Chapter VII: Hope And Sorrow Review

artist: Sevendust date: 04/02/2008 category: compact discs
Sevendust: Chapter VII: Hope And Sorrow
Release Date: Apr 1, 2008
Label: 7 Bros, Asylum Records
Genres: Alternative Metal
Number Of Tracks: 11
With the addition of guest vocalist and Billboard favorite Chris Daughtry on Chapter VII: Hope And Sorrow, Sevendust is likely to attract an entirely new group of fans.
 Sound: 9.3
 Lyrics: 8.3
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Overall rating:
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reviews (3) 19 comments vote for this album:
overall: 7.7
Chapter VII: Hope And Sorrow Featured review by: UG Team, on april 02, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Could Sevendust be a regular staple on Top 40 radio? Well, maybe not entirely, but it is likely the quintet will become familiar to an entirely new crowd with the new CD Chapter VII: Hope And Sorrow. The album is not completely devoid of the band's metal side, but guest appearances by American Idol finalist Chris Daughtry as well as Alter Bridge's guitarist Mark Tremonti and vocalist Myles Kennedy do indicate that Sevendust might be going for a more accessible sound. But don't get too worried about Sevendust catering to the man -- songs like Prodigal Son and Walk Away are better classified as metal than pop.

Sevendust dabbles in sampling and synth effects on the new record, and they actually could have gone further with that element. Most of the samples/synth are featured in the opening moments of tracks like Inside and Scapegoat, and then eventually fade into nothing. While it's respectable that the band wants to dedicate the rest of the song to a more straightforward rock sound, it then seems unnecessary to have those introductions at all. It's not distracting, but the synth also doesn't really add anything that's necessary to the tracks.

The strongest songs on the CD are Contradiction and Prodigal Son, which emphasize both the aggressive and melodic sides of Sevendust. Contradiction actually starts out with a synth opening, but it quickly changes into one of the most energetic, riff-heavy, and memorable tracks on the album. There are several musical sections to the song, including a really nice touch at the end in which you hear the double bass pedal go wild. The band was wise to release Prodigal Son as the first single because it exemplifies everything that's best about Sevendust, namely impeccable vocals from Lajon Witherspoon and awesome riffs/solos by John Connolly and former guitarist Sonny Mayo (who has since been replaced by Clint Lowery).

The guest musicians do make a pretty big impact on the particular tracks on which they appear, and at times it does seem to sound less and less like Sevendust. With the Chris Daughtry song The Past, it feels more like a platform for the vocals talents of Daughtry more than anything else. The song doesn't pretend to be anything more than a ballad, and to be fair, Daughtry does deliver a powerful vocal performance. It's the same with Myles Kennedy's appearance on Sorrow, which does feature some impressive harmonies between Kennedy and Witherspoon. Mark Tremonti appears on Hope, and you might actually mistake it for an Evanescence track at the start thanks to an ethereal piano intro. Hope does make a complete about turn and reveals a fairly complex arrangement with multiple layers of guitars. // 8

Lyrics: The themes on Sevendust's albums do tend to blend together, and not just because there are so many one-word song titles (Hope, Contradiction, Fear, Scapegoat, etc). A general feeling of disillusion about life does color much of the lyrics, and Prodigal Son provides a good example of the emotional content. Witherspoon sings, Reaching for the piece of life that I can't find; The sun keeps fading away; Searching for the feeling that will never come; The return of the prodigal son. It's fairly predictable territory, but the familiar themes also tend to resonate with anyone who has felt discontent at times. // 7

Overall Impression: Sevendust isn't going too far outside of its comfort zone on Chapter VII: Hope And Sorrow, but the guest musicians (namely Daughtry) are opening up some new doors. There are enough aggressive songs to balance out that transgression (if you want to call it that), and Sevendust do have some impressive moments in their arrangements. While there are still too many moments that Sevendust blends in with a hundred other bands, you do get just as many moments showing a technically sound and creative band. // 8

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overall: 9.7
Chapter VII: Hope And Sorrow Reviewed by: Kieran-Clinch, on april 03, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: First thing I would like to say about the sound, thank God. This Album opens perfectly With "Inside" and finishes nicely with "Walk Away". the great thing about Sevendust in this album is that even though you know what to expect from them they hit you in the face with something new and even if they use somethings old they change it in away that will always be satisfying. The sound of Sonny Mayo and John Connolly's guitars mixed with Vinnie Hornsby bass make some of the tracks just mind blowing. my Favorites being "Inside", "Lifeless", "Contradiction" and "Prodigal Son". Me being a Drummer I love tracks with great drum beats and I had a lot of expectation for the new album. Morgan Rose fills this perfectly, in my opinion he is one of the best drummers on the scene at the moment he proves this in "Inside". Lajon Witherspoon voice just seals the deal for me. his melodic touch brings the songs together like glue and without them this would be a wasted album. One thing I love about the songs on this album is that their is a little buildup to every song which I think is a neat idea. // 10

Lyrics: I like them that's all I can say I like them. the collaborations with Chris Daughrty and Myles Kennedy are a nice change from the normal throw of things, and I know people will mention Chino Moreno. All I'm saying is that Moreno is a big jump from Daughuty in a musical sense. Lajon's melodic voice accompanies the lyrics with great ease and Morgan Rose's backing screaming (Which I am a great fan of) adds the variety that the songs need. Now back to the lyrical side of the song. 7Dust throw in a good combination of uplifting and sad songs like that of "Inside" and "Hope". The lyrics work very well with the nature of the songs and in my opinion are good, and I think other 7Dust fans will think the same. // 9

Overall Impression: Sevendust's Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow is. I have to say, the best album of 2008 so far. I've waited for this album since before "Alpha" because in my opinion Alpha sucked. "Hope" is my favorite song in this album. The song is so perfectly blended for the sevendust experience and I hope that other people who have listened to the album feel the same way. The only thing I hate about this album is the cover art. I'm sorry it's just ugly. I am a devote sevendust fan and I had a lot of expectation for the album I really didn't want another Alpha I needed something new and "Hope and Sorrow" fulfilled that. This album is the perfect blend of what a heavy alternative/metal (don't care about genre) band should be like. This album is right up there "Animosity", really close in fact I really enjoyed the album. Any Sevendust fans out there will be pleased and anyone who is out there reading this review and has not listened to 7Dust before, where have you been? // 10

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overall: 9.7
Chapter VII: Hope And Sorrow Reviewed by: Titansfan920, on april 02, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: On Sevendust's seventh studio album, Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow, you will be happy to know that the Dust still have it going on. I was worried that with only a year after releasing Alpha, that this CD would be rushed. It's actually the opposite. This feels like one of the most completed Sevendust records to date. The music is strong and powerful, yet can be somber and mellow at the same time. One thing they have managed to do is to put a lot of emotion into it. There are points when the music is chugging along, yet it has an almost creepy vibe to it. I was really impressed. One odd thing is that nearly every song on the CD has a small instrumental intro to it. It almost sounds like something Nine Inch Nails or Tool would do. But it helps the songs flow into each other really nice and builds suspense. // 10

Lyrics: Lyrically, most of the songs focus on two main topics, those being hope and sorrow. (big suprise I know). For the first time since Home, Sevendust's sophmore release, there were two guest vocalists, Chris Daughtry on the song "The Past" and Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge on the song "Sorrow". The songs are well written and you can tell that the songs come from the heart, which is seeming to become something rare now days. // 9

Overall Impression: I have to say, this is one of my favorite Sevendust albums and I have them all. I still have to rank Seasons as my favorite but this is probably #2. I definatly recomend it to all Sevendust fans and if you are not a Sevendust fan, you still owe it to yourself to give this a listen. Of all the songs, my personal favorite was "Contradiction". It is a hard pounding song and has one of the most unique breakdowns I've ever heard before. I'm usually not a big fan of slower ballad-like songs but "The Past" with Chris Daughtry won me over as well, I kind of had low expectations since I'm not a huge Daughtry fan. Anyways, I highly recomend this album to everyone. If your not a Sevendust, see if that changes after a listen. // 10

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