Sound — 9
This is the newest CD from one of the bands I think should get more play time. All in all, it's been worth the wait. They stay pretty much with their same ol' sound: HEAVY intros with lots of start stops or palm mutes going into toned down verses with usually some crunch in the background flowing into melodic choruses with a mix of the intro and verse playing. They got a new guitarist but they still sound pretty much the same. Very much one of the heaviest hitters in the alt-metal genre. A few minor solos a scattered here and there, but nothing like the new Disturbed CD in the style of or number of. The drumming has always been great and this is no exception. Double pedal accents can be found throughout the CD and at one point in pieces it's the vocals and the drummer flying off of the bass drum. Again nothing really new. But nothing bad either.
Lyrics — 9
Dual vocals, one more hard edged the other more melodic. Perfect. 'Nuff said there. The lyrics still feel like past 7D records save for one I thought was note-worthy. Number five "This Life" is a softer more balladic number about becoming/being a father. This shows a maturity and security that they can write and perform songs like this and not worry about people saying they're going soft and mushy. Just listen to the 4 songs before and 5 after to dispell any theories about that (last track is an acoustic song). The rest of the songs are pretty much normal 7D lyrics.
Overall Impression — 9
You can recognize Sevendust playing from a car across a wal-mart parking lot. Nobody else has a sound like them. But trying to figure what song it is and what album it's from, well that's where the fun starts because they do have very similiar sounds. This album is no exception. Some would say that's bad that they're not experimenting. Some people would argue the other point of don't fix what ain't broken. Well, variety is the spice of life and I personally think 7D could use a lil pinch, but they've found their style and groove and it works. This is another great album and is worth picking up. 'Ugly' and 'Pieces' start off the record phenominally and 'this life' offers a nice change of pace. I'd buy it in a flash if it were gone because it is another good CD from them.