Sevendust is an American staple of everything that Hard Rock should be. Though merely an opinion served, the catalogue, live show, and work ethic of the Atlanta natives speaks volumes and transcends from where they started to where they have come to today. Since their previous effort ‘Kill The Flaw,’ the band has kept to their commitment of delivering heavy grooves with deeply resonating lyrical content and songwriting that has maturity without losing that finesse. Welcome to ‘All I See Is War’.
From the opening chords into Morgan Roses‘ bombastic drum delivery into opener, and first single, Dirty, all the traits of the formula that fans worldwide have come to know and love about Sevendust is all there to get excited about. No punches are pulled and this opens the album in true form. God Bites His Tongue carries on the flow and shows off that grandiose melodic vocal of Lajon Witherspoon with all the passion of a singer who embraces the moment and sings with his all, backed by John Connelly and Clint Lowery’s awe-inspiring vocals. This just hits the mark, and it will most definitely serve as a live favourite in no time.
The heavy bottom-end groove of Medicated carries on as the kind of song that soars in the chorus and has you air drumming like a crazy, rabid fan. The signature that these guys have developed, crafted, and mastered in their ability to bring heavy and melodic sounds together so harmoniously can be discussed at length with a glee and bafflement to ponder the how and why, but end the same. Fact! Unforgiven continues the barrage of, quite simply put, sledgehammer-to-the-face riffs with that unbelievably good chorus that they know how to pull off so well. Witherspoon nails it like a boss on this track, with shades of vintage class LJ; knowing exactly where to place the smooth delivery of vocalisation, before unleashing a Tyson-like hook to knock you back to the ’90s.
Sickness brings the tempo down with a gentle glide in its intro before the vocal harmonies just overwhelm and take you to school. The techniques and ebb and flow that these guys have mastered are just mind-boggling on this track, whilst Rose beats the flesh out of the skins like a man truly possessed. Something you would expect nothing less from him. While the album is already establishing itself as pure class, this track would have to be a favourite, for sure. It’s hard to say much bad about this album, as the band just deliver like a band that needs to prove nothing to no one and plays with a fearless style that flows through the music, as Cheers gives a sentimental feel and shows a maturity that can only be applauded for its honesty.
But then Risen takes you back to that warm, fuzzy place many a diehard can remember when they first heard Sevendust. The track just crunches straight into business, and Lajon just lays it down with a fierceness in the verse that really brings back the vibe of the first album in a more refined delivery of sorts, with that damn fine style of chorus that encompasses everything to love about this album and especially this band.
Moments grooves in on the back of a quality piano introduction, before bringing the piano riff back in the verse, and marrying light and shade ever so smoothly. These guys make it sound so easy, whilst pouring their hearts and souls into the track. There is nothing transparent here. This is as real as it gets and the twin guitar assault, backed by the thunderous rhythm section of Rose and Hornsby just makes this song a real “Moment.”
The second single, Not Original, is an interesting and modern interpretation of the band by utilising a modern pop feel without losing their edge. Witherspoon singing “I’m not original anymore” with such a depth and a feel like warm timber, it feels just right, and surprisingly, sits well for a single. Descend fascinates with another showcase of great vocal delivery and structures throughout the course of the track. Well-timed moments of disciplined highs and low techniques with, quite possibly, the best backing vocals in modern rock. There are some moments here, where Lajon doesn’t just shine: he beams a soaring light of intensity, and gives it from the heart; like few in this genre honestly can.
The warm build of layers on Life Deceives You, before the trademark war-cry of Morgan Rose kicks the gears in to take the song away from drifting, is just pure class. The bridge in this song is phenomenal and the drone of guitar sound coursing through the track, whilst the bass rumbles like nothing else once again cements the signature these guys deliver time after time. But as always on any great album, all good things must come to an end, and what an end! The heavy barrage of The Truth will take you back once again to the feel of the classic ‘Home’-era that changed how we listened to Heavy Rock in opinion. The track excels at delivering the classic flavour with an impressive swing beat that just ends this album with the same level of joy it starts with.
Sevendust has once again laid down the law and taken us to school with an album that flows and swirls like a seductive glass of goodness that truly is a gift for all to embrace and love. People talk of age and the idiocy that comes with it, but what you hear on this album is a band that just gets better and better. They tell a story from the heart and beat their fist clenched tight to their chest. An amazing chapter in one hell of a story.
Sevendust’s ‘All I See Is War’ is out May 11th via Rise Records. Pre-order your copy HERE!