Words by Carly Gibbs
Long-established, Georgia based, hard rocking heavyweights, Sevendust, are back with their latest album ‘Blood & Stone’; set to be released this Friday the 23rd of October via BMG/Rise Records. It’s the 13th studio album they’ve released with a total of 13 tracks and it most certainly bucks the “unlucky number 13” trend.
I was first introduced to Sevendust way back in 1999 when I randomly chose ‘Home’ from the list of the CD club. For those not old enough to remember, before music was easily accessible to everyone at a click of a button, there were CD clubs where you could pay a fee to have one or two CD’s of your choice sent directly to your doorstep each month. As a teen in a small town that only had a more mainstream music store or a little independent store which, at times, you could wait a couple of months to receive an album from an international band, this was a pretty thrilling way to spend my meagre wage earnt slinging bread and pies from the local bakery. ‘Home’ was a cherished golden nugget that was played within an inch of its life for years.
Dying to Live is the first track from the album and is instantly likeable. Full of rocky riffs, a hyper catchy chorus and melody, a super crowd pleaser. As soon as Lajon Witherspoon’s vocals come in, that same excitement that I first felt when hearing them back in 1999 creeps back in. It moves into Love and then onto Blood From a Stone, the second earworm from the record so far.
Feel Like Going On takes the intensity down into more sombre, emotional territory. The atmospheric use of accompanying strings and keys pull at my own heart strings.
Off the back of Feel Like Going On, What You’ve Become inserts a touch more swag and grit into ‘Blood & Stone’ with Kill Me continuing with that signature Sevendust bounce and big ballad chorus.
The arrangement of Nothing Left to See Here Anymore is incredibly thought out and impeccably executed and straddles the peak of the album perfectly before sliding down into the second half with Desperation.
Lajon injects conviction, heart and energy into every single note that he sings and this is no more apparent than in Alone. Guitarist Clint Lowery, bassist Vince Hornsby, drummer Morgan Rose, and rhythm guitarist John Connolly all create and allow a space within the track which enables his voice to shine. The emotional response that he elicits is impassioned, heartfelt and powerful and his range is incredibly versatile, one which can be a rare commodity in the world of rock and metal.
From one brilliant front man to another, the album closes on a cover Soundgarden’s, The Day I Tried to Live. Although it doesn’t outshine (pun intended) the original, I don’t believe that was the point. It’s purely a tribute to one of music’s most phenomenally talented and desperately missed vocalists of our time and for that, I tip my hat.
This album is exactly what fans will expect from Sevendust and it delivers solidly on providing a slew of new tracks to sink your teeth into and connect with in your own individual way. It undulates in intensity and holds the listeners interest throughout and I have absolutely no doubt that Sevendust will be around for at least another 25 years.
You can pre purchase/pre save ‘Blood & Stone’ here
They are also live streaming a gig on the release date (Saturday the 24th Oct for us here in Australia) and you can purchase tickets here
With thanks to Maric Media