If your introduction to Avenged Sevenfold came via tapping out the riff blizzard “Beast And The Harlot” on Guitar Hero 2, you’re probably still blissfully unaware of the band’s metalcore roots. Not to say that its first two albums weren’t the stuff of nightmares (in a good, metal way), but the current, hard-rocking, heavy-metal version of Avenged Sevenfold is much more entertaining, combining L.A. Strip sleaze and a bit of thrash proficiency into one mascara-smeared package. The band’s latest,Nightmare, is its first without drummer James “The Rev” Sullivan—who died in 2009—though some of the vocals he recorded are still in place as a tribute. Sullivan’s hero, Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater, respectfully stepped in for this album to help the band shred in their friend’s memory, and the results are a fitting tribute.