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Review – Sevendust "Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow" (2008) July 13, 2008

Posted by rawkfistmusic in 2008, Sevendust.
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Written by Bree

I feel as though knowing a group’s background is a must, but I also think it’s the least exciting part. So, just to get this all out of the way- In 1992 a small group of young bucks gathered themselves into a little metal band and dubbed themselves Crawlspace. However, later they were forced to change the name when another band claimed the name. Sevendust, originally Crawlspace, was signed to TVT Records up until their 5th album, which was signed to Winedark in the US and Roadrunner overseas. Sevendust released their first, and self titled, album on April 15, 1997. The album itself was crazy metal with all the stereotypical noise. Such as heavy riffs, crazy angry lyrics, and quick painful drumming. From 1999 to 2008, Sevendust continued to drop 6 more albums into stores.

Now, onto the good stuff. Sevendust just recently dropped their newest album into our greedy palms entitled Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow. It’s a phenomenal album, noteworthy of some change as well. Yeah, everyone remembers Sevendust for the yelling, the tearing lyrics, the thrash drumming, the heavy guitar, and the pounding beats pumped hungrily into the listeners, but Chapter VII throws a little something extra out there that leaves fans begging for more.

Chapter VII starts with a track entitled “Inside“. The lyrics are sang with alternative metal grace and the band plays with the same style, throwin’ some truly head bangin’ tunes into the open. This isn’t my favorite song, however. It gets MUCH better.

Onward! “Enough” Leads off softly with some interesting sounds buzzing in the background. You can hear a build up of multiple instruments, but the real wonder is when the track suddenly explodes into metal wonder. I listened to it with the headphones in loud enough to blast my brains out the back of my skull, so I really remember the sudden explosion. “’Cause I can be your friend /
Unless you try to be who I am/”
The lyrics are filled with hope and sorrow, of course you read the album title too, you should have seen that one coming. The lyrics speak to everyone, at least at one point or another in their lives.

As the previous track ends, and the next one begins, you’re instantly dumbstruck. This track just started with a Piano. Did this track just start with a piano? It did. “Hope,” instantly relaxes you. It also makes you curious. “Hmm… what’s going to happen?” And then, when you’re clutching the arm rest, waiting for something with raw metal to emerge from the speakers… What the hell is this? Calm singing, smooth, soothing lyrics are making their way to your ear drums. Then of you course you relax, and while you do a double take, checking to make sure that this is in fact a Sevendust song…. BOOM! There’s the screaming you had anticipated. The song is a total shocker, the lyrics once again, inarguably Sevendust. Mark Tremonti is featured in this song- and he does a miraculous job keeping you somewhat loose as the angry riffs and harsh, throat scratching “SAVE MEEEEEEEEEs” Come through, attacking your thoughts and increasing your heart rate.

Skipping ahead, “Fear,” the 5th track on the CD, gives me the energy to continue writing this review. I mean, it’s almost midnight, and this album isn’t new after all. This is another track where, if you’re like me and you haven’t really stayed up to date since albums 2 and 3 where the monumental hate lyrics emerged, you do a double take and check the label on the album case. The song isn’t really metal, as a matter of fact, the only thing hardcore about it is the few rough, distorted riffs and the single lyric, “ALL THE SHIT THAT YOU PUT ME THROUGH,” and I’m willing to give that lyric metal just because that’s what the vocalist sounded like he was going for. The song is almost complete alternative through and through, but it’s a breath of fresh air.

As the album comes to a close, you’re aware that there has to be one more big bang. This is Sevendust after all, there needs to be some kind of exciting finale. “Walk Away,” hits off sounding like there’s a UFO or some such landing on an organ, pushing all the right keys. Ah, but that doesn’t last long at all. A couple of seconds later, the song launches into signature Sevendust. Loud, distorted guitars play against two vocalists. The lead vocalist is entirely focused on clear, smooth vocals. The second vocalist is pumping completely raspy lyrics into the open. It IS metal after all. “If I had so much to say / Why was I the one to walk away / You never found a way to change / That’s why I had to walk away.” The song is great, and unlike some other metal, the raspy, screamed lyrics are perfectly placed and sound like they belong in the song, making me almost positive the song couldn’t survive without them. Sevendust is not made up of amateurs.

After listening to the entire album again tonight, I’m acutely aware that it was almost as good the 5th or 6th time as it was the very first time I ever took that fresh plastic off the case and placed it in my stereo. I’m not sick of it and I still haven’t accurately anticipated the sudden change of pace. I love the entire album and I don’t have a single bad thing to say about it.

10 out of 10

Download This – “Walk Away”

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