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Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow Explicit Lyrics
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Explicit Version. Sevendust are back with their seventh studio album. Produced by Sean Groove, Morgan Rose and John Connolly. For the first time since Animosity (2001), the band has collaborated with outside artists, including Chris Daughtry and members of Alterbridge. The first single is 'Prodigal Son'. Sevendust is Lajon Witherspoon, Morgan Rose, John Connolly, Vince Hornsby and Sonny Mayo.
Top Customer Reviews
I highly recomend this album. Album highlights include inside, enough, hope, walk away and scapegoat.
I wish I had have downloaded this CD rather than purchase it...save your $$
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Chapter VII is a nice mix of heavy rock and melodies, like most of their CDs. The only reason I knock this album down to a 4.5 instead of 5 is that we all saw what Sevendust was capable of with "Alpha." HEAVY Sevendust is the best kind of Sevendust. On this album, we see 2 or 3 slower rock songs again, as in previous years. As much as I like Lajon's singing voice, I was hoping the group was going to continue with last year's pace, all-out heavy rock music. Still, the album is excellent.
With 12 songs that clock in at 53 minutes, we receive a nice amount of music on this CD. That pleases me. Also, there are a few guitar solos that are done quite well. I love guitar solos, so those made me happy when I heard them. It was track #4 that had me smiling on my drive to work this morning.
Overall, GREAT CD that is very worthy of a purchase. I bought it off iTunes this morning for $10 (I wanted it for the work day), and will buy the actual CD tonight after work for $10. So, I'll be spending $20 on the album, and I'm not regretting it. It's another Sevendust CD, you can never go wrong with that. Buy it.
That said, onto reviewing the album. I apologize in advance for how long this will be.
Chapter VII is, without a doubt, a progression from the band's previous release, Alpha. Much as I love that album, it had too many songs that tried to be heavy just for the sake of being heavy. In other words, they had very little melody and what melody there was didn't help make the song very listenable. I'm talking about songs like "Deathstar," "Beg To Differ," "Story Of Your Life," and most definitely "Alpha." The same can be said for a handful of tracks from the Next record, including "Hero," "Pieces," "Silence," and "The Last Song." Now don't get me wrong, I love a heavy Sevendust song as much as the next guy. But it seemed like on these songs the band tried a little too hard to emphasize just how heavy they can be, and personally I think it didn't do them any favors outside of performing them live, where heavier songs always sound better. If anything, Alpha was more or less "Next Part Deux" to me. The way I see it, Sevendust are at their best when their albums strike that perfect balance between beauty and brutality, and this new release does just that, not unlike the nearly seven-year old Animosity.
The album kicks off with "Inside," one of the many songs on the record that I consider to be absolutely perfect in every respect. It is followed by "Enough," which although good doesn't quite stack up to its predecessor. "Hope" and "Scapegoat" are next, and they pick the album right back up on the note that "Inside" left off at. The chours and guitar solo (courtesy of Alter Bridge's Mark Tremonti) on "Hope" are particularly noteworthy; the chorus being one of the most powerful of Sevendust's career in my opinion. Probably the best and most passionate screaming I've ever heard Morgan do, and that's really saying something. "Fear" is my least favorite track on the album. I'm not saying it's bad, but there's just nothing really special about it. "The Past," a song which Chris Daughtry contributes his powerful pipes to, is in a word incredible. Definitely one of the better collaborations the group has done. (I think I'm the only person I know who DIDN'T like Chino Moreno's guest vocals on "Bender" from the Home album. Sorry guys; I think his voice just sucks.)
"Prodigal Son," the song chosen as the album's first single, is the funky and soulful side of Sevendust we have all come to know and love over the years. I defy any of you to not have the chorus stuck in your head after listening to it a couple of times (or to at least to not start saying "I'm comin' on like an elephant gun!" at the most random times). "Lifeless" is another stunner, especially in the pre-chorus when the music tones down and Lajon sings beautifully. "Sorrow," the group's collaboration with Alter Bridge frontman Myles Kennedy (another one of the most powerful voices in rock today), is right up there with Aaron Lewis' performance on "Follow" in my opinion. He definitely has a better range and sense of melody than Lewis. "Contradiction" reminds me of what "Rumble Fish" from the Home album would sound like if the band wrote it today, and that certainly isn't a bad thing. The closing track on most copies of this album, "Walk Away," is the true epic here. Over six minutes in length, and while it might not be as diverse in composition as "Burn" from Alpha, it is just as good. I say most copies because I bought mine at Best Buy, and it includes two bonus tracks, "Lucky One" and "Heart In Your Hands." The former doesn't do much for me and I don't rate it any higher than "Fear," but the latter is classic Sevendust through and through. Melodic, soulful, and heavy in all the right places.
Everyone in the band is in top form here, particularly Lajon and Morgan, whose drumming is somewhat, dare I say it, Vinnie Paul-esque this time around. The man continues to impress me more with every new album Sevendust puts out. And while this recording might be Sonny Mayo's swan song with the band, he certainly does not disappoint, contributing the best riffs and solos of his near four year tenure.
So, to sum up, an "out of 10" rating for each song:
6) "The Past"-10/10
7) "Prodigal Son"-10/10
11) "Walk Away"-10/10
12) "Lucky One" (bonus track)-8/10
13) "Heart In Your Hands" (bonus track)-10/10
Thirteen tracks, nine of which I consider perfect and some of the best in Sevendust's entire catalog. I can't be much more honest than that.
That said, too much attention goes to the Sonny/Clint thing. John Connolly is an excellent guitarist by any standard, and Vinnie Hornsby on bass is utterly insane in the best bassist kind of way. While Morgan Rose's powerful drumming and backing vocals and Lajon Witherspoon's sometimes-raging sometimes-gentle vocals often take center stage, John and Vinnie together form the solid sinews of each song, whether with Sonny, Clint or any of their guest instrumentalists. That kind of flexibility for a rhythm duo should not be passed up.
To the album itself:
"Chapter VII" is the most brooding and mood-changing album since "Animosity". It reflects the band's maturity and that they are consummate artists - something that may not be appreciated by fans who stopped listening after the viciously good "Home" or who didn't tune in until the mainstream-friendly but deliciously experimental "Seasons".
Where "Alpha" was pure aggression (listening to the title song is like kickboxing on four shots of espresso), "Chapter VII" remains agitated but is consciously brooding and sometimes defiant.
"Inside" is an awesome opening track (though I would have put "Enough" later in the album, since it shares the same energy and made me wonder whether they were two movements on the same theme). I can picture the lights slowly coming up as Morgan's drumming agitates further to the driving guitar crescendos, followed by Lajon's terse argument and his more melodic self-rebuttal as John, Vinnie and Sonny blend into a tempo change that at once foretells and anticipates the complex harmony at the core of the song.
"Hope" is, ironically, the darkest song on the album, though Mark Tremonti's guitar work adds a stunning narrative that makes me wonder if the band will tap him if Lowery takes on another project. There's something in the pacing of "Scapegoat" that doesn't seem to mesh as well with other tracks; "Prodigal Son" is the opposite - strongly driven by Lajon's own vocal rhythm. "Lifeless" and "Walk Away" are both masterful and let each member of the band shine - blends of minor and power chords, alternatingly intense and soulful drumming, shifting bass lines that both lead and drive the melody, and Lajon's incredibly expressive range.
In short, "Chapter VII" is an excellent album that, while not as singles-friendly as "Animosity" or "Next", holds together in a cohesion that good albums should and rare albums do.
Truth is, listening to Sevendust is like getting together with old friends. There's a certain sense of comfort, of knowing what to expect. More or less, Sevendust haven't drastically altered their sound over the years. Each album has been marked with a significant growth, but not enough to turn off the fanbase. It should come as no surprise, then, that "Chapter VII: Hope & Sorrow" -- rushed out 13 months after "Alpha" -- has the band going through the motions. Usually, with two years between albums, any band can come up with something that is both satisfying and refreshing. Being the first time Sevendust have released two albums so closely together, it is also the first time they have fallen short of expectations.
That's not to say that their seventh effort is a bad one. It's a totally listenable album, especially for the faithful fan, but there is nothing here that hasn't been done already on the previous six efforts. It's got a strong start with the intense "Inside" -- which would make a perfect set opener for their upcoming tour -- and songs like "Hope" and the groovy first single, "Prodigal Son," stray from the "Alpha" formula, turning out to be the most interesting tracks. In fact, the main problem with this album is that it's basically "Alpha" redux. Had they taken more time to tour with that album and record this material, we might have something a little more interesting to listen to. Then again, if they had waited, Sonny wouldn't have gotten his part in this, his closing chapter with the band. But I digress.
In an attempt to up the ante (and perhaps have a bid at rock radio success) the help of American Idol's Chris Daughtry and Alter Bridge's Miles Kennedy and Mark Tremonti is enlisted. Tremonti's contribution to "Hope" is definitely a highlight, but Miles and Daughtry both seem to have trouble meshing with Lajon's vocal style. These collaborations have nothing on the likes of Skin, Chino Moreno or even Aaron Lewis, and each respective singer tends to overpower their song. Definitely a downer. Overall, the album isn't terrible, nor does it have vultures circling above the band's head. It's just a slight mis-step is all. Hopefully with the original line-up intact, the next chapter in the band's story will be a more exciting one.