Early this evening, it was confirmed that Avenged Sevenfold has parted ways with former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, who has been filling in for the band on the road and in the studio since the passing of Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan. Portnoy released the following statement:

“Yes, the rumors are true… Sadly my time with Avenged Sevenfold has come to an end… The band has decided to carry on into 2011 without me…I had a great time with them throughout 2010, but it was their choice to end the relationship at the end of 2010 as was always the initial plan….

I had an awesome time on stage with the guys every night and have so many cool memories from the experience with them… I am proud to always be part of the Avenged Sevenfold family and history. I also adore the Avenged Sevenfold fans and totally appreciate the way they welcomed me aboard and were so loving and supportive during my time with the band…thank you!

As far as my future, I am excited by the endless musical possibilities that lie ahead of me…my love for music runs very deep and my taste is very broad and ecclectic which will give me the chance to explore many different things and collaborate with many great friends and artists I admire and respect…

Happy holidaze to you all and c-ya in the New Year.”

This certainly comes as a major surprise. Since departing from Dream Theater back in September, many thought that Portnoy’s involvement with the band would eventually become permanent. It also seems like weird timing for this to happen, since Avenged Sevenfold still has a lot of touring commitments to fulfill, including their Nightmare After Christmas tour. It also seems like Portnoy was hoping/willing to continue at least a little further. So what gives? This would further explain, though, why they recently canceled their involvement with the Australian Soundwave festival. We’ll keep you posted when more information is revealed regarding both Portnoy and A7X’s plans.

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