In this article posted yesterday, Blabbermouth.net revealed to the world that Avenged Sevenfold would be utilizing the skills of Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy on their new album. Mike would be playing in place of Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, who was found dead in his home on Huntington Beach, CA on December 28th, 2009. And in this article posted today, Portnoy states that he's "honored" to play with A7X and that he has been "welcomed into the family with open arms."
I'm sorry, can we rewind this back a little bit? Did Mike Portnoy just say he was honored to be part of the Avenged Sevenfold family? I'm not quite sure I read that right.
Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with Mike Portnoy playing with A7X. I think he'll do a great job, and it's awesome that the band was able to get The Rev's favorite drummer to play on their new album. I have the deepest sympathy for the members of A7X and The Rev's family in their time of loss. I'm glad that the band will be able to continue on with their music, and I do hope that the next album they release will be better than their last album (which I hated, but we won't get into that).
But seriously, Mike Portnoy, what are you talking about? You've been regarded as one of the best drummers in the world for almost twenty years. You've been playing with one of the biggest progressive metal bands in the world since its inception. You are a legend and an inspiration among drummers worldwide. I know you're trying to be sensitive to the band and show solidarity with them in their time of loss, but you're MIKE PORTNOY, for goodness sake! If anyone should feel honored, it's the guys in A7X for you agreeing to play with them.
On a side note, I am sure the A7X guys do feel honored, but their choice of words in their press statement strikes me as a bit odd. They said that Portnoy has "respect and adoration for The Rev's abilities." The respect part I can believe. But adoration? Really? That implies worship of some sort, and no offense to The Rev, but if Mike Portnoy worships any drummers, the only possible choices of drummers he might worship are Neil Peart and Tomas Haake. Such word choice smacks of pretentiousness, a trait that Avenged Sevenfold has been known for since their rise to fame. Part of me is shocked to see that coming out in this time of grief, but the rest of me is completely unfazed by it. This just proves that, even in the time of deepest mourning, A7X will still be full of themselves.
Again, I state that I have the deepest sympathy for Avenged Sevenfold and The Rev's family. And I do sincerely hope that Mike Portnoy's experience with the band is nothing but positive. Having said that, I also hope that the members of A7X get a reality check somehow, because they are playing with one of the best drummers in history, and they should on their knees thanking him for agreeing to do this. To quote a great lyric from Lamb of God, "In the presence of greatness, the humble can only bow." The fact that the guys in A7X are not bowing really does say something about their character.