The mighty Sevendust have returned with their most challengingly diverse material while keeping their patented 'groove-heavy' pace intact. Featuring collaborations with the likes of American golden boy, Chris Daughtry, along with Miles Kennedy & Mark Tremonti of Alter Bridge, Sevendust's Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow finds them opening up another chapter of their ground paving career.
Since their self-titled debut, the Atlanta based Sevendust have helped to redefine the genre with their hooky, groove laden Metal. With Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow, Sevendust stretch out and conquer the topics of pain, loss, isolation and despair along with being reflective and optimistic with the 11 tracks that make up this new disc. CD opener, "Inside" sets the bar for the record and shows that they haven't lost a step. Falling somewhere in between their 1997 debut & their 2nd record, Home , "Inside" is filled with those heavy riffs and angry vocals that you'd expect from Sevendust. Second track, "Enough" keeps it flowing with its infectious groove and catchy chorus. Singer LaJon Witherspoon hasn't sounded better and of course drummer extraordinaire, Morgan Rose fuels most tracks with his patented vocal shouts behind LaJon's awesome vocals. LaJon just doesn't seem to get the recognition that he's earned over these past 11 years. One of the best Metal/Rock singers out there, hands down! Guitarists John Connolly & Sonny Mayo have upped their riffing and serve up some great performances on Chapter VII while always solid, low bass wearing Vince Hornsby & legendary Drummer Morgan Rose nail down that rhythm section, as only they can. That Sevendust grooving is tight as hell and Rose provides some of his most double bass drumming in his career on this CD.
The 1st stretch out track on Chapter VII is the song, "Hope". A trippy and with almost a Beatles, "Strawberry Fields" type of vibe, it is filled with orchestral overtones and with Rose's screaming shouts and a fiery guitar solo from Alter Bridge's Mark Tremonti. It is quite a different offering from these guys. All and all it works, but takes a couple of listens. Alter Bridge's singer, Miles Kennedy also guests on the moody track "Sorrow". Standout tracks include the instant classic, "Scapegoat" along with "Fear", "Prodigal Son" and the brutal "Contradiction". Not a step has been lost over the years.
The most interesting song on the CD is easily "The Past" which features shared vocals from Chris Daughtry. Daughtry has been a huge Sevendust fan over the years and offers up some tender vocals with LaJon. A super catchy and slower tune destined for US air play, Daughtry delivers a great job and will certainly help make this a hit for Sevendust during the Spring & Summer of 2008. Don't get me wrong, it's a well written ballad but NOT one of those sappy, sugar coated, lovey dovey ballads. I give Sevendust a lot of credit for including a song like this, however I'm one of those guys that wants them to do what they do, which is just up the Metal and leave the stretching out to other bands that have always followed them. Give us more material like the 1st few records!!
Sevendust's Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow won't disappoint 7dust fans, even with them spreading their wings a little bit. It is NOT their 1st CD, but the explorations that they have made are interesting and are still on point and have not alienated their roots, which is huge! Their headbanging formula is still there & that groove is super tight. Sevendust hold a special spot with me. I love these guys. They have moved a little bit away from the early days (which I miss) but they still continue to give it their all and have always been one of the best live bands on the planet & the ultimate road dogs! And as of my writing this, Sevendust have reunited with original co-guitarist Clint Lowry, to make them back to all original. Lowry's songwriting talents have been missed, but they nucleus of Sevendust have carried on well without him, but as other 7dust fans, I look really forward to up coming music from the original band! Check them out on the road, you will NOT be disappointed!
- Hope (featuring Mark Tremonti of Alter Bridge)
- The Past (featuring Chris Daughtry)
- Prodigal Son
- Sorrow (featuring Miles Kennedy of Alter Bridge)
- Walk Away