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Avenged Sevenfold drummer dead at 28

Avenged Sevenfold drummer James Owen Sullivan was found dead at his Huntington Beach, Calif. home Monday. He was 28 years old.

Fellow band members expressed grief in losing “not only one of the world’s best drummers, but more importantly our best friend and brother,” in a post on Avenged Sevenfold’s Web site.

California’s Avenged Sevenfold has been active in the heavy metal scene since 1999. Sullivan was one of its founding members, along with lead singer M. Shadows, lead guitarist Synyster Gates, guitarist Zacky Vengeance and bassist Johnny Christ. Since its inception, the band has released four albums. Avenged Sevenfold won Best New Artist at MTV’s Video Music Awards in 2005, following the success of its major label debut,  City of Evil.

Avenged Sevenfold is recording the follow up to its self-titled 2007 album.

An autopsy has been scheduled to determine the cause of Sullivan’s death.