Sevendust are not your typical, standard nu-metal band. In fact, they developed a sound that was fresh and innovative as was shown in their 1997 self-titled debut. They deviated themselves from the all of the nu-metal bands of the 90’s by utilizing blast drum beats, chugging guitar and almost thrash-like drumming. Of course reading that, you would think to yourself, not much seems different, but it is. Sevendust is part of the generation that grew up listening to bands like Faith No More, Nirvana and Living Colour and this is clearly evident in their music.
Two years after releasing a promising debut, Sevendust hit the studio to record Home
which many consider to be their magnum opus. Home
is Sevendust’s best selling record and for good rhyme and reason. While the music itself isn’t instrumentally or lyrically amazing, they developed a fresh batch of catchy songs that one can listen to when the mood hits right.
Sevendust’s overall mood on Home
is that of a murky, brash and dramatic record. Of course, there are those nu-metal cliché moments of angst on the record, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem to steer away listeners. They use it well and not in a whiny way a la Korn or Limp Bizkit. The music sounds tight and focused and that is what makes this record so good and a definitive album for nu-metal fans. The opening track, Home
hits hard and rightfully so. The song is propelled forward by down tuned, chugging guitars from left to right
and Lajon Witherspoon’s strong delivery of vocals. The song gives you a lot of adrenaline and as mentioned before, the members of Sevendust are by no means virtuoso’s on their instruments, but they get the job done, after all Sevendust’s music doesn’t call for fast as lighting guitar solo’s or complex drum patterns. The main focal point of their music is the melody and the overall atmosphere.
After a booming opening track, the listener is left eagerly anticipating for what is going to come next. Denial
, Sevendust’s lead single off Home
is a nice paced alternative metal song. Lajon’s vocals on this track once again are spectacular, they add a lot to the essence to the soundscape that Sevendust create all together. The song is produced well and all the members add good input to the structure of the song. Headtrip
are also good tracks that incorporate that post-grunge feeling. They are good tracks, but don’t add an impact like Home and Denial did. They do however keep the constant flow of the mood that was set at the beginning of the record.
The next few tracks are some of the best on the record. The oddly named, Waffle
is a great tune with awe-inspiring vocals by Lajon and a great performance by drummer, Morgan Rose. The verses are slow paced while the pre-chorus is a thundering delivery of vocals and chugging guitar. Clint Lowery, lead guitarist and writer, did a great job on this song as well. It is an excellent song that is fed into the listener’s ears, and into their head. Waffle is a song you’ll have on repeat for awhile. Rumble Fish
is more of a fast paced rocker song with great input from all members. The song starts off with a nice palm muted guitar chord. The vocals sound very, how should I say, angry and frustrated but that makes the song a bit more memorable in my opinion.
Another single off Home
, and an awesomely great one at that, Licking Cream
is perhaps the standout track that Home
offers. Licking Cream features guest vocals from female singer, Skin, who is formally from the British rock band, Skunk Anansie. Lajon and Skin, rule the track with their brilliant vocal performances and is the reason why this track is so memorable. The last track, Bender
features highly influential vocalist, Chino Moreno from the Deftones. The song itself is a good (not great) way to end the album. Moreno and Witherspoon’s vocals harmonize beautifully in the choruses and Chino adds a bit more belligerence to the song. This song would have done better being placed earlier in the album, but it gets the job done closing the album.
, one thing constantly stands out and that is Lajon Witherspoon’s vocal performance. He is truly the most talented member of Sevendust and vitally exhibits his gift as a vocalist throughout Home
. Some of tracks might lack musicianship since they are so simplistic and bland, and there are some bad tracks on here but Lajon manages to keep Sevendust interesting throughout the record on most of the tracks. This might draw people away that are looking for a breathtaking performance with promising guitars and bass lines and drums, but Sevendust manages okay in this aspect. There are tracks that are nothing more than filler such as Insecure
, an unimpressive instrumental that is used as a crossing gap to the next track and the outrageously short, Grasshopper
. If you are looking for murky music that is unique in its own way from their peers and with a hell of singer, you need not be disappointed, Sevendust’s sophomore effort, Home
is a must for you.