Sevendust Next Winedark Records
You’ve got to hand it to Sevendust. They have continued on now for nearly a decade, and throughout that time, they have to be considered one of the most consistently excellent bands out there. From the onset to now, they’ve had their share of critical praise, have always delivered in the live setting, and have always sold a good amount of records each time out. So, when you saw this review and you clicked on it, did you really, really think you’d see a review that said anything you haven’t already heard?
You really aren’t going to here. Next is as advertised – the next Sevendust record. It’s a little heavier than their last output, Seasons, but it’s definitely an appealing Sevendust Record, as always. If you liked them before, you are bound to like them now. Vocalist Lajon Witherspoon has weathered a lot of personal adversity over the years, but never has let it influence his mixture of clean and screaming vocals. On songs like “Ugly”, he showcases his crooning voice and mixes it well with the rage of a soul drenched in pain. More than any other vocalist out there, Witherspoon has used the “crooning-to-raging” style to build momentum in songs effectively. As with Witherspoon, drummer Morgan Rose provides another exceptional performance as well. His playing style is somewhat traditional, although he mixes in a modern flair and an interesting peppering of cymbal play into odd parts of songs. On “Pieces”, the song is taken over by Rose and new guitarist Sonny Mayo.
There is a new element to Sevendust is the previously mentioned Sonny Mayo. Replacing Clint Lowery in the band, the ex-Snot, Hed (PE) and Amen guitarist brings a crunchier sound to the mix than Lowery did. He still plays what would be considered to be “traditional” Sevendust riffs (as on “Silence”; a song that could have appeared on any Sevendust album), but he’s heavied the band up a bit, which is a very good addition to the sound.
RATING – 8/10 – Sevendust is good. Period. They may never sell as many copies of records as some of the flashes in the pan that come and go, but they are proving that consistent excellence leads to longevity in a career. Next is exactly that – the next Sevendust record. Like it’s predecessors, all of the songs are solid, the presentation is excellent, and you leave it thinking, “damn, those guys are good”. The fact is, they are.