Today’s review brings us together to discuss two things: The newest album from Atlanta, Georgia hard-rock giants Sevendust, and what makes them, in my opinion, the most prominent band in the world of rock music.
Sevendust have withstood a career spanning over 25 years and 13 studio albums, suggesting that their durability as a band has been put to the ultimate test. The climate of heavy music in which they evolved from saw a lot of bands come and go, cashing in on the nu-metal/alt-metal trend that was popular throughout the ‘90s.
However, Sevendust always managed to stay in a lane of their own, driven by an unrivaled chemistry, a shared love for heavy metal, a need to express deep emotion, and top-notch songwriting that is as heavy as it is moving. Over the years, they’ve not only proven that they’re impervious to trends, but that they can reach mainstream success and remain completely grounded.
The band have come a long way since 1994, but maintain their ability to absorb the ups and downs of life and channel those feelings into a sound that grows larger with every album. With that said, the Sevendust fire burns brighter than ever in 2020, and October 23 marks the date of their second effort with Rise Records titled Blood & Stone.
With their latest, the band preserve their consistent track record for developing new ideas around their distinctive brand of impassioned, hard-hitting rock. The benevolent spirit of Sevendust carries on through Blood & Stone, continuing the bands tradition of masterfully balancing the contrast between emotionally powered choruses and earth-shattering breakdowns.
During a time where the bands who have been around as long as these guys have either attempted something completely new that didn’t resonate with fans, or tried to recreate an old energy that just isn’t there anymore, Sevendust have remained true to their musical principles.
With their most recent work, they’ve honed in on ways to make their instrumental delivery more robust, added symphonic layers to enhance their melodies, and adapted to a more bounce-forward groove based around the modern sound of “djent,” a style that the band arguably had a hand in inspiring.
Blood & Stone starts off strong and grows stronger with each track. Sevendust dive into the anthemic opener “Dying to Live,” with a towering groove. “Love” closely follows with an upbeat and nostalgic energy, building into a hulking chorus. Both lead single “Blood From A Stone” and “Kill Me” capture the more well-rounded capabilities of the group’s songwriting.
The latter track being a personal favorite of mine, features a tender hearted build-up that erupts with palm-muted guitars and a smashing pocket groove. I love to see the band incorporating those tight, bouncy rhythms heard in more modern “progressive” metal bands like Tesseract and Monuments.
From the soaring chorus of “What You’ve Become” to the poignant and orchestral “Nothing Left to See Here Anymore,” Sevendust create contrasting moods both driven by swingy and punchy percussion.
Heavyweight tracks “Against The World” and “Wish You Well” take the album’s heaviness to new heights, while “Alone” grips the listener tightly, possessing both an irresistible and compelling atmosphere; this is a track that will undoubtedly be a main attraction for the bands loyal fanbase.
The band of brothers take their chemistry to the next level on Blood & Stone, with Lajon Witherspoon striking up some of the most beautiful and soul-stirring vocal work of his career. In the category of rock (and beyond), he proves time and time again that his voice; full of passion and fire, will not falter.
In addition, each member’s backing vocals produces one of the band’s most cohesive and dynamic vocal efforts. Morgan Rose delivers a powerhouse performance on the drums, while Clint Lowery, John Connolly, and Vince Hornsby persist with creativity and togetherness. Sevendust even goes on to conclude the album with the Soundgarden classic “The Day I Tried To Live,” enhancing the tune with their own professional playing style.
Considering the amount of energy and personal emotion that each member of Sevendust puts into their craft of songwriting, sometimes it can be difficult to absorb immediately. The band’s formulaic nature can sometimes overshadow the contents within each track, but allowing it all to soak in has always proved to be worthwhile.
The indestructible spirit of Sevendust emanates through Blood & Stone, marking yet another milestone in the bands illustrious career.