Release Date: Mar 6, 2007
Genres: Heavy Metal, Alternative Metal, Industrial Metal
Number Of Tracks: 12
It's a great record for those of you who don't expect Sevendust to ever change or have a constant nostalgia.
AlphaFeatured review by: UG Team, on march 12, 2007 2 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sound: Sevendust are used to working their asses off like real factory workers, releasing an album every 2 years and touring hard in between the records. Here's another result of their work - sixth studio album Alpha, out March 6th on Asylum Records.
The opener Deathstar introduces you to the record and leaves you no hope the journey is gonna be mild - Sevendust has never been heavier and rougher! No, your ears won't be bleeding after you listen to Alpha like it's shown on the album cover, but the album keeps you in a great intense to the very last track, letting a short breath only during occasional breakdowns within the songs. The band have made their signature sound more distinctive than ever with chunky riffs, aggressive drums, large choruses and impressive dual guitar work of Sonny Mayo and John Connolly.
Even though it would seem to you just one never-ending track at first, give the album a few listens and you'll start differing the songs one from another. Sevendust provide the tracks with different guitar effects and some electronic flourishes. Story Of Your Life is one of the most dynamic tracks that shows some nice and solid work of rhythm-section and guitars. Feed has a melodic guitar solo and bombing drums that feels like somebody's shooting straight in your guts. The first single from the album Driven has a galloping rhythm in the verses and slower choruses.
Being self-produced by the band, the album lacks with diversity. Any track from the album can become a hit single with a certain frequency of radio plays as they all are similarly catchy (which means not very) and on the same level of emotionality.
Towards the end of the record there's Burn, which is a bit longer than other tracks (being more concrete - twice longer). That's where the guys allow themselves a bit of variety - electronic drums breaks, sentimental piano, harmony changes and actually some very nice melody in the chorus! To leave a good impression about the album, Sevendust did their best to make Burn the best track, including all those bongos, egg shakers, and rain sticks to create a romantic atmosphere. The last track that titles the CD reminds us what Sevendust are about though -- Alpha is the hardest songs on the album. // 8
Lyrics: The lyrics are written with such an angst-filled approach, that you often wonder where they manage to get so much spite. The poetry is full of disappointment and hate. Like many other bands of their genre at the same time they complain on the difficulty of life, crooning that they never take things for granted. Sometimes only the author knows what he meant by the words - like Fear is your only reason /You never thought that you'd see me in another season (from Suffer) - it rhymes, but doesn't make sense.
Lajon Witherspoon and Morgan Rose growl and scream with an undoubtful professionalism, but often without any evident emotions. Feels like both of them are too afraid to experiment with the vocals, which turns out pretty boring after the third track. Even though they try different kinds of vocals, including melodic singing and rap, it all feels like a well-learned lesson that they repeat with out any enthusiasm. Maybe the restless work has worn them out and they do need some time off to find an inspiring muse? // 7
Overall Impression: All the tracks are solid and nothing falls out, but I wish there were more contrasts on Alpha - most songs just don't go anywhere. I understand you can hardly invent anything new in metal, but it does bug me when there are no stand-outs on the album, leaving aside any bright fresh ideas.
The band has broken out on the scene 10 years ago and anything had hardly changed after their first successful singles like Black and Bitch. Well, of course they've matured a lot. But other than that they're pretty stale and uninspiring, stamping albums with the same sound one after another like factory workers stamp machine supplies. And Alpha is a good example - it's a great record for those of you who don't expect Sevendust to ever change or have a constant nostalgia. But those who think the musicians should evolve and not stick to one particular sound, won't find anything new in the band's latest effort. // 8
Andrew Zara, on march 19, 2007 2 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sound: Alpha is Sevendust's 6th full length album and easily is one of their best. This album has all the elements of the Sevendust's back in the Home and Animosity days when they were on top form. As far as the bands sound goes, they can't get any better. Lajon still keeps singing his melodies and Morgan still is yelling and cursing throughout the entire album. Also, Sevendust's guitar playing stepped up since Sonny joined the band as the replacement of Clint. This is shown on songs like Deathstar and Feed where they added solos that last about a good 30 seconds on Feed. With this album, Sevendust has gotten heavier and more to their roots. // 10
Lyrics: As far as lyrics are concerned, not much has changed. Still the angry lyrics from Morgan and melodies from Lajon. I was concerned when they were going to release this album that they would take a hit in the lyrics department since Clint is now gone and he did a lot of the lyric writing for Sevendust. But, it's not the case on Alpha. Lajon has great vocal range, he can go from singing melodically to singing like on Deathstar and Alpha. Great combination of Lajon and Morgan. // 9
Overall Impression: People say that this album is most compared to Animosity and Home and I can't agree with them more. It has the aggression of Home, but the melodies of Animosity and since those are my two favorite albums from Sevendust, the combination is lethal. The most impressive songs on the album are Deathstar, Driven, Aggression, and Burn. Aggression and Burn are very different from traditional Sevendust songs. Aggression begins with a piano, yes a piano, I believe that's the first appearance of a piano in a Sevendust song and Burn lasts over 9 minutes! People were calling it an epic. Burn is easily one of the best Sevendust songs to date. But, there are two songs on the album that I tend to skip and they are Beg To Differ and Confessions Of Hatred. I've never had to do this before on a Sevendust album, I consider these the first two filler tracks that Sevendust have ever released(except for Grasshopper on Home, but that doesn't really count since it's 12 seconds long). But, the rest of the songs on the album make up for it. If it were lost or stolen, I would 100% buy this album again, not just because I'm a Sevendust fan, but because it's a great album. To me this is their second best album, Animosity is still my favorite. // 9