Sevendust – Truth Killer [Album Review]

Review: Jack Price

It’s amazing how certain things transport you backwards in time, smells, flavours, places. But there is nothing like music to take you time-travelling and for me, Sevendust is the conduit for those hidden, locked memories. Hearing Face To Face and Enemy from 2003’s Seasons, and Bitch from 1997’s self titled album was a turning point for my musical tastes, and with the Georgian metal outfit having such an extensive repertoire, there is never not a Sevendust track popping up on my playlists.

Armed to the teeth for their 14th studio album, Truth Killer, the genre-defying Gods have pulled no punches, rife with crashing grooves paired with frontman Lajon Witherspoon’s unmistakable vocal prowess, the entire quintet deliver beautifully melodic cleans and chaotic, acrimonious growls and screams. The new album delivers on everything the band has worked towards. This latest production is masterfully crafted and polished to the point of perfection, yet reminiscent of their nu-metal and alternative metal roots.

Opening to a soulful track, I Might Let the Devil Win, Witherspoon croons verses and choruses to a growing backing of piano and synth beats. Swelling to an operatic bridge explodes into the final chorus, the rest of the band kicking into gear with expertly executed precision. The track is an unexpected prelude to the album that mesmerises and entices like a lure to unexpecting prey.

The title track, Truth Killer, engages a more industrial sound with Sevendust’s signature hooks. Lyrically an internal battle of letting the light overcome the dark, prevailing in the name of love. This seems to be a running theme for the album, prominent in the following track, Won’t Stop the Bleeding, and later in the album in Holy Water.

Guitarists Clint Lowery and John Connolly perform some amazingly put together guitar solos and rhythm performances throughout the album, highlighted in tracks No Revolution and Sick Mouth. The switching of styles through the medleys of songs is flawless, with bassist and founding band member Vince Hornsby’s talent really shinning in Leave Hell Behind, leading the verses with a rhythmic droning and grooving his way through the album effortlessly. Fellow founder Morgan Rose punishes the drums with impressive force, rallying double kicks and crashing cymbals, perfectly framing the tone of the album with standout tracks Everything, Superficial Drug and Love And Hate.

Sick Mouth is exactly what a new Sevendust album calls for, Lajon’s powerful and impacting delivery of every word, the swooping, crashing strings, the methodical, crashing drums and industrial style synth backing the verses. The track comes to a roaring battle cry of “No prayer for the guilty ” before one last chorus that drops to showcase Witherspoon’s vocals line before last, making for a moment I would expect to kill at a live show.

The final track and first single from the album, Fence, is a polar opposite to the beginning of the album, ditching the soulful vibe for an old school Sevendust all out onslaught of aggression and anger. Being the first album for the band to release with Napalm Records, produced by Michael “Elvis” Basket (Alter Bridge, Slash, Trivium), and considering the band was reported to be breaking up in 2022, this album has hopefully solidified the return of Atlanta’s heavy rock ensemble for the foreseeable future.

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