Sevendust – All I See Is War

Let’s cut the chase, shall we? Straight up: I am an unabashed Sevendust fan, and have been since their debut album dropped in 1997. Anyone who knows me also knows I have been singing their praises forever as one of the most talented, yet criminally underrated bands of our time. In a fair and just world, they’d have sold millions of albums and would be a household name. Epic songs and sick live performances have earned 7D a beloved following on several continents. While I have selfishly felt like we fans were in a little club with our own band, I also want them to just coat the earth with their goodness. My feeling going into All I See Is War, their first album for new label Rise Records, is that this is the record that will put them over the top and convert the unbelievers. The got out of their comfort zone right away by working with kingmaker producer Elvis Baskette. From the early listens, I might have been right after all.

Sevendust has no weak records, and following up the incredible Kill The Flaw and the dominating single ‘Thank You’, perhaps the best song in the bands’ career, the stakes were insanely high. Launching right into kill mode, lead track ‘Dirty’ will please the veteran fans, and initiate potential newbs with their brand of awesomesauce. Chugging riffs, harmony vocals, killer drums, and a glorious chorus: it’s pure Sevendust. There is also an amazing guitar solo/breakdown worth hearing. The band has said the vibe they were going for was the more compact tracks of their second album Home and it definitely has that flavor to it. Second track ‘God Bites His Tongue’ also has cool major key feels and machine gun riffs.

‘Medicated’, the third track, is a must listen slow -boiling riff parade. Such a heavy, head nodding chunk of a verse riff, gives way to another memorable chorus. The singing on this one is especially soulful. One of the best vocal bands ever, and not just frontman LaJon Witherspoon, but collectively they are amazing.

No ‘Unforgiven’ is not a cover but has a heaping help of rock riffs and ear candy licks. ‘Sickness’ is another gorgeous sounding track. Sort of the 7D version of a rock power ballad, but heavier. In typical fashion, a lot of the lyrics just move you and take you through a range of emotions on every track. ‘Sickness’ also has another slick solo, making this a rare album for the band with multiple solos.

‘Cheers’ a funky posi- vibe and bouncing riff. This is a song that could do major damage on

SiriusXM Octane radio. The refrain of “we hold our own” is going to stay with you long after the song is over. ‘Risen’ is the most brutal song on the album, and I really hope they play it live. Whoa.

‘Moments’ has some insane drum fills by Morgan Rose, who is always trying to top himself. The most interesting track on the album is the single ‘Not Original’. From their synth intro to the cascading guitar parts and anthemic lyrics, it is really new ground for the band in a lot of ways.

Late album tracks like ‘Descend’, Life Deceives You’, and ‘The Truth’ are all solid tracks that call to mind a lot of the writing of Seasons and Chapter VII Hope And Sorrow. ‘The Truth’ closes out very strong.

Coming off the high of Kill The Flaw, Sevendust has come back with a heavier, perhaps deeper album with All I See Is War. To make it to this stage of their career avoiding formulas and staying hungry as artists is admirable considering this level.

8.5/10

KEITH CHACHKES