Sevendust – All I See Is War comes out May 11th 2018 on Rise Records.
It is a rarity for any band to mark 20+ years in the music industry, release close to a dozen records and yet are able to maintain their fire power of ferocious melody through out.
When the rough terrain of the music business causes bands to fall out, change line ups or fizzle out, Sevendust remain forever united. LJ,Morgan, John, Clint & Vinnie are still together after all these years.
The band has had a very unique career; by keeping it in house with their own record Company (7 Bros. Records) after the early years with TVT and Winedark Records, having self produced since 2010, and no official music videos for the past 8 years!. Unorthodox journey aside, as such many reviews, interviews and online articles will echo the following sentiments; The band has long paid their dues, their energetic live shows will destroy you (in a good way), and as much as they are Metal Titans, they remain humble towards fans that they treat as friends. What I respect most about the bands, is they are all family men, and always display a clear understanding of their values, faith and still promote unity at such volatile times.
In all honesty, as much as the band is dear to me personally, a few factors going in to the new album got me worried. John Connolly had just released a very ambitious Double Album (Projected – Ignite My Insanity) so I was worried of him being creatively burned out. Second, Michael ‘Elvis’ Baskette was producing. I was egger for a fresh set of ears to take on a Sevendust Record, however I was not keen with the mixing of the last Alter Bridge album (Although I loved his previous producing efforts with Alter Bridge, Tremonti, and Trivium to name a few). The band remained silent during the recording process. Hardly any teasers, no making of videos on youtube. The band hasn’t failed me for 11 studio albums (If you include Time Travelers & Bonfires), would they hit it out of the park again on ‘All I See is War’?
Fast Forward and Sevendust debut the Single Dirty alongside a wickedly futuristic music video, slapping me hard in the face and destroying the shred of worry I had inside me. As the camera pans around the band, they shred and harmonize together (Every band member was singing too). Don’t ask me, The 2 million + youtube viewers and endless positive comments should be evident on how much drive this song contains. In such short time ‘Dirty’ hit the summit as my #1 most played on my apple music. The intro still sends chills down my spine because I know what I’ve gotten myself into! Although LJ’s vocals remain a centerpiece, I have deeply enjoyed John’s development as a vocalist and the man is sonic both on this record and live.
With a surprise announcement being signed to Rise Records, new interviews show every band member reinvigorated, as if the cycle is starting over again and we are rediscovering the band for the very first time. Each record for me contains so many memories over the past 20+ years with every life event and milestone I have crossed. This band has been there for me during both bitter and sweet times.
What has changed now? for starters Rise Records. Two Music Videos, three singles, and the album isn’t even out yet! With the backing of an ultimate new label, the band has finally issued Merch Bundles and Vinyls too! With the new signing I rememeber Clint tweeting something along the lines of ‘I feel that its a little different this time like we have something to prove’. That sentence stuck with me for almost five months until the single was officially released.
I was fortunate to get the album early, however I still kept half of the record for the official release date. Based on what I’ve heard so far, I am excited to see that this has shaped up to be somewhat of a concept album. Although the references to the issues we face today as a global society are dark and unsettling, the lyrical content and harmonies still interplay to provide cathartic hope, alongside the brutally tight drumming, weight bearing distortion and crushing solos of course.
Both Singles ‘Not Original’ and ‘Medicated’ bring the hooks like calculated boxer pouncing at just the right time. This is a very consistent album so far, however the catchiness of the track ‘Sickness’ is on another level. If their 2015 single ‘Thank You’ deservingly got them their first Grammy Nomination for Metal Song of the Year, the tracks ‘Sickness’, ‘Life Deceives you’ or ‘Dirty’ should get them both a 2018 Nomination and a Grammy WIN.
I think ‘Life Deceives you’ just might dethrone ‘Trust’ for me as the best song they have ever written. Lyrically it speaks to me as a spiritual successor to the track ‘Damaged’ from 2001’s Ultimate Album ‘Animosity’. The song affected me emotionally and to my very core. I could not find it in me to shake it away and carried the feeling with me long after repeated lessons. The contemplative nature of the lyrics, the juxtaposition of Morgan & LJ, the inclusion of Piano speaks volumes to my soul. The ending harmonization is icing on the cake for me. I didn’t think the band could take ‘Letters’ from their 2015 Album ‘Kill the Flaw’ and throttle the emotions even more.
Parts of the song ‘Moment’s reminds me of Clint & Morgan’s Side Project ‘Call me No One’ (2012).
Thoughts on the remaining tracks of the Album that I haven’t listened to yet (I’m keeping until Friday): Other reviews suggest that Risen, Cheers and a few other tracks are on the heavier side, so I am looking forward to taking them with me into the gym this Friday to celebrate the official album release. Part of me wonders if album closer ‘The Truth’ will be a brutal finish like ‘Face to Face’ and ‘Alpha’ were to previous early records perhaps? I would love to see a long track similar to ‘Burn’ from Alpha.
So far I don’t mind that it isn’t as heavy (yet), as the trademark Sing-A-Long with Sevendust is still intact for me.Hey, if you want to call Sevendust, the backstreet boys of metal, or Disney anthems for adults go right ahead, the band brings the hooks like nothing else. You will Sing your lungs out to this record!
Six Tracks in so far this is Sevendust’s Mangum Opus. 10/10 material and i’m only half way through.
I dont like ranking albums but melodically speaking this is giving Animosity/Seasons (2001/2003) a run for their money.
LJ, Morgan, John, Clint & Vinnie, thanks for treating me like family for all these years. . Congratulations on the new signing, new record and tour. Hope to see you guys again in 2019.
Update: I’ve spent almost a week with the new album. 10/10. Might be the most consistent and mature record of their career. Harmonious Anthems from start to finish. My Favorite Tracks: Descend, Life Deceives You, Sickness, Risen.. if i dont stop ill end up listening the entire album.
Nervebullet: A Journey of Fitness, Gratitude & Recovery
Thanks for reading, and if you would like to follow my Instagram for Daily Stories documenting my journey @nervebullet.