Veteran hard rock band Sevendust has, for more than 25 years, remained one of the most respected names in the hard rock and metal community. That is due to the top notch music that the band has crafted in each of its 12 current albums. That reputation is sure to continue growing with the forthcoming release of the band’s 13th album Blood & Stone Friday. The 13-song record is one of the band’s best works to date. That is proven right from the record’s outset in the form of ‘Dying To Live.’ This song will be discussed shortly. ‘Against The World,’ which comes later in the album’s 49-minute run time, is another example of what makes the album stand so strongly. It will be addressed a little later. ‘Nothing Left To See Here Anymore’ is yet another interesting addition to Sevendust’s new album. It will also be addressed later. Between these three songs and the rest of the record’s entries, the album in whole continues to cement Sevendust’s place as one of the elite acts in the hard rock and metal community.
Sevendust’s latest album Blood & Stone is another unquestionable success from the band. Its musical and lyrical content alike certifies that statement, beginning with the album’s opener, ‘Dying To Live.’ The song wastes no time launching into its full-on aural attack with its pummeling guitars, drums and bass. The song’s energy never lets up once from beginning to the end of the three-minute-plus opus. The intensity that runs throughout the song takes the best elements of so many of the band’s existing works and uses them for this unique. Even as the song reaches its bridge and suddenly becomes subdued, there is still a certain heaviness in that moment that will keep listeners engaged. By the song’s end, audiences know that they have experienced something powerful and memorable as one of Sevendust’s best songs in what is already a crowded field of notable works. It is just one part of what makes the song stand out, of course. The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s arrangement adds even more depth to the work.
The lyrical theme of ‘Dying To Live’ is important because of the message that it seems to hint at. The message in question comes across as a commentary about paying attention to the bigger picture of the world rather than ourselves. That is inferred right from the song’s lead verse and chorus, which finds front man Lajon Witherspoon singing, “We’re cold/Immune to the abuse/Whatever price you pay/They take away/The only thing that matters now/Every little thing we want/Rips out a piece of us/With all that we give/Why am I dying to live/With all that we have to face/Keep dying to live.” That note of being “immune to the abuse” and “whatever price you pay/They take away? Hints at the fact that we as a society have become so desensitized to everything. The note of “whatever price you pay/They take away” is metaphorical language that seems to speak to we as a society losing just as much as we gain because we have become so desensitized. The song’s second verse infers the noted central message even more as Witherspoon sings, “Why do we believe/This time around/We found our soul/Better make your peace with death/And take what’s left/I’ll see you on the other side/I know.” This seems to infer that we need to get our heads on straight and focus on what’s really important because this is the only life that we have. We need to get our priorities right. This is all just this critic’s own interpretation, of course and should not be taken as the only interpretation. Regardless, the song’s lyrics are heavy. That goes without saying. When they are coupled with the equally heavy, infectious musical arrangement featured in this song, the two sides make for one whole that is a strong start for the band’s new album and an equally strong exemplary of what makes the album such a powerful new offering from Sevendust. It is just one of the album’s most notable works. ‘Against The World’ is another notable addition to Blood & Stone.
‘Against The World’ stands out almost instantly as it opens with the eerie, brooding keyboard line that opens the song’s arrangement. The ethereal sense that the keyboard line creates lends itself to comparisons to works from Nine Inch Nails. When it is coupled with the blistering guitar riffs in the chorus sections, that pairing makes the arrangement in whole even more unique. The juxtaposition of that element and the band’s more trademark melodic hard rock approach that makes up the rest of the arrangement, the song in whole becomes another work that is certain to engage and entertain listeners. As with ‘Dying To Live’ and the rest of the album’s songs, the composition’s musical arrangement is just one part of what makes it stand out. Its lyrical accompaniment adds its own share of interest to the presentation here.
Witherspoon sings in the song’s lead verse, “Is there something you want to say/Get it out…Don’t hold on/If it burns you up…” Much of the song’s lyrical content is difficult to decipher from here. Though the mention of “it’s you and I/Against the world/I’m not gonna let you down…Still there’s something left to burn” would hint at this song delivering a message of someone being there for another despite certain factors coming into play. Witherspoon even sings in the song that “You and I will find a way.” In other words, (again going without a lyrics sheet to reference) this song would seem to be lyrically, a statement about focusing the anger and frustrations brought on by the world together. If in fact that is the case, then the way in which the band approached that topic is unique here both lyrically and musically, and will certainly connect with listeners. To that end, it proves itself yet another strong point in this record and another example of what makes the album so strong, too. It is hardly the last of the album’s most notable songs, too. ‘Nothing Left to See Here Anymore’ is the most unique addition to the album of all.
‘Nothing Left to See Here Anymore’ stands out in its musical arrangement as it takes the band’s more melodic side, but also presents a little bit of a bluesy influence, believe it or not. While it boasts its own heaviness, it also presents a distinct mainstream sensibility that would make it a good fit for any active rock radio programmer’s play list. It has that kind of sound and stylistic approach. It’s heavy, but more in the noted corporate rock sound that is quite unlike most of anything that the band has ever produced. The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s unique musical composition ads even more interest to its presentation.
Witherspoon sings in the song’s lead verse, “Slapped my face again/So I can feel the one/Before this began…Time to tear down the walls/And start it again/You’re reaching out/I’m pulling back again/You’re reaching out/I’m pulling back again/There’s nothing left to see here anymore/I thought you’d never put me through this again/But the truth is/It’s always the same…So tear down the walls/And start over again.” He continues in the song’s next verse, “How long/’Til this will end…” Again, not all of the lyrics are able to be deciphered here without a lyrics sheet to reference. However, what can be inferred from what is able to be understood, this song comes across as centering on the all too familiar topic of a broken relationship. Whether it is just a personal, plutonic relationship with someone or a romantic relationship is left to interpretation. That aside, the way in which the song approaches the topic manages to give it a unique presentation. When this is considered along with the song’s even more unique musical arrangement, the whole makes the song in whole that much more of a notable addition to Sevendust’s new album. When the song in whole is considered along with the other songs examined here and the rest of the album’s entries, the record in whole leaves no doubt as to its appeal. All things considered, this record is another fully successful effort from one of the best bands in the hard rock and metal community.
Sevendust has, for more than 25 years, proven itself and then some as one of the elite acts in the hard rock and metal community thanks to its albums, its live shows and connection to its fans. The band’s forthcoming 13th album Blood & Stone only serves to cement that reputation even more. It takes the best elements of the band’s existing albums and builds on them to make yet another work that is solid from start to end. All three of the songs examined here serve to support the noted statements. When they are considered along with the rest of the record’s entries, that whole makes Blood & Stone one more of this year’s definite top new hard rock and metal albums, and Sevendust still one of the elite acts in the hard rock and metal community. More information on Sevendust’s new album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
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