OK, so I haven’t posted in a while, life was hectic for a while there. Without further introduction, I choose Sevendust as the next band review. I was supposed to see them a few months back, but unfortunately didn’t make it on time to see them on the stage.
Sevendust band review
Sevendust has been around since 1994 and continuing and they have 10 CDs. For the sake of this article, and just like before, I will not review all 10. I respect your time in which it would take to read a review about 10 CDs and all of their tracks. The band members are Lajon Witherspoon as lead vocals, Clint Lowery and John Connolly as guitarists and backing vocals, Vince hornsby as bassist, and Morgan Rose as the drummer and percussionist.
The CDs I have picked for this review is the self titled and first CD, Sevendust from 1997, Seasons from 2003, Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow from 2008, and the latest Time Travelers and Bonfires from 2014.
The debut CD has 11 tracks, I will use track 1, 6, and 11 for this CD’s review.
The first track, “Black”, is relatively simply yet very entertaining, mostly due to the rhythm of the song as a whole. It is very bluesy type of jazz… Which metal and rock are influenced by traditionally, much like Alice Cooper’s generation of metal/rock genres. It is not a heavily or, rather, over produced song style. It is rather raw yet still polished. The guitar solo around 2:40-3:06, and it is really groovy. I love groove in music; no matter what genre. So this song is very simplistic, both lyrically and musically. It is refreshing because so many bands now try to had too much. It reminds me of the simpler music that the old school rock and metal had, and I actually really like this song. I love fancy music, but sometimes, it can be a little too much when it is done constantly.
The sixth track, “Prayer”, is a slower song, that picks up and you can hear the jazz and blues-y influences even more in this. Specifically in the guitar, bass, and vocalizing. Then the drums pick it up making it a little heavier. The lead singer’s screaming during “Who do you pray to?” is on the weak/newbie screamer side, so it really does show how fresh to the music scene they were, and that is also probably why they took a few years after being formed to put this CD out in 1997. I do like his voice, and the song is pretty self explanatory. A 2:22-2:43, the music is picked up and a little heavier, it is fun and it really made me want to sway and dance while trying to head bang…I don’t recommend doing those three things all at once if you get dizzy though. It gave a nice change to the otherwise pop style lyric pattern. The lyrics are honest and well meant, it can get stuck in your head due to the pop style they used during writing it. Most of the time, pop style lyrics can be annoying, and which it is for this song after a while. Although I still love the lead’s voice and the guitar and bass in this song.
The 11th track, “Born to Die”
This track comes in to a very heavy dark cloud of awesome. the singer’s growl is a lot stronger on this track. This whole song is meant to do head banging with. I could not stop myself, especially with the part where the drums and the guitars are pounding together in pulses.
The lyrics have no special meaning and it would of been perfect to have some kind of purpose with such potential to the vocal lines. The singer is giving of his best anger to this song but it is just very simple lyrically. It gives it a kind of genius to have something so instrumentally fun with very plain lyrics, while also making me wonder why did they not write stronger lyrics. My favorite part of the song is from 2:41 – 3:48. Because after the 3:48 mark, they do this loud static buffering distortion and my ears are very sensitive to that type of sound, otherwise the whole last part of the song would have been my favorite.
The second CD, seasons, has 12 tracks, and I have chosen 1, 4, 8, and 12 for this CD.
Song one is titled “Disease”, this CD is a HUGE improvement on all fronts! Vocals, lyrics, and overall instruments. The singer’s vocals have strengthened and have developed depth that was originally missing. The song is pretty much up to interpretation, ranging from greed, prejudices against those with body modifications, or to how hypocrisy is plaguing the world (wanting change while not doing anything about it). Lajon’s voice has this pleading quality in the song in parts, which quickly changes into rage. Then his voice changes into a wise understanding tone back into rage; constantly going back and forth between each tone throughout the song. The drums and guitar are very catchy and very well defined – very enjoyable.
Song 4, “Broken Down” starts with this electronic filter bass, the whole song has the electronic filter but in hints, not overpowering. the guitar riffs are subdue to match the overall feel of the vocalizing. the drums and guitar pick up slightly during the chorus. It is tastefully done. The song sounds like is may have a female vocalist in there, pointing out clearly this is a failed relationship song, possibly someone is still attached. The Female voice I am hearing could possibly be Rose. It is very gothic in its arrangement while being very electronica metal. I think the two voices match well together; adding a blend of love, tenderness, and morosity, effect.
Song eight is “Disgrace”, and the intro is very jammin’ with the bass, perhaps the coolest bass intro from Sevendust so far. The song is pretty much about regret in one’s life, these mistakes make the it clear it is the writer’s fault and he takes responsibility, but wishes to move on. It is definitely very relatable. This song shows off Lijon’s strong singing voice (no growls are included in singing, sorry.) the rest of the song’s riffs are simple and muted. The focus is Lijon’s voice, up until 3:35, where his voice is slowly leaving the song until the song’s end. I can literally feel the concern and the regret from his voice.
The last song, twelve, is “Face to Face”, heavy distortions on guitars and bass, vocals are raw but still improved, so it is like a visit to their past vocal style. The main feelings I get from this song, it has been done before. The sound is not fresh and reminds me of a few other artists’ songs. It isn’t bad, but since it sounds like another song, it isn’t good. The vocals are boring in this song, and it gets very korn style like also. but the guitars and drums are still solid. The main unoriginality is the vocal lines, the message of the lyrics, and the overall melodies and rhythms. But you can still rock out to it, and if that is all you are into, or you want a decent workout song to get pumped to, this could work.
Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow has eleven tracks, the tracks for this CD review are 1, 6, and 10. I am looking forward to 6 has it has Chris Daughtry featuring in the song.
Song numero uno, “Inside” has the drummer using her percussions, about time! I am a huge fan of percussions! It is very electronica in the beginning, with a slow build up, a powerful shred on the guitar’s and bass’s riffs, along with a very cool and sweet drum fill. Lijon’s vocals come in hot and growly, then he starts singing and his voice once again improved. His screams are seemingly influenced by Disturbed (yuck) and Lijon has outdone that band’s lead singer’s own style! The normal singing style is almost like Rush’s (over rated) Geddy Lee meets R.E.M’s (too whiney) Michael Stipe. The difference is the fact he is not nasally or whiney, his vocal tone quality is a hundred percent better. The reason I compared him to those two singers is because of how he sings certain words and vowels; like “yourself this time”, “try”, “inside”, “Coming”, “Warnings”, and “me”. Then there is dueling guitars and bass right at 3:09, then at 3:24, there is a kick ass guitar riff. So this song is already an amazing start to this CD.
Song six, “The Past”, is a ballad, The voices are a great contrast, Lijon doesn’t have a rasp like Daughtry’s, plus Daughtry has a folk/country/rock quality to it. So it is perfectly balanced out by Lijon’s smooth vocals. In this particular song, there is a very brief moment in Lijon’s voice that reminded me of Primal Fear’s Ralf Scheeper. The guitars are acoustic for this song and is a very nice touch. This song is about moving on and repairing from any type of depression or incident. And dealing with the constant up and downs of the mind and emotions that life, relationships, or chemical imbalances throw at you.
Number dix! “Contradiction”, There is not much to say about this song vocally. It does have a cool soft electronica intro and awesome riffs. This seems to be the first song with real guitar solos, in several places. The one towards the end is my favorite. Vocally speaking, it is another unoriginal style. This is disappointing due to the really cool instrumentals and short instrumental breaks. I really like the distortions and the drums and the guitar solos though. It even as a “Psych! Song isn’t over.” ending. It is worth listening to just because of the band’s work on the music – minus the vocals.
The latest CDs Time Travelers and Bonfires. This CD is what I am most familiar with.
The three tracks for this CD’s review is “Come Down”, “One Life”, and “Black”.
“Come Down” is perhaps my favorite song, it is also the CD’s first track. I love it because of the vocals and the simple intro that continues down throughout the song. It has a very different feel to it than all the rest, which is amazing since it is original. They are known to have songs that sound like other bands’ music, because those music melodies sell. This is also one of the most mellow of their songs besides their ballads. This song is like new age meets metal, and I really like how they did it. the bass and guitar shine to me in this song, especially at 2:30.
“One Life” is the ballad on this CD that is absolutely addicting, not because of how mushy it is, which it is, but I just really love the raw emotion in it, and the melody is beautiful, especially when it picks up in parts. The drums add a very nice atmosphere to match a scene in a TV show right were something dramatic happens in a relationship. the timing is perfect and I loved the piano. It sounds very honest, like all of their music, but this song in particular is the most honest of them so far. The song’s guitar solo is epic yet short, at 3:18, it gives an extreme sense of the emotion behind the lyrics.
“Black” has this great intro, using bass, guitar, and acoustic guitar, the sound is amazing when it is combined. His vocals has a great edge to this track also. A type of subdued anger I wish he would use more often. This song isn’t the best off this CD, but his voice is something to take note of here, and as earlier stated, the intro is pretty cool. That being said…
I just wish they would kick their style up a notch, since they have the talent and all…
Review by Bridget. Bridget is a professional writer. Her hobbies include guns, knives, and archery. Image of Sevendust by Jodo and licensed under Creative Commons 3.0. Thanks Jodo! Image of Bridget used by her permission.