Sevendust have been around a long time, walking a strange border between hard rock and lighter ‘alternative’ metal. Their sound has always been closely radio friendly and lacking a certain bite for some time, something that the band has said they have changed up by going back to an earlier, more aggressive sound on album number 12.
A slow burning guitar riff introduces the album as ‘Dirty’ opens with stomping beat and bringing back memories of their first couple of releases in the late 90s and early 00s. It is heavy that isn’t easy to describe but is thoroughly enjoyable. Leading straight into ‘God Bites His Tongue’, Sevendust keeps their foot firmly on the heavy switch with a stomp that is very similar to the previous track.
The heaviness stays throughout the first half of the album, with some slower parts thrown in to keep the dynamics of the music interesting before throwing down again, keeping the listener tuned in. This is used to great effect on ‘Unforgiven’ that opens with keys before vocalist Lajon Witherspoon comes in at full volume.
Things start to go awry after what may be the best song on the album, planted at the halfway mark. ‘Risen’ has a juddering riff laid over some tight drumming and sees the vocalist letting out some of his best wailing vocals on record.
From here Sevendust falls into ballad territory on ‘Not Original’ and ‘Life Deceives You’ and after the opening salvo they just feel out of place amongst the radio friendly heaviness that surrounds them. Don’t give up here though. The band have left the best until last, as in dead last. Leaving all the aggression for their final track, ‘The Truth’ perfectly mixes the band’s ability to create a great stomp and mix it with excellent melody and a memorable hook.
This album is better than the last couple of releases from Sevendust, and shows that they have come to realize that heavy is their stock in trade, and that they can do it well. While it still isn’t a match for material they released 15 years ago, it is a lot better than some of the record label pandering material they have been guilty of releasing over the years.
- God Bites His Tongue
- Not Original
- Life Deceives You
- The Truth