Sevendust – Black Out The Sun
By the time most bands with respectable levels of mainstream success have lasted long enough to make it to their ninth album, they’ve either evolved their style or changed personnel as to be nearly unrecognizable or slid into a morass of musical irrelevance. So where does Sevendust stand, with three Gold albums in the U.S. and Black Out The Sun, their eighth album to chart in the top 30? Like any band they’ve had some weaker albums, but Black Out The Sun easily belongs near the top of their output. It essentially sounds like a heavier, more modern version of their outstanding debut album from 1997. Loaded with heavy, dark riffs and the deep melodic voice of Lajon Witherspoon that define most of the band’s albums, Black Out The Sun also incorporates some occasional production tricks on the drums and extensive keyboards in the background that prevents the affair from sounding like a throwback. Make no mistake, though – this album is heavy, with Lajon releasing some vicious screams on songs like “Faithless” and some tight, fast double bass drumwork on others such as “Dead Roses”. The fast and heavy “Faithless” and “Till Death” start the album in relentless fashion before “Mountain” settles in with a lively groove. “Cold As War” and the title track are ok, probably my least favorite. Some great vocal harmonies and melodies make “Nobody Wants It” a high point. “Dead Roses” picks up the tempo again, then the second half of the album relaxes into a series a slower, more nuanced songs. It all leads into the penultimate songs, “Got A Feeling”, a dramatic acoustic ballad that builds into a massive guitar solo at the end. “Murder Bar” ends the album on a strong note with some neat guitar work. Black Out The Sun is strong from start to finish, one that captures your attention in its entirety. I’ll admit that I was a bit surprised at how good the album is, and if you’ve felt let down or bored by other Sevendust albums this is the time to rediscover the band. This is one of the finest moments in Sevendust’s career, an album that shows they’re still capable of writing fresh, heavy songs that retain great hooks and melodies.
Sevendust performs a co-headlining show with Coal Chamber on Monday, April 8 at Mill City Nights in Minneapolis with support from Lacuna Coil and Candlelight Red. The bands returns to Duluth on Wednesday, May 15 at Clyde Iron Works with support from Pop Evil.
RELATED CONTENT: Check out the downloadable audio of Sevendust live on July 19, 1997, and the From The Vault feature with some old Sevendust pictures from 1997–2000.