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James ‘The Rev’ Sullivan autopsy ‘inconclusive’

Authorities have ordered additional tests after an initial autopsy on Avenged Sevenfold drummer James “The Rev” Sullivan was deemed inconclusive.

The 28-year-old rock drummer was found unresponsive in his Huntington Beach, California, home Monday, and there was no immediate evidence at the scene of what caused his sudden demise.

Orange County sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino said Tuesday that the county coroner’s office ordered toxicology, microscopic and laboratory tests to help determine what caused Sullivan’s death. The tests are expected to take several weeks.

Police said Monday that Sullivan appeared to have died of natural causes.

“It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we tell you of the passing today of Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan,” announced Avenged Sevenfold 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. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jimmy’s family and we hope that you will respect their privacy during this difficult time. Jimmy, you are forever in our hearts. We love you.”

Sullivan was one of the co-founders of the group, which came together in Huntington Beach, California, in 1999 and won the Best New Artist award at MTV’s Video Music Awards in 2006. The win was widely credited to the band’s hard-driving metal sound, which mixes in elements of emo and punk.

Sullivan, known for his propulsive drumming, backing vocals and creative songwriting, was honored by a number of his metal kin, who praised his abilities and nature.

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