Review Summary: The best debut LP ever.
Sevendust is one of those bands that have been around for a while, and yet, still not a lot of people know about their existence. Why might most people not know them? Maybe because they have never once sold themselves out to make a profit. The band is a rare one because their music is both entertaining to listen to and layered.
"Black" is the introductory song to this record and it is one of the best album openers of all-time. Featuring front man Lajon Witherspoon's deep and edgy vocals, this is a song about racism towards black people and it is pulled off with steady aggression and powerful guitar and bass work. The track works in the way that Pearl Jam's "Once" opener for Ten
worked: its simplistic lyrics go to describe a man who's on the edge and has an internal rage that's ready to be released. "Black" is about a black man entering a white man's world only to be hated because of his appearance. It's a powerful song that never fails to allow an audience to relate towards it.
The album as a whole is a treasure trove of wonderfully, wholly-realized tracks that unravel various themes of drug-addiction, depression, etc. "Wired" is the most intense track on the record with some of the most infectious lyrics ever brought to reality: "Lock my door / Close my blinds / I want to be by myself / What's that thing you put in your nose? / Can I have some?!" As I said, the track is the most intense on the record and it's surely helped by Morgan Rose's one-two punch drumming near the track's intro and Clint Lowery's backing-vocals during the songs one word chorus ("Wired!").
"Too Close To Hate" is a pulsating track with some lovely drumming taps to introduce the somewhat laid-back track that relies mainly on Lajon's powerful vocals. The song has a simple set of lyrics, largely repeating various lines like "I'm still stuck inside" and "now I feel it in my head again", to empathize the feeling of isolation and solitude. As previously stated, this album is largely built on themes relating to some sort of pain and anger. "Face" is essentially a continuation of "Wired", somewhere along the beginning Lajon introduces "Come along with me on an acid trip" and the music helps in an atmospheric sense. The opening is most effective, with a variety of rich sounds ranging from blowing steam, eerie wind and static-effects. It is yet another powerful track that nicely progresses into "Speak".
The album ends on "Born to Die" which allows Lajon to display his limbo skills. The song takes an incredible turn when Lowery jumps into the chorus with Lajon, screaming "Born to die!" as ferociously as humanly possible. Intense is what it is. Intensity-driven all the way with not a clue of songs pandering towards the radio crowd, Sevendust's self-titled debut is one for the ages. Often heart-wrenching in its lyrical depth and equally headbanging in its glorious riffs, drumming kicks and marvelous vocals, Sevendust crafts a memorable piece of metal-rock art.