Album Review: Sevendust – Kill The Flaw
Album Review: Sevendust – Kill The Flaw by Chris Akin
When I first saw Sevendust’s new release was titled KILL THE FLAW, my initial thought was “what exactly is the flaw?” It leads you to wonder just what it is that caused this band to not break big, while bands with lesser quality catalogs like Disturbed or Korn had such crazy amounts of success at the same time. This is not to say that either of those two bands were bad, but they certainly were not Sevendust. When you look at their career and their catalog, the only flaw most of us can find is the listening public. Not only is their music great, but their catalog is one of the most consistent in hard rock history. And yet, year after year fans are subjected to 30 minute sets opening for bands that don’t have half the talent, staying power or musical integrity that Sevendust possesses. The “flaw”, in my eyes anyway, is the audience.
So it’s 2015, and like clockwork Sevendust has returned with a new release. It’s great, but that’s to be expected. KILL THE FLAW is cut from the same ilk as Animosity, although it does feature more of the heavier sound that has been on the last couple of releases. Listening to a song like “Forget”, it’s clear that all the pieces are again firing on all cylinders. Vocalist Lajon Witherspoon is one of the most underrated vocalists in all of music. His voice is so unique the way it alternates on command between soulful R&B like smoothness and roaring, modern metal barking. His prowess on the mic is matched by the always unique and interesting rhythms created by drummer Morgan Rose and bassist Vince Hornsby. While their songs are pretty standardly in a 4/4 timing, the playing within it is always interesting from Rose. More than anyone else in the band, Rose has established a style that is instantly recognizable and definitely all his own. To listen to a song like “Letters”, you are drawn to the drum beats which fall on the half or quarter beats much of the time while not being out of time at all. He and Hornsby lay a giant foundation for the rest of the band to play from once again. Witherspoon, guitarists Clint Lowery and John Connolly all thrive on top of that. Songs like “Chop” and “Kill The Flaw” are perfect examples of how these guys work perfectly as a cohesive unit.
More than any other release in their catalog, KILL THE FLAW is a collection that needs to be listened to completely instead of one song at a time. Initially, hearing both singles (“Not Today” and “Thank You”), the initial thought was “these are OK, but pretty typical”. When listening with the rest of the disc though, they make a lot more sense. The balladic “Cease and Desist” sets up “Not Today” nicely as it sets the swing of the listening rollercoaster perfectly. KILL THE FLAW is full of great songs, but the running order of the songs makes it more of a listening experience than just about any Sevendust release before it.
RATING – 96/100 – It’s Sevendust, so the thoughts that it wouldn’t be good are almost nonexistent. KILL THE FLAW is stronger than BLACK OUT THE SUN or COLD DAY MEMORY; two releases that were good in their own right. I’m sure the flaw will not be killed and the band will continue to be missed by the masses. As a fan though, that’s OK. At least I’ve discovered this incredible gem.
Chris Akin is the editor and chief at Pitriff.com, one of metals most influential websites and a contributor to clevelandrockandroll.com