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Sevendust fuses different styles

Sevendust“Sevendust VII: Hope and Sorrow”

Just one year after its 2007 release “Alpha,” Sevendust has returned with its seventh studio album “Sevendust VII: Hope and Sorrow.” Released on April 1 on the band’s wholly owned record label 7Bros Records in conjunction with Warner Music Group’s Independent Label Group, “Hope and Sorrow” is possibly the band’s most experimental creation yet.

“Hope and Sorrow” was produced by Sean Groove, Morgan Rose and John Connolly at Tree Sounds Studios.

Mixing their traditionally hard rock sound with industrial samples, strings, unyielding guitars, piano and catchy choruses, Sevendust has produced an album fused with an array of diverse styles.

Lajon Witherspoon’s melancholic yet appealing vocals create highs and lows that play themselves out throughout the course of the album’s 11 tracks.

Adding to the already interesting dynamic of “Hope and Sorrow,” Sevendust opted to include some guest vocals on the release for the first time since 2001. Chris Daughtry, of “American Idol” fame, lends his vocals on “The Past.” Daughtry’s voice is very smooth, which creates an interesting contrast when paired with Witherspoon’s hard rock-influenced sound. “The Past” is very soulful and is definitely one of the album’s standout tracks.

In addition to Daughtry, two members of the band Alter Bridge contributed vocals on “Hope and Sorrow.” Mark Tremonti collaborates on “Hope,” which begins with soft piano but gradually transforms into a more aggressive back-and-forth between Tremonti and Witherspoon. Miles Kennedy of Alter Bridge also lent his vocals on “Sorrow.” This track’s title pretty much speaks for itself. “Sorrow” is one of the album’s more mellow tracks. Given the harsher sound Sevendust has usually swayed toward in the past, “Hope and Sorrow” is much slower paced than previous releases. Despite the fact that the band has strayed from its usually more aggressive style, fans will most likely agree that the decision to experiment with a softer sound has paid off. For more than a decade, Sevendust has managed to consistently release new and interesting material. The band continues to evolve its sound without ever really compromising the music. This ability to develop the songwriting without ever losing touch with what the band initially started with is one of the many reasons why “Hope and Sorrow” works.

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