Back in 1998 I was listening to our local rock radio station when a song called “Black” came over the airwaves. Hard riffs, killer drums, and a powerful vocalist absolutely caught my attention and I had to know this band. That band was Sevendust. And ever since that song came out over the next 20 years I did my best to be at every show they performed in the Orlando area. They’re pretty much the band I’ve seen the most times since I’ve been attending concerts. And with good reason. Lajon Witherspoon (lead vocals), Clint Lowery (lead guitar, backing vocals), John Connolly (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Vince Hornsby (bass), and Morgan Rose (drums, backing vocals) have been a family since 1994. And even though Clint took a short break from the band, he returned to his family. This is a group that knows each other, understands each other, and understands their fans. Though their style has morphed and changed over all these years, the one thing they consistently brought, was the heavy metal sound that is Sevendust.
The 12th studio album ‘All I See Is War’ was released by Rise Records today (May 11, 2018) and is a quintessential Sevendust album. Produced here in Orlando, FL they brought in producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette, who has worked with Alter Bridge, Trivium, and Slash. The band gelled with their producer. Lajon described it as being part of a brotherhood and how well the energy and came about. It’s 12 tracks of solid material and yet another step on the road that is Sevendust.
The album starts off with “Dirty” and from the very first guitar riffs I was all in. Though the sound style has some slight differences than most Sevendust, including the vocal styles, it is definitely the Sevendust people know and love. I had the pleasure of hearing them performing it live and it sounded even better than the recording. It’s a phenomenal opening track that should be played at every show on this tour. I knew right away I would absolutely love this album if the rest of the songs followed suit. And most of them do. Lajon delivers “God Bites His Tongue” with some slower delivery and ranging with some low growling vocals to some high ranged held notes and I love it. It truly shows off his vocal talents. And “Medicated” follows suit with Vincent laying down some great bass rifts through this track.
When you hit “Unforgiven” you get back into that heavy metal Sevendust sound right at the beginning, but they mix it up with some soft pauses through it. Still, you’ll definitely feel it’s more old school Sevendust. I love “Sickness” musically and the way Lajon croons through it. Clint and John crank out some amazing and unique guitar riffs with Morgan first providing some mellow drumbeats before going all out towards the end of the song. It’s my second favorite track with “Dirty” holding the top spot. “Risen” also goes back to that old school Sevendust sound with everyone musically ripping out that old school Sevendust sound. Even Lajon gets back into his original singing style for this song. And then you get surprised with “Moments” bringing a keyboard/piano sound into the mix! Yet, they still find a way to make this “ballad” into a heavy metal tune.
Overall, I just can’t say enough good things about this album. I loved every track from beginning to end. I loved the new sound Sevendust brings in it, while still keeping it familiar. Sevendust does it again bringing great metal music to their fans. All I See Is Success for Sevendust through this album.