Sevendust Shows Again On Its Eleventh Album Why It Is One Of Rock’s Elite Acts

Courtesy: 7Bros. Records

Courtesy: 7Bros. Records

The end of the year is nearly here. That means one thing. Okay, that means lots of things. But for those in the entertainment world (this critic included), it means one thing. That one thing is establishing those annual year-ender lists. Needles to say most of this critic’s lists are done and revealed soon. However, there are some lists that are not yet done. The list for the year’s best new hard rock and metal albums is one of those few left that has yet to be completed. But that is only because there are so many albums from which to choose . There are more great albums than spaces, plain and simple. And just recently yet another of that mass of options was released when veteran hard rock band Sevendust released its latest album Kill The Flaw. From beginning to end, this album proves to be one of the band’s best albums to date. It boasts the band’s trademark meloddic hard rock sound without compromising quality at any given point. That is evident in the album’s opener/lead single ‘Thank You.’ This song was a great choice with which to open KTF (as it will henceforth be called here) both on record and as the album’s lead single. The full reason will be discussed at more length shortly. It is just one example of what makes this latest album (the band’s eleventh full-length studio recording) such a solid return for the veteran Atlanta, Georgia-based band. ‘Silly Beast,’ comes late in the album’s near fifty-minute run time. It is another example of the album’s strength. Its musical content takes listeners back to the band’s 1997 self-titled debut to a point while the lyrics prove to be just as searing as those in this album’s opener. This song is one of the album’s most interesting moments thanks to the mix of its musical and lyrical content. Its musical content harkens back to the days of Animosity while its lyrical content presents its own introspective, thought-provoking message. Last but hardly least of note in this album’s high points is the single ‘Not Today.’ This song is another work that pulls directly from the band’s previous releases at least musically. With its heavy guitars and powerhouse vocal delivery from front man Lajon Witherspoon, it proves to be yet another of the album’s high points. All three songs show in their own way just what makes KTF a solid return for Sevendust. And together with the remaining eight tracks not noted here, all eleven tracks show in whole why this album is in whole one more of the year’s best new hard rock and metal albums.

Sevendust’s eleventh full length studio recording is one of the best of this year’s crop of new hard rock and metal albums. That is clear right from the searing first moments of the album’s opener/lead single ‘Thank You.’ Thanks to the mix of its solid musical content and its indictment of an unnamed figure that has made someone else’s life miserable, it proves to b a song to which every listener will be able to relate. Front man Lajon Witherspoon sings of said individual, “You are the beginning and end to all of this.” He goes on to say to this same individual in the song’s chorus sarcastically, “Thanks for coming around/And pushing my head back to the ground/Thank you for slowing me down/I need to fall back and start it over.” He comes across as saying to said person that he/she has done nothing good for the song’s subject, but ironically has also in turn served as the driving force behind that person striving for something better. That can be argued as Witherspoon sings, “Been holding on so long/Denying what I’ve done/I destroyed myself but I wish you well/The beginning and end to all of this.” Again, there seems to be something of a sense of sarcasm and irony in his delivery. That argument is illustrated even more thanks to the song’s musical content. The tone of the song’s musical content just seems to echo its musical content with its power and the tone. Both elements considered together, they make ‘Thank You’ a song that will have listeners saying thank you to the band for including it in its new album. That is because that mix of musical and lyrical content is sure to provide some emotional strength to any listener that has ever dealt with a situation (or person) such as that depicted here. With all of its power, it is just one example of what makes KTF a welcome, solid return for Sevendust. ‘Silly Beast’ comes later in the album’s run. It is yet another example of the album’s strength.

KTF’s opener/lead single ‘Thank You’ makes clear through the combination of its musical content and searing lyrical content to be a solid opener and first impression from the band in its new album. It is just one example of what makes KTF such a solid return for the band. Later in the album’s run another song is presented that exhibits that strength just as much as ‘Thank You.’ The song in question is ‘Silly Beast.’ Musically speaking, it takes long-time listeners back to the days of the band’s 1997 self-titled debut album thanks in large part to the heavy, crunching, dual guitar attack of Clint Lowery and John Connolly. Drummer Morgan Rose adds even more to that feeling with his work behind the drum kit. While the song’s musical content will definitely put a smile on listeners’ faces, the song’s deep, introspective lyrical content is just as certain to impress listeners and generate its own share of discussions. As Witherspoon sings here, “For all the seasons you have lost/You beg for time/You waste the words (Just let it go)/And on your dying you hold the line/Forget the world/You’re on your own.” The picture painted here comes across at least to this critic as an indictment of a self-defeatist sort of individual. This can be argued just as much as Witherspoon goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “Beneath this wonderful lie you mastered/You find a dark place/To throw away all the light like a coward/Your miracle’s a lie to us all.” Witherspoon comes across here as saying to the unnamed figure, that everything people see of said figure is a lie. In reality, said figure is just a self-hating type that wants to bring the world down with him/her. The frustration exuded through these lyrics (and Witherspoon’s delivery of said lyrical content) is heightened even more through the song’s musical content. Both elements considered together, they make clear why ‘Silly Beast’ is one more of KTF’s highest points. It is another one of those works to which so many audiences can relate as everyone has dealt with someone such as the figure depicted in this song. Even with that ability to relate to listeners and entertain them at the same time, it is not the only remaining example of this record’s strength.

‘Thank You’ and ‘Silly Beast’ are both clear examples of KTF’s strength. Of course they are hardly the only songs featured in this album that exemplify its strength. ‘Not Today’ is another of the album’s highest points. The song’s heavy guitars set against Witherspoon’s equally powerhouse vocal delivery make the song’s musical content more than enough reason to check out this song. The song’s lyrical content makes even more reason for listeners to hear this song, which is another of the album’s singles. Witherspoon sings here, “This is the thing that swallows you whole/Don’t give away what you wanted so long/There’s no more words/No more reasons/Not one more lie you can feed us/Oh you know all the things we loathe/We become it/I defeated it/We will become this.” He goes on to sing, “Resist/You bite your tongue and stay asleep/That’s all the dirt that we need/The guilty pleasure you came for fed your disease/It don’t stick/The lines/are blurred and grey/Go on and try to kill love/And that’s your last mistake/Is that the thanks we get/Yeah, that’s the thanks we get.” It is only this critic’s interpretation, but these lines come across as Witherspoon saying to an unnamed figure that the very thing that said figure tries to pretend doesn’t exist and it is destroying said person. This could very well be completely off the path. But again it is only the interpretation of this critic. Regardless of right or wrong, the very fact that the song’s lyrical content could generate its own share of interest and discussion proves even more why this song is one of KTF’s most notable works. Together with the likes of ‘Thank You’ and ‘Silly Beast’ all three songs show together just how solid and strong KTF is. That is not to ignore any of the album’s other unnoted compositions. The fact of the matter is that all eleven tracks considered together, they make KTF one more of this year’s best new hard rock and metal albums.

Kill The Flaw is one of Sevendust’s best albums to date. It is also one of the best of this year’s crop of new hard rock and metal albums. That is made evident through three of its highest points in the album’s opener/lead single ‘Thank You.’ ‘Silly Beast,’ another of those high points is another example of what makes this record so strong. ‘Not Today’ shows to be such an interesting point in this record because the combination of its musical and lyrical content will definitely have listeners talking, regardless of listeners’ familiarity with the band’s body of work. Together with the album’s remaining unnoted songs, all eleven songs featured in this record make it in whole a solid record that deserves a spot on any critic’s year-ender list of the year’s best new hard rock and metal albums. It is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct via Sevendust’s official website at More information on Kill The Flaw is available online now along with all of Sevendust’s latest news at:



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Sevendust Announces Details For New Album, Tour

Courtesy:  ABC Promotions

Courtesy: ABC Promotions

The long wait for Sevendust’s new album is almost over.  The band—Lajon Witherspoon (vocals), Vince Hornsby (bass), Clint Lowery (guitar/vocals), Morgan Rose (drums/vocals), and John Connolly (guitar/vocals)—has announced that it will release its fan-funded acoustic album Time Travelers & Bonfires will be released nationwide in April.  The upcoming all-acoustic compilation will feature a collection of new songs mixed in with re-worked versions of songs such as: ‘Black’, ‘Gone’, ‘Denial’, ‘Karma’, ‘Trust’ and ‘Crucified’ just to name a handful of songs.  Time Travelers& Bonfires isn’t the first time that Sevendust’s members have delved into the acoustic side of their songs.  The band released the highly acclaimed live acoustic recording Southside Double-wide in 2004.  One writer with All Music Guide wrote of that recording, “Fans should invest readily in Southside Double-Wide…Sevendust’s famously confrontational sound smolders, and damn it if their sensitive side isn’t just as fiery.” The complete listing for Time Travelers & Bonfires is available below.

Time Travelers & Bonfires Track Listing

1. Come Down

2. Under It All

3. The Wait

4. Upbeat Sugar

5. One Life

6. Bonfire

7. Gone

8. Denial

9. Trust

10. Crucified

11. Karma

12. Black

In conjunction with the album’s release, the band has also announced a supporting tour beginning April 1st in its hometown of Atlanta, GA.  The band’s “An Acoustic Evening with Sevendust” tour spans twenty-eight dates.  The current tour schedule sees the band making its way from the south to the West Coast (including the Pacific Northwest) before swinging back through the nation’s heartland and back around to the Northeast.  The most current tour schedule is listed below.


DATE               CITY                             VENUE

Tue 4/1             Athens, GA                   Georgia Theatre

Wed 4/2            Destin, FL                     Club LA

Fri 4/4               Houston, TX                   Scout Bar

Sat 4/5              Dallas, TX                      Trees

Sun 4/6             Austin, TX                     Emo’s

Tue 4/8             Tempe, AZ                    Marquee

Thu 4/10            El Cajon, CA                 Sycuan Casino

Fri 4/11             Los Angeles, CA            House Of Blues

Sat 4/12            Las Vegas, NV              Vinyl at Hard Rock

Sun 4/13           Reno, NV                      Knitting Factory

Wed 4/16          Sacramento, CA            Ace Of Spades

Fri 4/18             Seattle, WA                  El Corazon

Sat 4/19            Portland, OR                 Hawthorne Theatre

Sun 4/20           Boise, ID                       Knitting Factory

Mon 4/21           Salt Lake City, UT          The Complex

Tue 4/22            Denver, CO                    Gothic Theatre

Fri 4/25             Joliet, IL                        Mojoes

Sat 4/26            Madison, WI                  Orpheum

Mon 4/28           Detroit, MI                     Royal Oak Music Theatre

Tue 4/29            Cincinnati, OH               Bogart’s

Wed 4/30          Louisville, KY                 Mercury Ballroom

Fri 5/2               Baltimore, MD               Sound Stage

Sat 5/3              Washington, DC            The Howard Theatre

Sun 5/4             New York, NY                Highline Ballroom

Tue 5/6             Hartford, CT                   Webster Theatre

Thu 5/8             Patchogue, NY              Emporium

Fri 5/9               Portland, ME                 Asylum

Sat 5/10            Philadelphia, PA            Electric Factory

Before the band hits the road this Spring, it will be part of the annual ShipRocked cruise.  It will be in good company when the cruise leaves port.  Also scheduled to perform on the cruise are: Papa Roach, Five Finger Death Punch, Three Days Grace, In This Moment, Tremonti, Black Stone Cherry, and a slew of others.  The cruise will depart from the Port of Miami this Sunday, January 26th and will return next Thursday, January 30th.  While at sea, the cruise will take audiences to Great Stirrup Cay, a private island in the Bahamas. A small number of staterooms for this year’s cruise is still available.  Vacationers and audiences get info on that limited space online at the official ShipRocked website,

More information on Sevendust’s upcoming tour, new album, and more is available online at,, and  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

KingShifter’s Debut LP Takes The Top Spot As 2013’s Top New Hard Rock Record

Courtesy:  Pavement Entertainment/Pavement Music

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment/Pavement Music

2013 has been a good year for hard rock and metal.  New releases from the likes of Holy Grail, Black Sabbath, and Sevendust have made this a great year for the metal masses the world over.  Now with the release of its debut full length LP via Pavement Entertainment, Wichita, Kansas based KingShifter has just made the hard rock landscape that much more interesting.

KingShifter’s debut full length release, 26 Tons is an aptly titled record.  This eleven-track record is a heavy-hitting wrecking ball of hard rock.  From start to finish the album’s energy lets up only once.  That one time is in the near minute and a half acoustic piece, ‘.00125 lbs. (The Year of the Rat).  Other than that single moment, every other song on this record makes it one of the best debut records from a rock band (either mainstream or indie) in a very long time.  Its combination of hard hitting guitar licks, drums, and equally scathing lyrics make it a record that any purist metal head will appreciate.  And it all starts early on in the form of, ‘Revolution Generation.’  Front man Sprout sings about what’s happening to the country today.  From the epidemic of companies and doctors working together to sell their drugs, to the issue of school violence, Sprout runs the gamut.  Along the way he and his band mates wave a defiant musical flag declaring, “If we don’t do anything now/We’re soon to be doomed/We’ve got to stand strong/We shall not be moved/We are Americans/And we have proof/That we survived/The taxes, fiscal cliffs, and all of the wars/We’re here to tell you now/We won’t take it anymore!”  The song’s declaration of pride and self-empowerment is a call to arms and an anthem for a whole new generation.  And given the right support, could very well be the opening salvo in what breaks this band into the mainstream.

If ‘Revolution Generation’ isn’t enough example of what makes this a solid debut from KingShifter, then perhaps the equally hard rocking and defiant (yet far shorter) ‘STFU (& Die Already)’ will.  This punk styled piece comes in at just under two minutes long.  In that short time, this song hits just as hard as ‘Revolution Generation’ and any of the album’s other songs.  It is an intense song that goes after the news media—Sprout sings, “Television/I wanna burn it down”—and all of the negativity that clots television today.  In connection, he notes in no uncertain terms the effect that television has on people and his displeasure on the matter.

KingShifter’s debut record has plenty of social commentary and hard rock.  For all the commentary that it offers, there is some lighter material on this record, too.  Case in point, ‘Downin’ Booze – Raisin’ Hell.’  This song is a party song.  It’s an anthem for the blue collar workers across the country.  The influence from hard rock supergroup HellYeah is quite obvious both lyrically and musically in this song.  This is clear in the song’s second verse as Sprout sings, “I’ve been inside/Of this dirty cage/Locked inside for five whole days/I’ve gotta ease my mind/And leave that bulls*** behind/This ******’s gonna go on a rage!”  With such high energy lyrics and equally high energy music, this song is more than certain to become just one of so many fan favorites and fan anthems both on KingShifter’s record and at its live shows. 

The songs noted here are just a few examples of what listeners can expect from Kingshifter’s upcoming debut record.  There is much more that audiences will appreciate throughout the album.  So much more could be written of 26 Tons.  But to do so would require more time and space than is available.  Simply put, given the chance by radio programmers and by Pavement Entertainment, 26 Tons could make Kingshifter one of the next big names in hard rock.  The album will be available in stores and online Tuesday, September 3rd.  Fans can hear just some of the band’s music now online at the band’s official Reverb Nation page,  There’s even a music video from the band on its page, too.  Audiences can also check out the band’s music on its official MySpace page,  And to keep up with all of the latest news from the band, fans can follow the band on Facebook at and on its official website,

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