by angelfyre USER (15 Reviews)
March 18th, 2007 | 10 replies

Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sevendust stays true to its musical roots

It’s nice to have some consistency, in a musical world full of Panic! and Fall Out, where bands blow up practically overnight and constantly change their sounds to mirror what’s popular with the public. Hard rock group Sevendust’s sixth studio release, Alpha, provides a dose of originality.

The Atlanta-based quintet’s most recent release, which hit store shelves March 6, proves that popularity is no justification for a compromise of individuality, and that change isn’t always a good thing, especially when it comes to musical style. For the latest album, longtime fans of Sevendust can expect the same vehement, blissfully chaotic, angst-ridden hard rock they’ve provided the past 10 years. Bitter, heavy-hitting emotion-driven lyrics? You bet. Ominous-sounding one word song titles? Got ’em. Heavy, pounding guitar riff and drum instrumental backgrounds? Of course.

Despite a record label change — the group’s first three of its six albums were released on TVT Records, with the latest put out on a collaboration of Asylum Records and the band’s own 7 Bros Records**** — Sevendust has stayed true to its grudge-grunge roots. Hoever, the latest album doesn’t come without some minor differences. In comparison to Sevendust’s 1997 debut self-titled album, Alpha is a little more clean and refined (speaking in terms of sound, of course). Also, the band’s latest effort is minus the acoustic guitars and electronic effects of the past two albums, making for a raw, more stripped-down version of its sound.

A look at the band’s history and the losses it has suffered gives some insight into their inspiration. The group was close friends with rock cohorts Snot, and had to deal with the death of singer Lynn Straight in a car accident in late 1998. Not long after, Sevendust was subjected to the loss of another friend when Drowning Pool singer Dave Williams died. Finally, tragedy struck when a gang gunned-down and killed singer Lajon Witherspoon’s younger brother, resulting in the group taking a hiatus before returning to the music scene in 2003 with its fourth album, Seasons. The group has also undergone a member change, replacing guitarist/vocalist Clint Lowery after his departure in 2004 with Sonny Mayo, formerly of Snot.

Despite having three albums reach gold status and the latest one making an appearance on the charts at No. 14 its first week, Sevendust has somehow managed to cruise under the radar, never having an album go platinum or a chart position higher than 14 reached. The latest album’s first single and first track, “Deathstar,” pulls no punches; it dives right into a harsh and abrupt, energetic auditory mess, with no instrumental intros or lead-ins. The fourth track, “Feed,” is one of the brightest spots on the album, with the newest band member Mayo’s beautifully done guitar solo.
It deals with one of the band’s favorite lyrical subjects – the conflict and pain caused by relationships. “Burn,” the eleventh track, is the virtual musical opposite of “Deathstar,” and almost seems out of place on the record. However, it goes along with Sevendust’s habit of placing one slow, melodic track on each album. It’s gentle, subdued and ethereal, heartbreakingly melancholy and hopeles (“wash away the clouds of shame that you gave to me/so I can see again, so I can live again”). The last and title track ends the album on just about the same note it began: harsh, heavy and in-your-face, not to mention filled with aggression – the last line is “now go f--k yourself.”

Alpha won’t disappoint current Sevendust fans; a prospective problem is it will probably fail to attract new ones who aren’t accustomed to the band’s unique brand of angst-rock. However, it’s a refreshingly honest and extremely welcomed break from some of the uber-poppy, stylistically overdone crap that passes for rock music nowadays. Alpha is the perfect listen for those not completely averse to guitar riff-heavy nü-metal, who have some aggression they would like to get out in a nonviolent way.

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user ratings (333)
other reviews of this album
coldguitargod7 (4.5)
The 7th album from Sevendust is one that really shows who they are and how they play. One of they'r...

Comments:Add a Comment 
March 18th 2007


Oh hey paragraphs, s'up?

No, but seriously, no one's going to want to read this. It doesn't have a flow. Push the sentences together to make actual paragraphs. From what I read, it's a pretty good review, but it was annoying to even that far.This Message Edited On 03.18.07

March 18th 2007


^^^what he said. but this album was boring like all sevendust albums for me. sevendust has only done one good thing, their song "Angel's Son" is amazing

March 18th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

Happy? Sorry, I'm used to writing reviews in newspaper-style.

March 18th 2007


Much, much better.

March 18th 2007


I read some stuff about this and it seemed pretty interesting, might get it.

February 8th 2009


Album Rating: 3.0

Somehow dull record. "Under", "Burn" & "Clueless" are striking & effective tracks.

February 8th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

Nothing dull about this at all, although I'm a fanboy so I'll be jumping up and down for anything and everything they release.

February 8th 2009


Album Rating: 3.0

It's just strangely straightforward to me. There is a lack of diversity. Too many songs with one-sided chordprogression, I think.

February 19th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

June 22nd 2013


Album Rating: 2.5

i agree about the lack of diversity but it's still much better than Next at least. it also contains one of their best songs "Burn"

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