◘ M. Shadows – lead vocals, piano (1999–present)
◘ Zacky Vengeance – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1999–present)
◘ Synyster Gates – lead guitar, backing vocals (2000–present)
◘ Johnny Christ – bass (2002–present)
◘ The Rev – drums, backing vocals (1999–2009)
◘ Matt Wendt – bass (1999–2000)
◘ Justin Sane – bass (2000–2001)
◘ Dameon Ash – bass (2001–2002)
◘ Mike Portnoy – drums (2010)
◘ Sounding the Seventh Trumpet (2001)
◘ Waking the Fallen (2003)
◘ City of Evil (2005)
◘ Avenged Sevenfold (2007)
Avenged Sevenfold's material spans multiple genres and has evolved over the band's ten year career. Initially, the band's debut album Sounding the Seventh Trumpet consisted almost entirely of metalcore sound; however, there were several deviations to this genre, most notably in "Streets" which adopts a punk style and "Warmness on the Soul," which is a piano-oriented ballad. On Waking The Fallen, the band displayed a more refined and fluent metalcore album that was able to harness the rawness of the first album and add more mature and intricate musical elements. In the band's DVD All Excess, producer Andrew Mudrock explained this transition: "When I met the band after Sounding the Seventh Trumpet had come out before they had recorded Waking the Fallen, M. Shadows said to me 'This record is screaming. The record we want to make is going to be half-screaming half-singing. I don't want to scream anymore. And the record after that is going to be all singing.'" On City of Evil, Avenged Sevenfold's third album, the band chose to abandon the metalcore genre, developing a more hard rock style. Avenged Sevenfold's self-titled album, again, consists of several deviations to less consistent genres and styles from the album's main hard rock and heavy metal songs, most notably in "Dear God", which adopts a country style and "A Little Piece of Heaven", which includes elements of Broadway show tunes, using primarily brass instruments and stringed orchestra to take over most of the role of the lead and rhythm guitar. The band has changed considerably since their first album, in which during that time they have been characterized as a heavy band with a screamed and growled vocal style combined with clean vocals that one can expect from the metalcore genre.
Band Name and Lyrical Content
The band's name is a reference to the Book of Genesis in the Bible - specifically Genesis 4:24, where Cain is sentenced to life in exile for murdering his brother. God marked him so that none would kill him on account of his sin; the man who dared to kill Cain would suffer "vengeance seven times over" (KJV).[original research?] The abbreviation "A7X" for their band name was the idea of guitarist Zacky Vengeance. The title of Avenged Sevenfold's song "Chapter Four" refers to the fourth chapter of Genesis, in which the story of Cain and Abel takes place. The song's subject also appears to be this story. "Beast and the Harlot", yet another song derived from the Bible, comes from the Book of Revelation only it is written in the first person and refers to the punishment of Babylon the Great, world empire and seat of false religion. Another biblical reference occurs in the song "The Wicked End". In this song, several times it is said "dust the apple off, savor each bite, and deep inside you know Adam was right." making reference to Eve eating the forbidden fruit. Although the band's title and members' stage names make references to religion, Shadows stated in an interview that they are not a religious band. "Anyone that reads the lyrics and really knew anything about us, they would know we're not promoting either," he said. "That's one thing about this band that I love is that we never really shove any kind of, like, political or religious beliefs on people. We just, the music's there to entertain and maybe thought-provoking on both sides, but we don't try to, like, really shove anything down anyone's throat. There's too many bands that do that nowadays, I think." The band has a few songs that are somewhat political in nature like "Critical Acclaim", "Gunslinger" and "Blinded in Chains". The song "Betrayed" off of their album City of Evil was written about "Dimebag Darrell's death".
The band sports a logo known as the "Deathbat". It was originally designed by an artistic high school friend of Avenged Sevenfold, Micah Montague, as seen on the band's first DVD, All Excess. The Deathbat has appeared on all of the band's album covers, many of which were done by Cameron Rackam, a close friend of the band. The Deathbat has developed from just being a skull with bat wings, to sometimes appear as a full "man size" skeleton with bat wings, as it can be seen at the cover of City of Evil. On Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, there are pictures of two people (in which appear to be Cain and Abel), another angel-like human and a semi-opaque Deathbat below it, several Deathbats appear on the back cover of the album as well. The Deathbat also appears on covers of number of singles such as "Bat Country", "Warmness on the Soul" and "Critical Acclaim".
'selfish beneath the skin but deep inside im not insane'