Since the late 90’s, there has a been an Atlanta band that has stood the test of time. With their debut album and each subsequent release, they’ve managed to prove that they’re not letting anything slow them down. Through financial troubles, trials and tribulations within the band and the pain of loss… this band has weathered the worst of storms and come out clean on the other side. That’s right, I’m speaking of Atlanta’s Sevendust. Who, to this day, can say that they don’t bang their head when they hear staples like “Bitch,” “The Enemy” or “Praise?” Who, can honestly say, that they haven’t cried their eyes out to the ultimate loss ballad, “Angel’s Son?” Since 1997, this band has churned out hit after hit, never giving an inch of room for failure. Vocalist Lajon Witherspoon has a voice that can still be recognized with ease to this day, which is a feat in and of itself. Now, with 10 studio albums under their belt, they’ve become kings of the active rock scene, and for good reason. Their 11th studio album, Kill The Flaw, was recently released and may see some of the bands’ best work to date. What’s the most impressive is that the band has always, for the most part, either produced or co-produced their albums. Maintaining a high production quality in a home studio definitely isn’t an easy task but they’ve risen to the occasion many times before. What exactly makes Kill the Flaw worth your time, though?
Let’s start with the lead single and title track, “Thank You,” It can be entirely attributed to the fans who have stuck around over the years, giving them a nice, full, 18 year studio career thus far (the band was formed back in 1994 under the name Crawlspace,) Flash forward to today, they’ve headlined massive festivals, they’ve played shows on just about every continent in the world and they’ve got a massive fanbase that is loyal like no other. “Thank You” is a literal acknowledgement that this band has never forgotten where they come from. This track sounds closest, in comparison, to the material from their 7th studio album Cold Day Memory and their latest release Black Out the Sun with a strong emphasis on melody and some pretty simple, repetitive instrumental work. Overall, it’s a killer opening track and sets the stage for what’s to come.
If you’re wanting something that sounds, instrumentally, a bit closer to their older material… you’ll look no further than “Forget.” This track features the classic, heavy sound that the band is known for but again pays close attention to Witherspoon’s incredible presence as a clean vocalist. Featuring a few background screamed vocals, an overall heavy feel and a pretty insane solo from guitarist Clint Lowery (starting at about 2:52), this song is one of my favorites but has a deep meaning to it. It’s a cry out to the masses that, though you may feel alone, you can’t let that stop you. “The only day we lived is the day we die” Witherspoon sings with urgency. Live each day like it’s your last, don’t dwell on the past and if someone betrays you, don’t let it get you down… use that anger and pain to find a way to creatively show them what they’re missing out on when they made that choice.
Sevendust found out all too well that an acoustic approach works well for them with the release of Time Travelers and Bonfire. So what do they do to carry on that sound to the new album? Well, it starts with the track “Chop,” which features Lowery playing a twangy, country riff before the full band comes in and it transforms into one of the best tracks of the album. While Lowery’s acoustic playing gives a major backbone to this track, the band as a whole is completely in-tune on this track. The rhythm section shines through expertly in this track, making up a strong foundation for the track as Witherspoon displays both anger and angst throughout his incredible vocal styling.
The album is almost completely unrelenting until the end. The final track, “Torched” brings us out with one of the heavier tracks on the album, making sure that you stay awake. While most bands in this genre decide to take a melodic approach to the “outro” track, “Torched” is anything but an outro track. In fact, with the way that it chugs along, you might even expect another track to follow it. However, it just goes to show you that you can expect the unexpected in a band like Sevendust. Sevendust has always been known for their thrashy, aggressive style of metal and they intend to keep it that way, it seems. Closing out the album on such an aggressive note was a risky move but it definitely leaves you wanting more.
While Kill the Flaw doesn’t quite have the stay power that their first few albums had, it’s an impressive venture by any means. It has the ability to appeal to both fans of their older material, their newer material and anything in between. If you haven’t picked up your copy of Kill the Flaw, I don’t know what you’re doing! Be sure to pick up your copy from your local retailer, your favorite online retailer or using the links below… you’ll be glad you did! Our only question remains, what will these Atlanta natives have up to their sleeves next? Only time will tell but you can be sure that New Transcendence will be there to scope it out! Check out the official album stream below and catch them on tour (dates below!)
Sept. 18th # Scranton, PA The Pavilion at Montage Mountain
Sept. 19th Clark, NJ Oak Ridge Park (Food Truck & Rock Carnival)
Sept. 23rd * Detroit, MI The Fillmore Detroit
Sept. 27th * Springfield, IL Prairie Capital Convention Center
Sept. 29th * Kansas City, MO Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland
Oct. 1st * Shreveport, LA Municipal Auditorium
Oct. 2nd * Huntsville, AL Von Braun Center
Oct. 3rd * Louisville, KY Louder Than Life Festival
Oct. 13th * Wallingford, CT Toyota Presents Oakdale
Oct. 14th * Poughkeepsie, NY Mid-Hudson Civic Center
Oct. 16th * Halifax, Canada Scotiabank Centre
Oct. 17th * Moncton, Canada Moncton Coliseum
Oct. 19th * Ottawa, Canada TD Place
Oct. 25th Elverta, CA Aftershock Festival
* More Dates To Be Announced *
# – Playing with Breaking Benjamin
* – Playing with Godsmack