In January, sitting at the funeral for Avenged Sevenfold drummer Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, one had to wonder what was next for the surviving four "brothers in arms" from Huntington Beach.
They had been about to enter the studio at the time of the tragic loss, and Jimmy himself had been working on some demos for inclusion on the new set. Would they continue? Could they go on? Perhaps most importantly, who would be sitting behind the drum kit?
Well, here we are in August, and the questions have been definitively answered. The band's new release, "Nightmare," just became the No. 1 CD in the country after bumping Eminem from the slot. And legendary drummer Mike Portnoy from the band Dream Theater dutifully picked up the sticks not just for the record, but for the current tour as well.
Portnoy, one of Jimmy's musical heroes, was honored. As he told me in a recent interview, "This was a chance for me to pay tribute to the Rev in a special way. I feel like these are my brothers now as well, and being accepted a part of the Avenged family for this project is an honor."