Sevendust is one of the most respected and beloved bands in the world of both mainstream and hard rock. That’s because this fan favorite band has proven itself time and again over the course of eight albums and nearly twenty years. Now with its ninth full length record, the members of this Atlanta, GA based band have proven yet again why Sevendust has stood tall while so many other bands have fallen by the wayside.
Black Out The Sun is everything that a Sevendust fan could hope for. It opens deceivingly with a short near ninety-second instrumental that harkens back to its previous album, Cold Day Memory before launching into a sound that echoes across the band’s catalogue of albums in ‘Faithless.’ It is a solid, hard rocking opus that as loud and heavy as it is, is actually quite the positive and uplifting piece. Front man Lajon Witherspoon sings in this first full opening number, “The burning ends/You come around/So step back for the answer/Lift yourself up slowly/It’s taken everything/Don’t you throw it away/The burning ends at least for now/So I resist/You go on/Days are lost/Can’t change a thing/Life hangs on for all days/But no real place to go/But I forgive/Life hangs on.” This is a song of personal perseverance through all of life’s most difficult situations. The lyrics are anything but cryptic here. They are saying, “Don’t throw away life. Don’t give up. Things get tough, but don’t give up.” The song’s musical side is a fitting “companion” of sorts as it helps serve as a motivator of sorts. The aggression of the music helps to illustrate the feelings of perseverance being expressed lyrically. Together, they make for a fitting opener to this album, and equally fitting transition from the band’s most recent album.
‘Mountain’ offers a similar vibe. It is another of this album’s high points. It has that same high energy music. When set next to the song’s equally defiant lyrics, it becomes a song that one could easily see becoming a fan favorite both on the album and in a live setting. It would be easy to envision a thousand fists and more pumping in the air while the audience sings along to this song. Lyrically, it’s even more defiant than ‘Faithless.’ Witherspoon sings in this song, “First on top of the mountain/Push back/Drop down/Broke you to pieces/I’m on top of the mountain/Save name/Save face/Keeps all of me away from you.” While it comes across as being a more personal piece, this chorus alone makes no bones about it. It is aimed at someone in particular. And really, who out there hasn’t felt like that at one point or another. Even this critic has felt something similar to this more than once. That ability of listeners to so easily relate to the song’s lyrical side and enjoy its musical side is sure to make this song another favorite.
For all the high energy and aggression exuded through Black Out The Sun, the band actually does pull back some in the form of the song, ‘Got A Feeling.’ It comes across as a very introspective piece, lyrically speaking. Witherspoon‘s gentility as he sings, “I gave a poor man a dime or two/He saved my soul with gratitude/And gave his life/Yes he did” is moving to say the least. The semi-country/western vibe of the guitars and the piano’s dark tones really serve to add a whole extra depth to the song. It’s one that is certain to grow on listeners more with each listen. Of course it’s just one of many other pieces that Sevendust’s legions around the world will enjoy on what is some of the band’s best work to date. As a matter of fact, the band’s members have collectively crafted in Black Out The Sun a record that has found a place on this critic’s list of the year’s Best New Hard Rock albums. And now, three other lucky Sevendust fans can own this hard rocking record for free next week just by “Liking” the Phil’s Picks Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/philspicks. Three lucky fans will win copies of Black Out The Sun when they finish lyrics from the band’s previous records. One song lyric will be posted there Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. The first person to correctly finish the song lyric each day will pick up a copy of the album. All three copies are signed by the entire band.
Those who don’t manage to pick up the band’s new album can still catch Sevendust live on the road as it tours in support of Black Out The Sun. The band will be in Auget, IL tonight and then in Milwaukee, WI and Minneapolis, MN over the weekend. Fans in North Carolina will also get to see the band when it makes a stop at Charlotte, North Carolina’s Fillmore Charlotte on April 23rd. Even more tour dates are listed online on the band’s official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sevendust/25493613958 and the band’s official website, http://www.sevendust.com. Fans can order the new album online at http://bit.ly/BlackOutTheSun.
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