October 22, 2014
OPINION

“The Rev” lives on through his contributions to metal

Posted 12/29/09

Just listen to “Blinded in Chains,” “Beast and the Harlot,” “Bat Country,” or any other Avenged Sevenfold song, and you’ll hear one of the one of the best drummers that ever lived give a relentless, unadulterated performance.

Jimmy Sullivan, better known as The Rev, wasn’t as widely known on the mainstream level that some of the other “great” drummers of all-time were. But his death shouldn’t bring the legacy that grew more popular seemingly by the day and with every person who heard an Avenged Sevenfold song for the first time to an end.

If you were one of the lucky ones to have seen an Avenged concert before The Rev’s passing, you saw a true musician at work, giving it everything he possibly had every night. If you weren’t so lucky, I’m sure you can probably see clips on YouTube.

It was almost magical watching him work. If you’ve never heard of Avenged Sevenfold, they’re a band that perfected a mix of hard rock and punk metal. On the two newest albums, the band even ventured into country, blues and types of music you’d never traditionally hear from a metal band. I like to describe them as a mixture of Metallica and Guns ‘n’ Roses blended with today’s more scream-heavy metal. And The Rev was a driving force behind that music, coming on more strongly in recent years, especially with his vocal ability. He played many other instruments beside for the drums, like the piano and guitar. He also wrote one of A7X’s more complex and popular underground songs, called “A Little Piece of Heaven.”

As for myself, no other celebrity death shook me this year as much as this. The Rev was one of my few celebrity heroes in life. I’ve never been a person to obsess about celebrities, bands or other pop culture icons. But Avenged Sevenfold ignited something inside me the first time I heard them some four years ago. It was a perfect combination of ridiculously powering vocals in any tone, harmonic-style guitar with insane solos and ravaging drums that infiltrated each and every thought in your head. It’s what brought me back into the world of rock music. I had pretty much quit listening to rock prior to that.

Needless to say, I’m glad I was able to hear and see A7X and The Rev in concert before his passing. Like so many other great musicians, he was taken far too early from not only his fans, but also his band mates, who’ve been best friends since high school, and his family. Regardless of however the autopsy comes back, there are millions of people like me mourning the loss of one of the great and innovative drummers.

Rest in peace Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan 1981-2009. You’ll always be remembered.

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