Sevendust offers more of the same

March 31, 2008 7:23:49 AM PDT
Tasting success has made Sevendust quite prolific of late.

With its third release in a year on its 7 Bros. label, Sevendust's seventh disc, "Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow," offers more of the same from the Atlanta quintet.

After a punishing return to form on 2007's "Alpha" and a retrospective featuring a few new cuts, "Chapter VII" steps backward a bit with electronics, acoustic guitars, piano and orchestration thrown in.

Hardcore fans enthralled with the angst-ridden and tortured spirit of "Alpha" may feel let down a bit by Sevendust's forays into softer melodies - but guest appearances by Chris Daughtry ("The Past"), and Alter Bridge vocalist Miles Kennedy ("Sorrow") and guitarist Mark Tremonti ("Hope") add enough to help those tracks stand out from previous "light" offerings.

Sticking with the band's head-crushing output will not disappoint. "Enough," "Scapegoat," "Lifeless," "Contradiction" and disc closer "Walk Away" will satisfy any metalhead's hunger.

Morgan Rose's powerhouse drumming and Lajon Witherspoon's vocals remain at the forefront, and Rose has scaled back his backing-vocal screams just enough - at times it can get redundant - to allow Witherspoon to shine where he needs to.

Sevendust is proving to be survivors - but the group seems too reluctant to try and break the mold of its sound.