JAM Magazine CD Review

May , 2013
Review by Scott Dworkin


"Black Out the Sun"

Label: Warner Music Group

The sign of a truly great rock band is its ability to go back to the drawing board knowing you can’t rest on your past laurels. With the release Black Out the Sun, the ninth album of Sevendust’s stellar 15-year career, not only has the band lived up to its billing as one of the top metal acts in the world, the group now proudly stands on the precipice of greatness.

In today’s wired world, if you’re not constantly innovating, and you’re not making efforts to expand your base, you’re simply going to die. Though the band doesn’t stray too far away from the traditional sonic pummeling their hardcore base is accustomed to, there are several instances on this recording that will make fans stand up and take notice. And that’s a good thing.

Sevendust is breaking new ground with a vengeance on this record. What initially stands out listening to this music are the darker lyrical passages that contrast between the brutally heavy tracks and the surprisingly gentle, melodic musical moments. That’s no easy feat, yet this band seems to have effortlessly combined the two in such a way it makes sense. Songs like the heart pounding lead single “Decay”, and the heavy-handed “Till Death”, mix in well with the softer songs like the acoustic “Got a Feeling” and the soaring melodic title track which was written about the recent passing of guitarist Clint Lowery’s father. The tune “Faithless” features a cool off-time riff that develops into a very melodic section that harkens the listener back to the early 80’s British heavy metal scene that spawned the legendary Judas Priest.

The extended break the Sevendust members took after touring behind 2010 release Cold Day Memory has paid off handsomely for this tight unit. Hands down, it’s their best material in years, and so far fans seem to agree. Blackout the Sun debuted at #18 on Billboard and also earned the band its first #1 on the Hard Album Music charts.  With this recording, Sevendust has finally delivered what their diehard fan base always knew the band had in them. At the time same time, they managed to throw in a few curve balls as well.

Resting on one’s laurels is the last thing this hard rocking outfit will ever do. As they continue to challenge themselves on all fronts, their sound continues to evolve, as does the fan base. There’s little doubt that Black Out the Sun will attract new fans and deservedly so. This may be the rawest, and perhaps even the most personal recording of this band’s career, but you can rest assure of one very important thing. It won’t be the last.