Album Review: Sevendust ‘Black Out the Sun’

lisa pikaard loves it loud…

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Just because you’re late to a party doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t celebrate, right?

While the Georgia hard rock band Sevendust has been around for close to two decades now, this writer, unfortunately, wasn’t introduced to Lajon Witherspoon’s powerful, gruff, emotional vocals or Morgan Rose’s driving, powerful drums until this decade. Since that time I have embraced the band wholeheartedly.

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After exploring the Sevendust catalog, I found myself captivated by the melodic hard rock that the band is known for; this is something that it did not stray from with Black Out the Sun. I must boast that this album, the band’s ninth, was recorded in northern New Jersey not far from where I grew up (at Architeckt Music in Butler, NJ). So between my connection to the recording studio and my appreciation for the band’s previous music and its new single, “Decay,” I was anticipating an above average album without many shortcomings and a track or two that I truly loved but I was surprised on all accounts.

Black out the Sun started off just okay for me. The guitar introduction is phenomenal but I didn’t love much else about the beginning of the album. After the first few tracks, I was left confused; it was as though the band couldn’t decide how hard it wanted to be. There are some metal bands that can vacillate between screaming and singing seamlessly, Sevendust can usually successfully navigate the two, but as the album was progressing, the changes were just not fluid enough.

I was anticipating a letdown me but then the album hits its stride. “Mountain,” the fourth track of the album, turned the whole thing around. After that song began I was enthralled by the sound, absorbed by the beat, and enraptured by the lyrics of not only that track, but of all of the remaining songs. “Cold War,” “Black out the Sun,” “Nobody Wants it,” “Black Roses,” each song as good or better than the one before. The core of the album exemplifies the talent that is pouring forth from Sevendust. The final four tracks of the album can only be described as solid. They have kicking beats, on point vocals, and everything else required to make a song better than average.

Black Out the Sun may have started out as a disappointment, but built to something truly amazing and ended right where I thought it would — really solid, classic Sevendust.