Nightmare (Avenged Sevenfold album)

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Avenged Sevenfold - Nightmare.png
Cover art by Travis Smith
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 27, 2010 (2010-07-27)
RecordedNovember 2009 – April 21, 2010
StudioThe Pass and Phantom Studios
LabelWarner Bros.
ProducerMike Elizondo
Avenged Sevenfold chronology
Live in the LBC & Diamonds in the Rough
Hail to the King
Singles from Nightmare
  1. "Nightmare"
    Released: May 18, 2010
  2. "Welcome to the Family"
    Released: October 19, 2010
  3. "So Far Away"
    Released: April 5, 2011

Nightmare is the fifth studio album by American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold. It was 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.[1] 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,[2] The Rev's vocals are still on the album as a tribute to him.[1] This is the only album to feature ex-Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, 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 his separation with Dream Theater. They then hired drummer Arin Ilejay, who played with the band for the next four years. The album has been certified Gold by the RIAA in the United States. The album debuted at number 1 in the Billboard 200. As of December 2016, the album has sold 964,000 copies in the United States.[3] The cover of the album features a tribute to Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, the tombstone reads "FOREVER" with emphasis on "REV".

Writing and recording[edit]

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."[4] However, as recording was in session, a few casualties arose.

On December 28, 2009, drummer Jimmy Sullivan (a.k.a. The Rev) died. Afterwards, the band suspended work on the album for some time.[5][6] Not wanting to hire a permanent replacement for The Rev for the time being, the band selected Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater (a major influence on The Rev and the rest of the band) to finish recording the drum tracks for the album:

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."[9]

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

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 showed itself to be the band's last record with The Rev.[1] The same band members revealed some details about the new record in an interview to Hard Drive radio:

Release and promotion[edit]

The first single, "Nightmare", was released digitally on May 18, 2010.[7][12] A preview for the song was released on May 6, 2010 on, but was removed soon after for unknown reasons;[12] 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.[13][14][15]

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.[13][16][17]

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 14, 2010, along with the track listing.[18][19][20]

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.[23]

On July 21, 2010 the song "So Far Away" was released by KROQ radio exclusively for one day.[24]

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".[25] They tried to get Rob Zombie to direct the video, but he declined due to being focused on another project.[25]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
411Mania.com9/10 stars[28]
Allmusic3/5 stars[29]
The A.V. ClubC− [30]
Kerrang!4/5 stars[31]
Metal Hammer8/10 stars [32]
Rock Sound7/10 stars[33]
Sputnikmusic3/5 stars [34]
USA Today3/4 stars[35]

Nightmare received generally 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".[36]

In the August 2010 issue of Metal Hammer, Terry Beezer rated the album an eight out of ten.[37] In his review, he had praised the band members for their courage despite 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."[38] 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."[39]


Year Nominated work Award Result
2010 The Rev on Nightmare Golden God Awards: Best Drummer Won
2011 Mike Portnoy on Nightmare Golden God Awards: Best Drummer[40] Won
Synyster Gates & Zacky Vengeance on Nightmare Golden God Awards: Best Guitarists[40] Won
M. Shadows on Nightmare Golden God Awards: Best Vocalist[40] Won
Nightmare Golden God Awards: Album of the Year[40] Won
"Buried Alive" Revolver Magazine's Song of the Year 2011[41] Nominated

Track listing[edit]

All songs credited to Avenged Sevenfold. Actual songwriters are listed below.[citation needed]

Standard Single Disc Edition[19][20]
1."Nightmare"Matthew Sanders6:15
2."Welcome to the Family"4:05
3."Danger Line"5:28
4."Buried Alive"Sanders6:44
5."Natural Born Killer"Sullivan5:15
6."So Far Away"Brian Haner5:26
7."God Hates Us"Sanders5:19
  • Sanders
  • Haner
  • Baker
  • Seward
9."Tonight the World Dies"
  • Sanders
  • Sullivan
  • Seward
11."Save Me"
  • Sanders
  • Sullivan
Total length:66:56



Chart (2010) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[42] 9
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[43] 33
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[44] 67
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[45] 87
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[46] 2
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[47] 47
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[48] 1
French Albums (SNEP)[49] 136
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[50] 36
Italian Albums (FIMI)[51] 47
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[52] 12
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[53] 2
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[54] 14
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[55] 65
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[56] 9
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[57] 57
UK Albums (OCC)[58] 5
US Billboard 200[59] 1


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[60] Platinum 80,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[61] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[62] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]


Region Date
Austria, Switzerland July 23, 2010 (2010-07-23)
New Zealand, United Kingdom, Sweden July 26, 2010 (2010-07-26)
United States, Canada, France July 27, 2010 (2010-07-27)
Malaysia, Japan July 28, 2010 (2010-07-28)
Australia July 30, 2010 (2010-07-30)
Italy, Spain August 1, 2010 (2010-08-01)
Taiwan August 17, 2010 (2010-08-17)
Germany, Brazil August 27, 2010 (2010-08-27)


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External links[edit]