Everyone's Replaceable



This is yet another story I probably don’t have to write, given that the sheer number of reader e-mails I’ve received about it suggest that you all know already. But in case you somehow haven’t heard, the headline says it all: Dream Theater’s Mike Portnoy will play drums on the new Avenged Sevenfold album, filling in for recently deceased drummer James Owen “The Rev” Sullivan.

Portnoy was apparently The Rev’s favorite drummer, which makes this a very, very bittersweet tribute. But it’s great news for A7X fans – Portnoy is obviously an incredible drummer, and compared to Dream Theater, I imagine Avenged’s music will be a cake walk for him. (That’s not a knock on A7X, by the way – I’m one of ten people in the world over the age of nineteen who still admits to liking the band’s music.)

It’s also sure to piss off a lot of DT fans, who no doubt view A7X as some stupid Hot Topic band. I can just hear the nerds whining through their braces-induced lisps, “Does this mean I’ll have to listen to an Avenged Sevenfold album? Pee.” So I’d like to take this moment to calmly remind those people that, no, they don’t have listen to anything they don’t want to, and that Portnoy is not leaving Dream Theater – in fact, I’d say the chances of him even touring with A7X are about the same as the chances that Slash is gonna knock on my door and ask my advice about how he can get his cred back. Which is to say, it ain’t gonna happen.

Which brings me to the fool’s gold lining – and this being MetalSucks, we must find some fool’s gold lining – in this story: at some point, A7X are gonna have to replace The Rev on a more permanent basis. Why are they not doing it now? Is it too painful still to think of someone trying to fill their friend’s shoes? Are they cynical to the point where hiring Portnoy for the temporary gig isn’t just a tribute to their fallen comrade, but a way to stir up publicity and interest in the new album? Or are they about to become one of those bands that never permanently replaces a member, but, rather, just has a succession of touring musicians fill the spot (see: Korn, The Rolling Stones, R.E.M., etc.)?

I guess we’ll find out eventually. In the meantime, the new Avenged Sevenfold record now promises to be 100% more highly anticipated than it was already.


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