Hartford, CT 1998. Meadows Ampetheatre. I go to see Megadeth with someone named Sevendust opening up for them.
3 hours later when my friends are all talking about how awesome Dave Mustaine is, all I can think is; “I need this Sevendust album”. The heaviness combined with melody and a soulful singing style was entirely new at the time and was a much welcome breath of air. Fast forward to 2005 and I say that after purchasing their albums “Home”, “Animosity”, “Seasons” as well as their DVD Retrospect and seeing them live 7 times, I was obviously anxious for their newest album since their last, Seasons, obviously paled in comparison from their magnum opus, Animosity. Seasons had so many “pop” influences it made most 7D fans scratch their heads and I’ll admit, the first single “Enemy” with it’s rap-rock style seemed a cop out for what may be the most original band of the “nu-metal” era. NEXT is full of harmony, melody, seething, scathing and thought provoking lyrics. After losing their record deal and a guitarist (Clint Lowery, whose axe has been replaced by Sonny Mayo of Snot and whose vocals have been taken over by John Connolly, who does a hell of a job) they’ve got a lot to be pissed about. Besides being steeped in the most aggression since “Home”, the track “This Life” almost brings tears to an eye if you close yours and picture the story behind the song (guitarist John Connolly’s daughter being born). The track “Failure” which is actually a lot more positive than the title conveys actually hits me personally; “/I always thought I’d be a failure / All my life I’ve been here…” After listening to the whole song, it’s obvious though that it’s about finding that strength inside and rising above what holds you down.
From here on in, Sevendust manage to keep the balance of keeping things heavy while ensuring that the hooks have enough bite to grab you with tracks such as “Pieces”, “Desertion”, “Silence”, the stomping “Last Song” and “Never” all prime examples of the sound Sevendust are world-renowned for- while the slower paced numbers “See And Believe” and the sweeping acoustic/viola based closer “Shadows In Red” all help add a little diversity to the album.
Buy Sevendust’s Next. NOW.
10 out of bloody 10.