Fans will revel in new album

Grade: B+

Following the band's first two albums, Sevendust has been put on the back burner of other bands. It has proudly put on one of the best live rock shows as an opening act, but is now ready to take the credit it deserves with its third album "Animosity."

The band has returned after an extensive tour which involved over 800 shows with one of the finest rock albums to be released this year. In an industry that has been taken over by pop culture, rock music has also taken its toll with rock artists' music being over-influenced by the trend.

Fortunately for Sevendust, luck is on its side. Remaining untouched by the recent influence, Sevendust has not changed, but has been enhanced.

Sevendust's first albums "Sevendust" and "Home" featured lead singer Lajon Witherspoon crooning and growling to the band's well-known heavy thrash metal. However, it was one song that changed the band's fate.

Sevendust performed a tribute ballad to the "Strait Up" compilation album, a dedication to deceased lead singer Lynn Strait of the band Snot. The song was a simple accoustic version of Witherspoon offering his soul as he poured his vocals in to the words of "Angel's Son."

Witherspoon's soulful voice lead the song to become the band's most successful radio song yet. The song, enhanced by additional strings, is one of the many notable songs on the album.

After the success of "Angel's Son," the band decided to utilize Witherspoon's vocal talents to the new album with the growls left to the instruments.

"Praise," the album's first single, combines Clint Lowery and John Connolly's heavy guitar riffs with Witherspoon's backlashing on an old enemy. The song grasps old emotions of the band and convinces them through the lyrics.

"(See) I'm now what you (Think) I'm the one who'll (Be) what you never thought would be nothin' and now...and now you realize," Witherspoon sings.

The band succeeds again with "Praise," an apology for past relationships. The lyrics of this song show the band's ability to grow emotionally and lyrically through time. Nonetheless, Witherspoon's vocals are at his best, thus magnifying the song more.

The first few seconds of "Xmas Day" confuse the listener, but are immediately followed by the dissonant chords that symbolize Sevendust. This song is yet another hit from the album. Though it is a ballad, the band has implemented its own twist.

"Follow," perhaps the best song from "Animosity," is vocally elevated by Aaron Lewis, lead singer of Staind. Lewis' vocals add intense passion to the already emotional song. Lewis' contribution to the second verse and background of this song alone make this album worth listening to. Sevendust has Lewis to thank for such high regards on a song.

For rock fans, this album is not a let down. The music is new and mature, but is still the heavy music Sevendust is known for. Sevendust may not hit pop music off the charts, but will encourage rock fans to continue to pursue the type of music they love. While not a surprise from a band that is well due for success, "Animosity" is sure to take it over the top.


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