James Owen Sullivan, nicknamed "The Rev," appeared to have died of natural causes, Huntington Beach police Lt. John Domingo told the Orange County Register. He was 28. The Orange County Coroner's Office is investigating, the paper said.
"It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we tell you of the passing today of Jimmy 'The Rev' Sullivan," the band said on its Web site. "Jimmy was not only one of the world's best drummers, but more importantly he was our best friend and brother."
Avenged Sevenfold, which Sullivan co-founded in 1999, hit No. 4 on the U.S. pop album chart in 2007 with its most recent album, a self-titled release that went on to ship more than 500,000 copies, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Sullivan contributed "A Little Piece of Heaven," a tongue-in-cheek, eight-minute paean to necrophilia and mass murder. The band shot an appropriately gruesome videoclip.
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