Earlier today Avenged Sevenfold's drummer Mike Portnoy announced to the world via his Facebook page that “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….” This sounds tidy enough and something a contractual lawyer might have advised given that the band is hugely successful and nobody wants to rock the boat. But Avenged Sevenfold's own homepage was adding more pieces to this puzzle:

[UPDATE: 12/17/10: A7X's manager Larry Jacobson wrote to West Coast Sound denying any correlation between Mike Portnoy's departure and the Australian tour's cancellation:]

Larry Jacobson writes:

“The plan had always been for Mike Portnoy to play with the band through 2010. Nothing changed there but it was confusing b/c Mike gave interviews suggesting he may be touring with the band beyond 2010. There will be another drummer behind the kit for the band's Nightmare After Christmas Tour as well as for the many other dates around the world that are underway into 2011 and beyond. As for Australia, the timing is completely unrelated. If you've read any of the juvenile and public attacks by the promoter, you can probably figure out why the band had legitimate doubts they could work with him to be able to put on the professional show their fans expect. They're not in Australia every day so each tour needs to be the best the band has to offer.”



“Avenged Sevenfold,” the band wrote on their site, “regretfully announce they will not be performing at the upcoming Soundwave in Australia. After much effort, the band decided that they could not offer fans the live experience they have come to expect and didn't want to disappoint them.”

Shortly after that, the band issued yet another statement, also through their site:

Hey everyone just wanna give everyone a quick recap and update. First we want to thank our fans all over the world for the overwhelming response and support throughout this difficult year. Every country kicked so much ass that you should all be proud of yourselves. We are looking forward to seeing you all on the Nightmare after Christmas tour and continuing to share Nightmare across the entire world in 2011. To our fans down under we will be returning to bring you the Nightmare tour the way it deserves to be experienced so keep your beer cold and your women hot. Enjoy the Holidays and we'll see you all soon.

It seems too soon to figure out what actually is going on beyond all the spin and the readymade phrases.

Does this sound like a band that's imploding? They did release a HUGE album this year, crushing doubts that the band was not going to be able to surmount the drug-derived death of charismatic member The Rev last year. But today's one-two punch might be a bad omen.

What do you think? We know A7X fans are out there and read West Coast Sound. What's the real story here?

LA Weekly