Back in April, when I reviewed Sevendust’s new album Cold Day Memory, I said that after eight albums, the band’s sound was noticeably stagnating. This happens a lot with bands that lock onto a sound and just choose to make minor tweaks over the years rather than wholesale changes or flirtations with experimentation.
And so while Sevendust’s self-titled debut album is not a huge sonic departure from the tunes they are cranking out today, it does represent the template for everything that has followed in a prolific career that began in the mid-Nineties.
And as they say, you only get one first impression so make it count.
Sevendust definitely did that with their debut, and as a testament to its lasting impact, the album has received the deluxe reissue treatment complete with new remasterings of the songs and some extra rare and live tracks added on.
The creation of Sevendust was intrinsically informed by the terrorist bombing of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games being held in the band’s hometown of Atlanta. The anxiety-ridden climate that was left in the wake of the attack fueled Sevendust’s recording sessions and it is evident in the finished product. This album is Sevendust at its rawest and heaviest.
Die-hard fans need not worry that the remastering drastically altered the original songs. The differences are slight, with the main distinction being that the remastered tracks have a bit more added heft to them.
The bonus tracks, while all previously available in some form or another, are a nice addition. “Breathe” and “Terminator (Breathe Remix)” were originally on movie and TV soundtracks. “School’s Out,” a thoroughly unexciting cover of the Alice Cooper classic, appeared as a b-side to the Home album. There are also two live tracks – “Bitch” and “Prayer.”
The Definitive Edition also includes a DVD which features a thirty minute concert film “Live & Loud.” Sevendust make much mention of their live show and this film is a great window into the passion they display on stage. The DVD also has some behind the scenes footage and an Electronic Press Kit from 1997.
Longtime Sevendust fans may already have the bonus material included on this version of the album. But for those who missed the boat the first time around, this reissue marks the perfect opportunity to jump back and fill out your catalog. Eight albums in, Sevendust still remains the benchmark for the band’s ferocity and aggression.
The Atlanta-based quintet Sevendust became one of the rising acts in late-'90s heavy metal with an aggressive blend of bottom-heavy riffs and soulful, accessible melodies. The band, comprised of frontman Lajon Witherspoon, John Connolly (guitar), Clint Lowery (guitar), Vince Hornsby (bass), and Morgan Rose (drums), first appeared in 1995 as Crawlspace, releasing the single "My Ruin" on the Mortal Kombat: More Kombat recording. Shortly thereafter, the group changed its name to Sevendust and released a self-titled debut in 1997. Two years later, the bandmates issued the gold-selling Home and played over 800 shows alongside such groups as Creed, along with a stop at Woodstock '99. Their angst-ridden third album, the aptly titled Animosity, appeared in fall 2001, and Seasons followed in 2003.
In late December 2004, word surfaced that Lowery had left the band, and those rumors proved true the following February when Sevendust announced ex-Snot guitarist Sonny Mayo as Lowery's replacement. (Lowery, a co-founder of Sevendust, eventually surfaced in the hard rock supergroup Dark New Day.) Next, Sevendust's fifth album and their first self-produced effort, appeared in October 2005. The record failed to sell as much as its predecessors, but Sevendust nevertheless signed to Asylum Records and issued Alpha in March 2007. Alpha fared better than Next, climbing to number 14 on the Billboard charts and paving the way for the band's seventh effort. Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow arrived in April 2008, featuring an appearance by former American Idol star Chris Daughtry, followed by Cold Day Memory in 2010. Kirk Dombek, All Music Guide
United States of America (Atlanta, Georgia)
Sevendust is: Lajon Witherspoon – lead vocals (1992–present) Clint Lowery – guitar, backing vocals (1992-2004, 2008-present) John Connolly – guitar, backing vocals (1992-present) Vincent Hornsby – bass (1992-present) Morgan Rose – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1992-present)