Nightmare (Avenged Sevenfold song)

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Single by Avenged Sevenfold
from the album Nightmare
ReleasedMay 18, 2010 (2010-05-18)
FormatDigital download
RecordedNovember 2009 (2009-11)–April 2010 (2010-04)
GenreHeavy metal
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)M. Shadows
Producer(s)Mike Elizondo
Avenged Sevenfold singles chronology
"Welcome to the Family"
Music video
"Nightmare" on YouTube

"Nightmare" is a song by American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold, released as the lead single for their fifth studio album, Nightmare.


Lyrically, "Nightmare" deals with an individual who is damned for his wrongdoings on earth. The song is sung from the point of view of a resident of hell, who may have once been a living person too, mocking the other character and pointing out that it's his own fault he's in hell. It is their first single released without former drummer The Rev, who died on December 28, 2009.[1] 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.[2][3][4] A preview for the song was released on May 6, 2010 on, but was removed soon after for unknown reasons.[4] However, on May 10, 2010, a 30-second audio uncensored sample was again revealed, but this time at SoundCloud.[5][6]

"Nightmare" was nominated for Best Single at the Kerrang! Awards 2010, but lost to Liquid Confidence by You Me At Six.[7] The song is also one of Avenged Sevenfold's best known, and had been certified Gold by the RIAA.[8]

"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 released for Rocksmith on October 30, 2012.[9]


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.[2] The song Nightmare became the most Radio Played rock song in the USA of 2010, with over 35,000 spins. In Burrn! magazine's 2010 Readers Pop Poll, it was awarded for Best Tune.[10]

Music video[edit]

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.[2] The video itself was filmed at Linda Vista 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.[11]

The video depicts lead vocalist M. Shadows about to undergo surgery, when the surgeons take him out of the room on a gurney and wheel him through the hallway of the hospital. 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 rhythm guitarist Zacky Vengeance convulsing on the floor in a straitjacket (and later waltzing with a skeleton), lead guitarist Synyster Gates continually banging his bloodied forehead against the window of a door, and bassist Johnny Christ crawling on the ceiling with a skeleton, as well as disturbing images of children playing and soaked in blood. The video shifts between these scenes and scenes of the band performing in a black room with a small amount 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 heavily based on the infamous scene from Jacob's Ladder where Jacob Singer, played by Tim Robbins, is being pulled through a hospital on a stretcher. The band used Jacob's Ladder as inspiration for the video because they knew it was one of The Rev's favorite movies.

Many homages and tributes are shown throughout the video. For instance, The Rev's City of Evil tour drum kit has spiders crawling on it, just like in the "Afterlife" video, where a spider crawls across The Rev's face (additionally, while filming the "Afterlife" video, The Rev stated he had arachnophobia). Another example is during the scene of Zacky Vengeance waltzing with a skeleton. This is also shown in the "Afterlife" video, where he is dancing with his then girlfriend (and later 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.

Track listing[edit]

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

Chart position[edit]

"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.[12]

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


Avenged Sevenfold
Session musicians


  1. ^ a b "Late AVENGED SEVENFOLD Drummer 'Appears' On Band's New Album". Roadrunner. May 14, 2010. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c "AVENGED SEVENFOLD: Nightmare Limited Edition Detailed". Roadrunner. June 6, 2010. Retrieved June 6, 2010.
  3. ^ "AVENGED SEVENFOLD To Release Nightmare Single This Month". Roadrunner Records. May 7, 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Avenged Sevenfold Nightmare – Further Details Made Available!". Metal Hammer. May 7, 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  5. ^ "AVENGED SEVENFOLD Featuring DREAM THEATER Drummer; First Audio Sample Released". Roadrunner. May 10, 2010. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  6. ^ "Avenged Sevenfold Nightmare Preview". Metal Hammer. May 11, 2010. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  7. ^ "Full List of Kerrang Awards 2010 Unveiled". PeaceFMOnline. 2010-07-30. Archived from the original on August 3, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-04.
  8. ^
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  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Nightmare - Avenged Sevenfold". Billboard. Retrieved May 30, 2010.

External links[edit]