major record labels, with Warner Brothers Records winning the race for the band’s signature. City Of Evil, their Warners debut, moved away from metalcore towards a more traditional heavy metal sound, with M. Shadows singing in an almost conventional voice. As on their previous albums, the focus remained on the terrific twin-guitar attack of Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance. The album was a notable commercial success, reaching the US Top 30 in summer 2005 and selling over 500, 000 copies.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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