• Nightmare

    Nightmare is the fifth studio album by American hard rock band Avenged Sevenfold, released on July 27, 2010 through Warner Bros. Records. It was produced by Mike Elizondo and mixed in New York City by noted engineer Andy Wallace.Nightmare is the first Avenged Sevenfold record without James "The Rev" Sullivan performing drums on all the songs due to his death in December 2009; however he did write parts that were used for the final recordings, making this the last album he would write on, The Rev's vocals are still on the album as a tribute to him. Mike Portnoy, from Dream Theater, who performed as the drummer for the album in his place, also played with the band for all their tours through the end of 2010, due to Dream Theater not touring at that time. They have since hired Arin Ilejay to drum in The Rev's place. The album has been certified Gold by the RIAA in the United States.

    Writing and recording

    In late 2009, two years after Avenged Sevenfold released their self-titled album, and four years after they had issued their breakthrough studio set, 2005's City of Evil, the band started working on their next record, their "most personal and epic that will definitely take you on a very dark journey." Around late 2009, the band worked on the album's production until the death of their drummer.


    On December 28, 2009 the body of James "The Rev" Sullivan was discovered inside his home. This incident made the band suspend work on the album for some time. In the later months, Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater (a major influence on The Rev and the rest of the band) agreed to finish recording the drumming tracks for the album:


    Even under normal circumstances, I would've been happy to help the guys out in any way I could as I think Avenged Sevenfold are a great band; But under these incredibly sad and tragic circumstances, I must say I am truly honored to have been asked to play with them and I didn't even have to think twice about saying yes. [...] These guys are a true family and it is an incredibly emotional experience to be here with them for the first time without their lost brother. But they have welcomed me into the family with open arms and there's a real excitement to make the record they had set out to make. I am treating my participation on this album with the utmost respect for Jimmy's memory and am remaining as true as possible to the drum parts that he wrote for the songs and the record he wanted to make. [...] Although I wish I could stay on board with Avenged Sevenfold in a more permanent capacity; I will need to resume work with Dream Theater to start a new album at some point in 2011. However, I will be able to join my brothers in Avenged Sevenfold for at least the duration of their touring throughout 2010, and hopefully this will give them the time to continue to heal and get comfortable back on the road.


    After a couple of months, more notices about the album became available; a short message from Zacky Vengeance was posted on the official Avenged Sevenfold Twitter on April 17, 2010: "Tracking is complete. There are no words that will ever describe the feeling of listening to this album while driving home alone at 4 am."


    Johnny Christ stated in an interview with Ultimate Guitar about the writing process and subject matter of Nightmare:


    We definitely had made the decision that it was going to be a concept record. We wanted to have a dark concept record, sort of like The Wall or Operation: Mindcrime. At the same time we wanted to incorporate some of what we had done in the past with the guitar work. We wanted to make it heavier in general. Throughout all of that, the songs that came out were musically already as dark as we wanted them to be. Then lyrically it took a different turn when Jimmy passed. The lyrics then became mostly – not 100 percent – but mostly to do with his death and his life.


    M. Shadows and Synyster Gates, in an interview with The Pulse of Radio, confirmed The Rev's special appearance in the record. According to the band members, he left a couple of vocals (to their fortune, clear and in key) before his death, which they used on the record. With his drum fills and vocals intact, the record shows itself like the band's last record with their drummer. The same band members revealed some details about the new record in an interview to Hard Drive radio:


    [...] The new album, Nightmare, is dedicated to The Rev's memory and although it's not exactly a concept album, it does center around The Rev. The eeriest thing about it is there is a song on the album called "Fiction" (a nickname The Rev gave himself) which started out with the title "Death". And it was the last song The Rev wrote for the album, and when he handed it in, he said, 'That's it, that's the last song for this record'. And then, 3 days later, he died."


    It has been confirmed in a recent interview that the song "Fiction" from Avenged Sevenfold's 2010 album Nightmare, was initially written in Pinkly Smooth, but as they went on an indefinite break after Avenged Sevenfold took off, The Rev never finished it. He revisited it and finally finished it (under the title name "Death") three days before he died on December 28, 2009. "Fiction" is one of only two songs on Avenged Sevenfold's album Nightmare to feature The Rev's vocals (the other is "Save Me") as they were able to save a demo recording that he did of the song shortly before Sullivan's death.In a recent interview with Spanish magazine "Binaural," Synyster Gates stated that they're thinking of remixing and remastering the album and possibly adding new parts now that he has the opportunity as he said the album's quality was similar to a demo. 

    Release and promotion

    The first single, "Nightmare", was released digitally on May 18, 2010. A preview for the song was released on May 6, 2010 on Amazon.com, but was removed soon after for unknown reasons; However, on May 10, 2010, a 30-second audio uncensored sample was again revealed, but this time at SoundCloud and on the band's official website. The band also posted, the same day, a video of the song on their official YouTube channel with animated lyrics, which received over 275,000 plays in 24 hours.


    On June 3, 2010, the band revealed a "Limited Edition" of Nightmare for pre-order available only on their website, which contains:

    • Full Nightmare album on CD.
    • Expanded booklet featuring lyric sheets from the band and exclusive artwork.
    • Housed in a synthetic leather bound book with special silver plated Nightmare crest.
    • Limited 24″ x 36″ lithograph entitled Death Bat Anatomy, featuring original artwork on special textured paper embossed with a silver colored Death Bat.
    • Instant download of the new single, Nightmare.


    Since May 27, 2010, the band revealed the album cover piece by piece like a jigsaw puzzle over a period of eighteen days, revealing the complete cover on June 15, 2010, along with the track listing.


    On June 29, 2010, the band made available an iTunes pre-order of the album, which contains:

    • Full Nightmare digital album.
    • Bonus track: "Lost It All"
    • Exclusive photos.
    • "Nightmare" music video.
    • Behind the scenes footage from "Nightmare" music video shoot.
    • Written treatment for "Nightmare" music video.
    • "Nightmare" lyric video.
    • Audio interview with album producer, Mike Elizondo.
    • Type-set lyrics with hand-written notes for bonus track, "Lost It All".
    • Sketches of album art concept.

    The song "Buried Alive" was posted on the band's Facebook page on July 14, 2010, but experienced loading issues due to a large number of users trying to access the video, and was briefly taken down. The problem was resolved on July 15, 2010, and was posted on YouTube as a lyric video which also contained a small animation.

    On July 21, 2010 the song "So Far Away" was released by KROQ radio exclusively for one day.

    On October 19, 2010, the single "Welcome to the Family" was released.

    On April 5, 2011, "So Far Away" was released, followed by the music video.

    In September 2011, the band announced plans for a music video for their next single, "Buried Alive". They tried to get Rob Zombie to direct the video, but he declined due to being focused on another project.

    Critical Reception

    Upon its release, Nightmare received mostly positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 62, based on 7 professional reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".

    In the August 2010 issue of Metal Hammer, Terry Bezer rated the album an eight out of ten. In his review he had praised the band members for their courage despite of the death of The Rev and called it "the ultimate tribute to a fallen friend." He also praised Mike Portnoy for his part in the album and found him a fitting stand-in for The Rev. 411 Mania gave the record a lengthy but highly positive review by giving it a score of 9.0/10. As a conclusion they stated, "If you’re a fan of Avenged Sevenfold, Nightmare is a must-have for you. This album is incredibly moving and is better than any tribute to the late Rev I could have possibly imagined." Kerrang! gave the album 4 K's out of 5 concluding: "Where Avenged [Sevenfold] go from here is still in the lap of the gods. Whatever their future, though, Nightmare marks the point at which the Huntington Beach crew put away childish things and became men. Wherever he is now, their brother must be immensely proud."

    About a month and a half before the record had released, Faye Lewis of Rock Sound, gave the record a highly critical review, saying that the title track "Nightmare" was the only highlight, which generated much criticism. Rock Sound later issued an apology for the review and took it down from their site. In their letter of apology they said: "Rock Sound recently published a track-by-track guide to the forthcoming Avenged Sevenfold album. We wish to apologize wholeheartedly for any misunderstanding in the article that caused upset to both the band and their fans. This was certainly not our intention and therefore we have removed the piece from the site." Iann Robinson of CraveOnline was much less forgiving or accepting, calling the album "a waste of space," ultimately giving the album a 1 out of 10.


    YearNominated workAwardResult
    2011 Mike Portnoy on Nightmare Golden God Awards: Best Drummer Won
    Synyster Gates & Zacky Vengeance on Nightmare Golden God Awards: Best Guitarists Won
    M. Shadows on Nightmare Golden God Awards: Best Vocalist Won
    Nightmare Golden God Awards: Album of the Year Won
    "Buried Alive" Revolver Magazine's Song of the Year 2011 Nominated

    Band Member

    M. Shadows – vocals
    Synyster Gates – lead guitar
    Zacky Vengeance – guitar
    Johnny Christ – bass
    The Rev – drum arrangements

    Additional musician(s)
    • The Rev – vocals (on "Fiction", "Save Me"), piano (on "Fiction", "Save Me")
    • Mike Portnoy – Drums
    • Synyster Gates, Zacky Vengeance, Johnny Christ – Backing Vocals
    • Brian Haner, Sr. – guitar solo on "Tonight the World Dies" and additional guitar on "So Far Away"
    • Sharlotte Gibson – backing vocals on "Victim"
    • Jessi Collins – backing vocals on "Fiction"
    • David Palmer – piano, keyboards, B3 on "Nightmare", "Danger Line", "Tonight the World Dies", "Fiction" and "Save Me"
    • Stevie Blacke – Strings, string arrangement on "Nightmare", "Danger Line", "Buried Alive", "So Far Away", "Fiction" and "Save Me"
    • Stewart Cole – trumpet on "Danger Line"
    • Mike Elizondo – keyboards on "Fiction"
    • The Whistler – Whistling on "Danger Line"


    • Craig Aaronson – A&RBrent Arrowood – assistant engineer
    • Chad Carlisle – assistant engineer
    • Mike Elizondo – producerD.A. Frizell – illustrations, treatment
    • Adam Hawkins – engineer
    • Ted Jensen – masteringJodie Levine – production co-ordination, contractor
    • Clay Patrick McBride – photographyAndy Olyphant – A&R
    • Paul Suarez – pro-tools
    • Jan Petrow – assistant engineer
    • Cam Rackman – paintings, portraitsRafa Alcantra – art direction, photography, layouts
    • Travis Smith – cover art, tray card art
    • Joanna Terrasi – production co-ordination, contractor
    • Andy Wallace – mixer

    Release history


    Austria, Switzerland July 23, 2010
    New Zealand, United Kingdom, Sweden July 26, 2010
    United States, Canada, France July 27, 2010
    Malaysia, Japan July 28, 2010
    Australia July 30, 2010
    Italy, Spain August 1, 2010
    Taiwan August 17, 2010
    Germany, Brazil August 27, 2010


    Nightmare ( May 18, 2010)
    Welcome To The Family (October 19, 2010)
    So Far Away (April 5, 2011)
    Buried Alive (September 20, 2011)                                  

                                                        Nightmare Single

    "Nightmare" is a song by American metal band Avenged Sevenfold released as the lead single for their fifth studio album, Nightmare. It is also their first single released without former drummer "The Rev", who died on December 28, 2009. The song was released digitally on May 18 and 21, 2010 on the US and worldwide, respectively, on iTunes as well as an animated lyric video on YouTube, which received over 275,000 plays in 24 hours. A preview for the song was released on May 6, 2010 on Amazon.com, but was removed soon after for unknown reasons. However, on May 10, 2010, a 30-second audio uncensored sample was again revealed, but this time at SoundCloud.

    "Nightmare" was nominated for Best Single at the Kerrang! Awards 2010, but lost to Liquid Confidence by You Me At Six.

    "Nightmare" was released on July 27, 2010 as a downloadable track in Rock Band 2 along with Seize the Day and Scream. It was discovered by fans that the face of Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, the band's deceased drummer, can be seen on both the single and album cover.

    "Nightmare" is an easter egg in the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops. It is accessible by completing the One Giant Leap Achievement or Trophy.


    The song was the No. 1 most added track at Active Rock radio in the US during one week of May 2010. It was also the No. 1 rock song on iTunes in the US (and also in the UK), selling over 23,000 units in its first day. The song Nightmare became the most Radio Played rock song in the USA of 2010, with over 35,000 spins.

    Music Video

    The band has filmed a music video for "Nightmare". To film the video, they hired the famed video director, Wayne Isham, who has worked with bands such as Mötley Crüe, Bon Jovi and Metallica. The video itself was filmed at Linda Vista Hospital Community Hospital in Los Angeles, California. The music video premiered on July 17, 2010, on MTV2, at 11 AM EST, and on Avenged Sevenfold's website. An unedited version of the video premiered later on that day. The video can be seen on the band's official YouTube page.

    The video depicts lead vocalist M. Shadows about to undergo surgery, when the surgeons take him out of the room on a gurney. Shadows then notices the torn-down former drum kit of the band's deceased drummer, The Rev, when he toured with them to support their record City of Evil. The surgeons move him through halls and he sees the members of Avenged Sevenfold acting mentally insane, such as lead guitarist Synyster Gates continually banging his bloody head against the window of a door, bassist Johnny Christ crawling on the ceiling, and seeing rhythm guitarist Zacky Vengeance in a straitjacket, and later waltzing with a skeleton, as well as disturbing images of children playing and soaked in blood. The video shifts between this and the band performing in a black environment with a small bit of background light. Towards the end of the video, M. Shadows begins to fight the gurney, wanting to get off, as they wheel him toward a room being led by two young boys. He cannot get off because he is strapped to it. He is wheeled into a room, where the last drum set The Rev toured with Avenged Sevenfold with is set up with a light behind it, morphed into The Rev's figure. The video does not feature Mike Portnoy playing drums, this was decided by Portnoy himself as he wanted it to be all about Avenged Sevenfold and seeing as how The Rev wrote most of the drums for the album. Portnoy thought it would be wrong to have himself in the video. The music video is based heavily on the infamous scene from Jacob's Ladder where Jacob Singer is being pulled on a stretcher through hell. This was because the band knew this was one of The Rev's favorite movies.

    Many homages and tributes are shown through the video. For instance, The Rev's City of Evil tour drum kit has spiders crawling on it, just like in the "Afterlife" video, except that the spiders were on The Rev's face. Additionally, while filming the music video for "Afterlife" The Rev stated his arachnophobia. Another example is during one of Zacky's scenes where he is waltzing with a skeleton. This is also shown in the "Afterlife" video, except that he is dancing with his then girlfriend (now his wife). Other smaller references to Avenged Sevenfold's videos are The Priest from "Seize the Day" and patients faces stretching, like in the "Bat Country" video.

    The video was inspired by the movie Jacob's Ladder.

    Track listing

    1. "Nightmare" — 6:16
    2. "Nightmare" (Demo) — 6:05
    3. "Nightmare" (Instrumental) — 6:03

    Chart position

    "Nightmare" debuted and peaked at number 51 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, on the week ending August 14, 2010, the song re-entered at number 83 due to the release of the album.

    US Billboard Rock Songs  3
    US Billboard Heatseekers Songs  1
    U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 2
    US Billboard Alternative Songs 12
    US Billboard Hot 100  51
    UK Singles Chart 65
    UK Rock Chart 2

    Band Member

    M. Shadows — Vocals
    Synyster Gates — Lead Guitar
    Zacky Vengeance — Guitar
    Johnny Christ — Bass
    The Rev — Drums on demo version

    Additional Members
    • Mike Portnoy — Drums
      Mike Elizondo — keyboards
    • Mike Elizondo — producer
    • Andy Wallace — mixingTed Jensen — mastering

                           Welcome To The Family Single & EP

    "Welcome to the Family" is a hard rock song by the American rock band Avenged Sevenfold, released as the second single for their fifth studio album, Nightmare. It is the band's second single released without former drummer "The Rev", who died on December 28, 2009. In the news Theprp.com mention the second single from the album Nightmare is "Welcome to the Family", scheduled to be played on the radio starting on October 19, 2010. In Avenged Sevenfold's "making of" series on YouTube, In the Studio, singer M. Shadows and bassist Johnny Christ say that The Rev wrote most of the song and M. Shadows finished it when they started to record the album. No plans for a music video have been made so far. The song is playable as DLC in the video game Rock Band 3.


    On Active Rock radio Charts, they are now #1 and #15 on Alternative Songs charts, #2 on U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks charts. Also, on Detroit/Windsor-area radio station 89X, the song set an all time "People's Choice" record, winning 23 straight times.

    Chart Position

    US Billboard Rock Songs 8
    US Billboard Alternative Songs 15
    US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 2
    UK Rock Chart 8

    Band Member

    M. Shadows — VocalsSynyster Gates — Lead GuitarZacky Vengeance — GuitarJohnny Christ — Bass

    Additional musicians

    Mike Portnoy — DrumsThe Rev — Drum Arrangement (Posthumous)


    Mike Elizondo — producerAndy Wallace — mixingTed Jensen — masteringCam Rackampaintings and portraits

    Welcome to the Family is the second EP by Avenged Sevenfold. It was released on December 21, 2010 by Warner Bros. The EP includes "Welcome to the Family", "4:00 AM", "Seize the Day (Live in Seattle)" and "Welcome to the Family" of digital booklet. The track "4:00 AM" is an unreleased song from the Nightmare sessions, and from the interview sessions M. Shadows in Revolver's Special Edition products -available through the phone. A preview for the "4:00 AM" song was released on Amazon.com.

    Band Members

    • M.Shadows — Vocals
    • Synyster Gates — Lead Guitar
    • Zacky Vengeance— Guitar
    • Johnny Christ — Bass
    • The Rev — Drums
    Additional musician
    • Mike Portnoy — Drums
    • Mike Elizondo — producer
    • Andy Wallace — mixing
    • Ted Jensen — mastering
    • Cam Rackam — cover art

    So Far Away Single

    "So Far Away" is a song by the American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold, released as the third single for their fifth studio album, Nightmare. It is the band's third single released without former drummer "The Rev", who died on December 28, 2009. In late March All Access Music Group mentioned that the third single from the album Nightmare would be "So Far Away", scheduled to be played on the radio starting on April 5, 2011.

    This was the first Avenged Sevenfold song Synyster Gates wrote completely by himself. During most concerts, the band performs the song as a tribute to the Rev by having the audience hold up their lighters or cell phones during the song as the stage background features a banner commemorating the Rev's legacy. This song was dedicated by Synyster Gates for the Belated James Owen Sullivan (The Rev) on December 28, 2009.

    Avenged Sevenfold posted a countdown on their official website that showed the time until release for a new video for "So Far Away". SFA7X When the video was released, the site crashed due to so many people attempting to watch the video at once. After a second failed attempt to release the video, they solved the problem by hosting the music video on YouTube.

    Music Video

    The music video features the four remaining members of the band playing in a studio and also driving a 1959 Cadillac Fleetwood Convertible through a neighborhood (Maybe Huntington Beach, where the band originate from). As they make their way, flashbacks of the four begin to play. They are shown as kids playing in a basement, then teens playing, hanging out, and stealing alcohol from a store. During the bridge, a collection of photos and videos of the Rev play. It ends with a clip of the band members hugging, the same scene depicted inside the case of the Nightmare CD case. This was the second video not to feature the current drummer for Avenged Sevenfold, the first being Nightmare. For this music video, Synyster Gates asked Schecter to make a special edition of his own custom made guitar, but instead of placing the letters "SYN" like the original, it displays "REV". Johnny Christ also wore a guitar strap with the word "foREVer" ('foREVer' being the phrase that fans use to, in a way, mourn, and tribute, towards Avenged Sevenfold's drummer, "The Rev") written on it.


    On the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, the song reached number one and on the Alternative Songs chart it currently peaked at #15. This is A7X's first number-one single.

    Chart Position

    US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
    US Billboard Alternative Songs 15
    US Billboard Rock Songs 6
    Canadian Hot 100 73
    Canadian rock/alternative chart 25

    Band Member

    M. Shadows — lead vocalsSynyster Gates — lead guitar, backing vocalsZacky Vengeance — rhythm guitar, backing vocals
    Johnny Christ — bass

    Additional musicians
    • Mike Portnoy — drums, percussion
    • Zacky Vengeance — acoustic guitar
    • Mike Elizondo — producer
    • Andy Wallace — mixing
    • Ted Jensen — mastering

                                       Buried Alive Single

     Buried Alive is the fourth single from American rock band Avenged Sevenfold's fifth album Nightmare. In September 2011, the band announced plans for a music video for this single. They tried to get Rob Zombie to direct the video, but he declined due to being focused on another project. The single was released the September 20 of 2011.


    Chart (2011–12)Peak
    US Rock Songs (Billboard) 10
    US Alternative Songs (Billboard) 26

    Band Members

    M. Shadows - Vocals
    Synyster Gates - Lead Guitar
    Zacky Vengeance - Guitar
    Johnny Christ - Bass

    Additional Production

    • The Rev - Drum Arrangements
    • Mike Portnoy - Drums

    your comment

    Follow this section's article RSS flux
    Follow this section's comments RSS flux