If you’re a fan of heavy metal music, you’re probably familiar with Avenged Sevenfold. The band is known for its hard-core lyrics and thunderous drums. In fact, the drummer, The Rev, was known for his intense style and showmanship. Sadly, he passed away in 2009, but his legacy lives on. Afterward, the band announced that they had chosen Mike Portnoy to take over drumming duties but only for a few gigs and recordings.

Mike was never an official member, only a drummer to fill in for Rev. The band had two drummers since Mike left: Arin Ilejay and Brooks Wackerman.

In this article, we will answer some frequently asked questions on the web, mostly about Jimmy “the Rev” cause when people say Avenged Sevenfold drummer, they still think of Jimmy.

Also, we will shine a light on Arin and Brooks as two great and versatile drummers well respected in a drumming community.

What happened to the Avenged Sevenfold drummer?

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Jimmy Sullivan was the drummer of Avenged Sevenfold until he passed away tragically on December 28, 2009.

He was found dead in his home in Huntington Beach. An autopsy reported the cause of death to be overdose on various pills and alcohol. It was also discovered that he had an enlarged heart, which might have worsened things.

Was the Rev married?

Yes, he was married to American porn actress Leana Noelle MacFadden aka Teen Topanga.

Avenged Sevenfold fans were furious when hearing the news that she started dating somebody only two months after Jimmy died. However, these might be only rumors.

Was the Rev A good drummer?

Yes, the Rev was one of the most talented young rock/metal drummers. His drum parts are very creative, and he was a great musician overall. He played piano, sang, and wrote songs.

We know some Avenged Sevenfold fans will be furious, but his drum technique was not near the level of Mike Portnoy or Brooks Wackerman. He was only 28 when he died, so he had his whole life to reach and maybe overcome their level, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

What cymbals did the Rev use?

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He used mostly cymbals from Sabian’s AAX series and some cymbals from the Paragon series.

AAX series has bright and modern sound. They are made in a natural and brilliant finish, but Jimmy used cymbals with a brilliant finish most of the time. Cymbals with brilliant finish are known for strong attack that can cut through guitar distortion. That’s why rock and metal drummers love this kind of cymbals.

Paragon series are similar to AAH but only with a higher pitch. They are made with the help of legendary Rush drummer Neil Peart.

How old is Jimmy The Rev Sullivan?

He was 28 when he died. Born on February 9 in 1981, died on December 28 in 2009.

What happened to Jimmy The Rev Sullivan?

In the death report, toxicology tests showed that Sullivan had been drinking alcohol and taking painkillers with sedatives like Diazepam when he suffered from acute poly-substance intoxication. His blood tested positive for Oxycodone and Odonvale, both strong replacements to Morphine or Codeine.

Where is Jimmy The Rev Sullivan buried?

He is buried in The Good Shepherd Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Who replaced the Rev?

After Rev died, Avenged Sevenfold decided to dedicate an album Nightmare to their deceased buddy and move on with legendary Mike Portnoy.

Mike was with them for a short year, played several shows and an album Nightmare, but as he said in an interview, “they weren’t ready to commit to him.” 

He believes the band wanted a more unknown drummer that doesn’t come with a history like Portnoy, who built an entire career in Dream Theater. So, they decided to part ways with Mike and turned to their next drummer Arin Ilejay.

Who did the drums for nightmare Avenged Sevenfold?

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Mike Portnoy, the drummer that replaced the Rev. Mike, was known as one of the founders of progressive rock band Dream Theater and one of the best rock drummers in the world.

Avenged Sevenfold might be the first band to join after leaving DT. Afterward, he played in several bands like the Winery dogs Transatlantic, Neil Morse band, etc. You can hear Mike on the latest release by his old buddy John Petrucci from Dream Theater.

Why did Portnoy leave Avenged Sevenfold?

According to members of Avenged Sevenfold, things didn’t work out since, at that moment, they weren’t able to commit to a new drummer, and the way Mike did things was new to them.

Mike was leaving DT in the same period, which brought even more undesired attention to Avenged Sevenfold that was too much for them. However, there was no bad blood. Mike helped them when they needed him the most, and they were very appreciative.

Arin Ilejay

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The drumming of Arin Ilejay has been featured in Avenged Sevenfold’s music since he joined the band as their third drummer. He recorded “Not Ready to Die,” “Carry On,” and on album Hail To The King, which was released after Mike Portnoy left.”

He was in the band for two years until they suddenly announced that Arin was out. Due to creative differences or the age gap, we can only guess. This was in 2015. After leaving Avenged Sevenfold, he joined band Islander.

Brooks Wackerman

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The talented drummer Brooks Wackerman joined Avenged Sevenfold in 2015 to replace Arin Ilejay. He has drummed for Bad Religion since 1998 and simultaneously played for Mass Mental! 

So far, he only recorded the album “The Stage” with Avenged Sevenfold.

Wackerman has also been involved in many other projects, including gigs with Bad4Good and Infectious Grooves. Additionally, he’s worked alongside some familiar names like Glenn Tipton, Avril Lavigne, Korn!

He has two brothers, John and Chad, who are also drummers. Chad is one of the famous rock drummers who played with Frank Zappa.