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.