Vocalist Lajon Witherspoon once described SEVENDUST as “Soul Metal”, a very fitting descriptor, considering the Atlanta based quintet never really fit the “Nu-Metal” label that was given to them. Forming in 1994 these young men were part of a scene that would produce a seismic shift in how metal was heard and played for many years to come. And while they never made a billion dollars or sold out giant arenas as headliners they did manage to do more than the vast majority of the bands from that era. SEVENDUST stayed together, stayed relevant and stayed productive while consistently growing their fanbase, and the longevity that this band has enjoyed is something the guys in it have never taken for granted.
Blood & Stone (out October 23 on Rise Records) is the band’s 13th full length album, and the song remains largely the same with some minor tweaks to the sound along the way. You know who we’re dealing with here and what they bring to the table. We’ve got Lajon Witherspoon on vocals, Vince Hornsby on bass, Morgan Rose on drums, John Connolly on rhythm guitar and Clint Lowery on lead guitar. It’s a formula that works and SEVENDUST is one of those bands that has never made a bad album. The band continues to fine tune their sound and they truly sound like no one else.
Blood & Stone finds them near the top of their game and “Dying to Live” kicks the album off with a bang. In what has become an early favorite, this is the embodiment of their trademark sound. Witherspoon brings his signature soul and growl in equal parts here and no one does it quite like he does. Hornsby and Rose add a thick bottom end to the equation and the guitars state their place loudly and aggressively in the mix. “Love” comes in next with some nice Lowery vocals and a driving tempo. One of the better offerings, the song highlights some newer guitar tones that are echoed next in “Blood From a Stone”. The guitars have a very metallic sound, akin to an angry buzzsaw and the funky groove chugs along like a lumbering locomotive.
Fleshing out the list of noteworthy songs are “Feel Like Going On”, ‘Kill Me”, and their cover of the SOUNDGARDEN classic “The Day I Tried to Live”. I guarantee you SEVENDUST fans already have this one on pre order but what’s the average Joe to do with it? Do you want an incredibly solid album from a legendary band? The answer to that question should always be, “YES!.” So go ahead and grab a copy of Blood & Stone from whatever platform you use to buy your music. I guarantee you’ll enjoy…
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Dying to Live”, “Love”, “Blood from a Stone”, “The Day I Tried to Live”