Orange County, California hard rockers AVENGED SEVENFOLD have tapped DREAM THEATER's Mike Portnoy to play on their forthcoming album following the recent passing of AVENGED SEVENFOLD drummer James "The Rev" Sullivan.
"[We] want our fans to know that with Jimmy in our hearts, our journey to record has officially began," AVENGED SEVENFOLD said in a statement.
"Jimmy helped leave this world an amazing gift and now it's our job to make sure to deliver that gift to our fans.
"We asked Jimmy's all-time favorite drummer Mike Portnoy to record on behalf of him. Mike said it would be an honor and without question that's what Jim would have wanted.
"It's comforting to us that someone like Mike, who is undoubtedly revered as one of the best drummers in the world, held such respect and adoration for the Rev's abilities.
"Even though it will never be the same without our brother by our side, his essence lives in our hearts and through the music he helped create. He was a legend before any of the success or any of that bullshit and we are fucking excited to lay this down for our fans, and especially for Jimmy."
Sullivan was found dead at his Huntington Beach home on December 28.
The Orange County coroner's office ordered "toxicology, microscopic and laboratory tests" to help determine why Sullivan died.