Review by Ellen Eldridge
Black Out the Sun is the ninth release by Atlanta natives Sevendust since 1997; this release also marks the first time the band has taken more than two years to release an album as Cold Day Memory came out in 2010. The guys must have taken the extra year to nail down that added boost that drives this ninth release. Sevendust shows absolutely no signs of slowing down, and with the guttural growl in singer Lajon Witherspoon’s voice during “Till Death,” the band announces its dedication to ripping further than ever into the heavy metal genre. Happily for fans of Sevendust’s melody, track three stands as the only track to growl. “Till Death” opens the door for fans of screaming death metal without actually letting them in.
The opener, “Memory,” calls out to what Sevendust accomplished on its eight release; the instrumental introduction paints a picture of a concert starting and the band taking places on the stage. In just under a minute and a half, Sevendust builds the anticipation dynamically, preparing fans for the pounding drums and grinding guitars in “Faithless.” Witherspoon’s vocals recall Shinedown or even a touch of Aaron Lewis in Staind, until the chorus where a heavier presence unfurls. The pulsating rhythm on the floor toms highlights the song.
Though Sevendust has been recording and releasing music since I graduated high school, I hadn’t paid much attention until Cold Day Memory, and Black Out the Sun enervates any ambivalence I had previously. The combination of driving drums and melodic solo work layered with passionate lyrics make me an instant fan, and I’ve already started digging back through earlier releases to rediscover Sevendust.
Check out Sevendust’s headlining show at Tabernacle with supporting acts Lacuna Coil, Coal Chamber and Stolen Babies on April 24.