Released: Oct 2, 2015
Genre: Alternative Metal
Label: Asylum, 7Bros. Records
Number Of Tracks: 11
The album plays out like Sevendust rediscovering themselves, with careful tentative steps, primarily focusing on heavy riffing and drumming in predictably simple yet satisfying song structures.
Kill The FlawFeatured review by: UG Team, on october 12, 2015 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: Sevendust formed out near my neck of the woods in Atlanta, GA in 1994. At the time it was very exciting as Sevendust was up and coming, mainly from about 1996 through 1999 - my friends and myself followed them pretty closely. Since then they've had their highs and their lows, but over 20 years since their formation, they are releasing albums with the same founding lineup. There was only a short break from 2005 - 2008 when Clint Lowery wasn't a member of the band, otherwise the band has maintained the original lineup. "Kill the Flaw" will be the band's eleventh studio album, and quite a change from their last album, which was the mostly acoustic "Time Travelers & Bonfires." This will be the band's third album released through their independent label, 7 Bros. Records. They have already released "Thank You" as the lead single in July, and followed up with "Not Today" in August. There are 12 tracks counting the bonus track, and the album clocks in at a respectable 49 minutes.
This album isn't anything new for Sevendust, but more of a further attempt to return to form - it has the same strengths with great vocals and lyrics, good riffing, heavy drumming, and the same flaws with predictable song structures and over-compressed guitars. The lead single, "Thank You" opens up the album, with a short ambient moment before coming into some heaviness. "Death Dance" has a cool vibe in the intro that kind of feels like something from "Friday the 13th," and otherwise the standout element for the track would be a strong sense of groove and syncopation. "Forget" is a solid track, but it really doesn't come into its own except for during the very melodic guitar solo. "Letters" really sounds more like a rock track more than alt metal, and it doesn't really have anything going for it, in my opinion. "Cease and Desist" has an almost nu-metal thing going on with the riffing, but no nu-metal vocals, luckily. The track has a nice little gear change - not sure if you would call it a bridge or a breakdown leading into the solo - but a nice touch. "Not Today" has a fairly "modern" feel to it for a Sevendust track - musically it reminds me a lot of Monuments - I can't explain that comparison, necessarily, but there it is. "Chop" has a cool offbeat hipster acoustic blues thing going on that grows some hair and claws when the distortion and drumming come in, and really give this track a unique feel to it - easily my favorite track from the album. The title track, "Kill the Flaw," has some interesting shit going on - with the closest thing to a progressive feel to it from the album. "Silly Beast" has some ear-catching riffing going on during portions of the track that got my attention, but somehow the track never got pushed to the next level like I was waiting for. "Peace and Destruction" is heavy in a classic Sevendust type of way, and is a thoroughly enjoyable track. I really like "Torched" for just being unapologetically heavy - at least in the world of Sevendust - and just kind of slow to mid tempo and swampy at certain parts. The bonus track, "Slave the Prey," is a solid track - and has the best solo from the album based solely on sounding really original. The album as a whole wasn't a disappointment and had a few nice standout moments, but for the most part Sevendust isn't reinventing the wheel. // 7
Lyrics: Lajon Witherspoon has a fairly distinct voice for metal, which originally helped the band stand out, and now helps to identify them in a sea of new metal bands. The backing vocals on the album are provided by the rest of the band, and mostly are just something going on in the background, except the occasional growl coming in to join Lajon. Lajon's vocal performance on the album is respectable - especially considering the fact that he's been doing this for a long time and his voice has aged very little in that time. As a short sampling of the lyrics, which are mostly abstract, here are some from the track "Chop": "On my way to a dark horizon/ Struggle is my name/ Disgrace is yet to find me/ But I see it every day/ Damn all your little voices/ My demons whisper a prayer for them/ God help me, now you're moving mountains/ you're not supposed to get away again/ Look up to the blackened sky/ Decide when it's time to feel it/ I see this heading for disaster/ Shadows coming at my dreaming/ Why can't I feel it/ I see this opened up the bleeding/ Cut the part that keeps me breathing/ But I'm still feeling." The album's lyrics are pretty diverse, though mostly abstract, and they fit in well with the music. // 8
Overall Impression: In the early days of Sevendust, they were compared to White Zombie on a fairly regular basis - but that isn't really a good comparison looking back. They definitely still have some brief moments where that would be an honest comparison, but for the most part they've created their own identity (for better or worse). I have enjoyed a lot of what they've done - I really liked most of "Time Travelers & Bonfires" - and this album is enjoyable as well, but doesn't necessarily stand out as special. My favorite tracks from the album would be "Chop," "Death Dance," and "Torched." Lajon's voice and Morgan Rose's drumming are my favorite elements of the album as a whole, though there are definitely some moments where Clint Lowery shines. A good album - but it probably isn't going to make any "top album of 2015" lists. // 7