Review Summary: Travel back from going nowhere. Reflect along the way.
Keeping up momentum for so long can be a challenge. Where many bands have collapsed under the pressure, some can manage to endure the hard times just as gracefully as they do the good times. Thankfully Sevendust can fit under this type of bill just fine. A whopping ten albums later, the Atlanta-based rock group return with a record that is not only consistent with their previous efforts but also displays even further technical prowess through crafting truly engaging melodies for fans and newcomers alike to sink their teeth into. Kill the Flaw
is another varied, deeply moving milestone from what is arguably the most underappreciated rock group of modern times.
kicks the album off in brilliant fashion. A perfect single for which establishes a genuine love for family and friends who have been around to lend a helping hand during the rough patches. The lyrics laced throughout are simple enough, but highly effective due to a great verse-to-chorus structure and the fascinating addition of a choir of kids singing the chorus during the finale of the track adds an extra layer of enjoyment to an already stellar song. Later on in the tracklist, "Letters"
arrives and provides an incredibly welcome change of pace. Where the previous two tracks, "Death Dance"
, were more invested in being alongside the heaviest on the record, "Letters"
feels like a beautiful callback to a song they did on their previous release, Time Travelers and Bonfires
, known as "The Wait"
(which featured the heartwarming, climatic lyrics "send a message when you're home"
). Another song that provides a nice blend of acoustic and electronic harmonies, along with another endearing vocal performance from Lajon Witherspoon, is the oddly named "Chop"
, a track which retains the heavier side of the overall record while giving casual listeners a chance to experience the band work their magic with compelling lyricism on full-display.
Sevendust have always excelled in determining truly brilliant title tracks: "Home"
, "Black Out the Sun"
, even "Pieces"
(in finding drummer Morgan Rose screaming "Next"
during the conclusion). Following in this wondrous tradition is "Kill the Flaw"
, an undeniable standout. Though it initially starts off rather bizarre, with the lyrics "shaking
(which sounds an awful lot like "shotgun"
) it tastes so wrong it burns"
, the chorus kicks the song into high gear, soon enough followed by an awe-inspiring array of guitar-solos from guitarists Clint Lowery, John Connolly and Vince Hornsby on bass during the breathtaking climax. Kill the Flaw
keeps building momentum throughout the closing four tracks (five if the bonus song, "Slave the Prey"
, is counted), featuring intensified guitar sections and pulse-pounding drumming, all of which are counter-balanced by soothing vocal melodies from Lajon; most evident on the track rightfully known as "Peace and Destruction"
While the finding of evenly-distributed equilibrium between smooth vocals and raging instrumentals is beyond satisfying, something even more joyous is hearing the band cut loose and go for an all-out scorcher. "Torched"
is another rightfully titled masterpiece. Literally blasting into the soundscape, the hair-raising finale immediately leaves on an exhilarating note due to a trio of outstanding choruses, lightning-fast drumming segments and a first-rate showcase for every individual artist overall; the vocal deliveries from Lowery and Witherspoon, in particular, throughout the explosive verses are simply magnificent. Even though "Torched"
is technically the final song on the record, it would be wrong to forget about mentioning how spectacular the bonus track truly is. Arguably released as an extra addition due to the similarities it shares with "Praise"
, featuring a noticeably similar electronic melody during the opening chords, "Slave the Prey"
nevertheless excites the senses due to complex instrumentals and another powerhouse vocal performance from Lajon Witherspoon.
This is the moment where most bands would crumble due to lack of originality, loss of key audience members and corporate/sellout mentality. Sevendust continue to reliably avoid this misstep, and they've been doing it for over twenty years
to this day. In that case, a huge thank you
goes out to Sevendust for their everlasting contributions to not only the world of rock and metal genres, but to music overall, giving hungry listeners a chance to experience well-diversified vocals alongside sophisticated instrumental sections (which reveal further depths upon repeated listens). Kill the Flaw
is a genuine delight. Mature, layered and wholly optimistic, mixed with the nostalgic aggression many fans have come to treasure over time, this album further proves how consistently compelling Sevendust can be when they are having fun.