Sevendust’s latest effort is a fine one indeed. Filled with melody, great riffs, and sheer heaviness. Sevendust is a band of which I consider myself a fan, yet not one that I own all of their albums, not that I have followed all that closely. I plan on rectifying the album part, especially after listening to Next.
If there is one word that I would choose to describe Sevendust, it would be: Consistent. Each of the three albums I own, and whatever else assorted songs I have heard, they always have a certain level of consistency. There is always that distinct Sevendust sound, but never does it get boring. This album is no different, it represents an ever maturing and developing sound.
The album opens with “Hero.” It sets the stage nicely for what is to come. It demonstrates a slightly heavier edge than what I am used to hearing from them. It has a great groove which is easy to get into and induce involuntary head banging. The second track is where it truly grabbed me, the first single “Ugly” has some of the best heavy riffs I have heard in awhile. The opening uneven galloping is fantastic, I can’t think of another way to describe it, each time it comes back is great throughout the song. It is generally accompanied by a faster gallop to offset it prior to switching to open chords.
Other highlights include “Silence” which some great use of effects on the guitar sound, while the singing just soars above it. “This Life” has some great soulful singing and a slowed down heaviness. I can’t forget “See and Believe” or “Shadows in Red.” With an album that has such a consistently high level of quality, it is tough to really pick an favorites. There it is again, that darned consistency. Don’t you just hate it when a band refuses to make bad music to make their good songs seem better? That they would rather just create very good songs from the get go? Bad songs be damned.
Lajon Witherspoon is as good as ever. He has a great voice that is powerful, soulful, and perfectly fitting to a metal band. He transitions from pained, smooth singing, into a rage filled scream with such ease. I have seen him live, and his voice is no studio trick, he really does sound that good. The band has also seen it’s first lineup change, guitarist Clint Lowery has left the band and been replaced by Sonny Mayo. Sonny has previously been with Snot, (hed)pe, and Amen, and I believe he is responsible for this new heavier sound. His playing is very good, and his chemistry is too, almost like he had always been with the band. His sound melds very well with the other guitarist, John Connolly. Morgan Rose also proves to be one the steadiest drummers in the game, holding down the beat and giving it his own flourishes throughout. Not to be forgotten is bassist Vinnie Hornsby, filling in the heavy groove’s low end.
Bottomline. This is a solid heavy rock and roll album. Sevendust continues it’s string of excellent albums. Anyone who is a fan, of the band or the genre, deserves to go out and get this album if you haven’t already. Great songs, heavy riffs, it’s all here.