You have got to give props to this Georgia quartet. Since they debuted in 1997, they have consistently turned out one solid album after another, and only two years after their last album was released. Plus, even though they changed record labels and lost their original guitarist (Clint Lowery), they wrote, recorded, and released a new album in only two years time. To do this, Sevendust had to find a replacement guitarist (Sony Mayo), and even self-produce the album.
Sevendust sound as great as ever before, and the whole band is in fine form, here. Plus, Sony (who has played in bands like Amen and Snot) is such a good replacement, it’s almost impossible to tell Clint left.
It turns out, that, in the past, the record labels had nixed Sevendust’s attempts to write heavier music. But, since “Next” was self-produced and recorded without a major label breathing down their necks, the band members could essentially go nuts, and do/write whatever they wanted. The result was an album that’s a mixed bag of songs. “Pieces” is possibly the heaviest song ever written by Sevendust, but a song like “Shadows In Red,” which is an acoustic ballad with even a viola, shows off their softer, sensitive side. Other highlights include “This Life,” which is a slow, gloomy power ballad which showcases Lajon’s stellar vocals, whereas “The Last Song” features chunky, almost machine gun riffs. And, lastly, “Hero,” and the lead single “Ugly,” are instant hits.
“Next” is dragged down a little because some of the tunes (like the surging “Never”) are a little too familiar, but that’s a minor complaint when the songs sound this good!
The bonus DVD is a news recap of everything that has happened to Sevendust since their last album was released.
Sevendust had to do a lot in order to release this album, so it was somewhat of a surprise that “Next” was released this year. But it’s not (or shouldn’t be) a surprise that this is not just an album, but a good one, at that. As any real music fan would tell you, Sevendust have more than proven themselves as a very consistent and powerful heavy rock band who will seemingly never let down or disappoint their fans.