SEVENDUST – Truth Killer (Album Review)

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Fourteen times is definitely a charm.

When a band has come within a stone’s throw of crossing the 30 year threshold of a career marked by critical acclaim and massive popular awareness, titles like veteran or elite tend to go without saying. Likewise, when said outfit also manages to maintain a highly stable lineup and has gone fourteen studio albums deep into the auditory breach, there is bound to be a fair degree of stylistic evolution and experimentation occurring at some point. Such is the disposition of 90s alternative metal/post-grunge icons Sevendust, whom have now found themselves among the auspicious ranks of Napalm Records and have walked a rather impressive tightrope between the impact-based, infectious grooves of the nu-metal craze and the various developments in modern rock practices that have come to pass in the subsequent decades. As such, it logically follows that their latest LP dubbed Truth Killer comes with a high degree of intrigue and gravitas, though rarely does the prevailing of logic pack such a heavy punch.

The onset of veteran status and the throes of middle age may well have served to sharpen this quintet’s execution of their craft, but thankfully it has done nothing to diminish the raw intensity that originally made them a household name. Led by the versatile and brooding baritone of highly charismatic helmsman Lajon Witherspoon, this troupe of Atlanta-born sonic surgeons run the gamut of just about every modern rock trick in the book, showing zero signs of wear or contrivance that can often come with maintaining a consistent style over 3 decades. The dank, down-tuned stomp and atmospheric droning bits thrown into the mix by co-founder and rhythm guitarist John Connolly and the expressive lead work thrown in by long-time axe-slinger Clint Lowery prove pivotal in painting a tapestry of modern angst, while the steady drive of the long-serving rhythm section in bassist Vince Hornsby and drummer Morgan Rose provide an unbreakable foundation that keeps this modern colossus from collapsing under the incredible weight of sound that has been thusly tamed in the studio by producer Michael Baskette, whose handiwork on Sevendust’s acclaimed 2020 LP Blood & Stone speaks for itself.

“Truth Killer” Artwork

Though this towering collection of bottom-heavy bangers fits pretty comfortably into the existing repertoire sporting the Sevendust name, those who have shared their journey for any part of the past few decades will note some rather interesting developments. Arguably the most overt element of change at play is the heightened level of atmospheric and electronic elements that are along for the ride, particularly the almost pop/rock balladry that kicks things off with the unusually subdued opening entry I Might Let The Devil Win”, almost functioning as a drawn out, four minute prelude before the coming fury, save for the crooning vocal performance out of Witherspoon and the conventional song structure being employed. Likewise, the upbeat yet generally lighter and ultra-catchy rocker “Superficial Drug” features a far more understated guitar presence relative to the sea of electronic sounds and a similarly smooth and pop-like vocal delivery, resulting in a gothic-tinged take on the alternative metal coin that could almost be mistaken for Evanescence.

Yet barring the aforementioned outliers and a general tendency towards accenting the backing keyboard work a bit often at key points throughout the rest of the album, that same brand of modern aggression that fans have come to expect is firmly in place. Pummeling entries like “Won’t Stop The Bleeding”, “Everything” and “Sick Mouth” don’t pull any punches between the thudding stomp of the guitar work and the signature growl that Witherspoon regularly employs to complement is forceful clean work he brings to each infectious chorus. Truth be told, the one area where this album really shines is the sheer quality of the hooks being brought to the table at each refrain section, with up tempo bangers like “Holy Water” and closing hurrah “Fence” going so far as featuring more of a pop/punk vibe to complement the convergence of dank alt. metal riffing and spacey industrial keyboards. But those who are craving a truly old school nu-metal vibe to take them back to this band’s early days need look no further than the scream-happy and punchy bruiser “Love And Hate”, which takes the concept of core fan service and manages to make it fit within the context of a highly evolved opus.

While this album is collectively a single rung lower on the ladder than its riveting 2020 predecessor, it trades blows with it effectively and should absolutely be heard by any self-respecting fan of the fold. The mixture of peripheral atmospheric detailing and hard chugging metallic fervor establishes a rather unique synchronicity that, while not wholly unfamiliar to those that have been paying attention to the developments in the metalcore and modern rock sound over the past 10-15 years, definitely stands out from the pack. For years now there has been buzz about a revival of the music that originally modified the remnants of the old grunge sound and breathed new life into an arguably stagnant rock scene in the latter half of the 90s, but for the guys in Sevendust, there hasn’t really been much of a lull in activity to call this current mold of the band a comeback per say, though the 2020s version is proving to be a cut above the 2010s incarnation.

Released By: Napalm Records
Release Date: July 28th, 2023
Genre: Hard Rock / Alternative Metal


  • Lajon Witherspoon / Vocals
  • Clint Lowery  / Guitars
  • John Connolly /Guitars
  • Vince Hornsby / Bass
  • Morgan Rose / Drums

Truth Killer Track-Listing:

  • I Might Let The Devil Win
  • Truth Killer
  • Won’t Stop The Bleeding
  • Everything
  • No Revolution
  • Sick Mouth
  • Holy Water
  • Leave Hell Behind
  • Superficial Drug
  • Messenger
  • Love And Hate
  • Fence

SEVENDUST Truth Killer will be available in the following formats:

  • 1CD 6p. Digisleeve
  • 1LP Gatefold Vinyl BLACK
  • 1LP Gatefold Vinyl MINT – North American retail Only
  • 1LP Gatefold Vinyl *Die Hard* MARBLED BLUE/WHITE/BLACK (Slipmat, Record Butler) – Napalm Mail Order Only, limited to 300
  • 1LP Gatefold Vinyl GLOW IN THE DARK – Band Mail Order Only, limited to 500
  • 1LP Gatefold Vinyl CURACAO TRANSPARENT – Band Mail Order Only, limited to 500
  • 1LP Gatefold Vinyl GOLD – Band Mail Order Only, limited to 500
  • 1LP Gatefold Vinyl ORANGE TRANSPARENT – Band Mail Order Only, limited to 500
  • Music Cassette NEON YELLOW TRANSPARENT – Napalm Mail Order Only
  • 1CD 6p. Digisleeve + Shirt “Truth Killer” Bundle – Napalm Mail Order Only
  • Digital Album
8.5 Excellent

Back after a highly acclaimed showing in 2020 via their 13th studio album Blood & Stone, alternative metal veterans Sevendust hit pay dirt yet again, now under the banner of Napalm Records no less, with their highly eclectic 14th LP dubbed Truth Killer

  • Songwriting 8.5
  • Musicianship 8.5
  • Originality 8.5
  • Production 8.5

1 Comment

  1. Lindesy K Paige on

    Good day,

    I can’t imagine this world, without music.
    I can’t imagine this world without Sevendust.
    Truth Killer, released, in good time.
    The back up vocals are a magnet.
    The lead vocals have emotion and life as always.
    Riffs, are potent enough, to tickle my appetite, for such great music.
    Drums beating with the rhythm of a true Sevendust fan.
    No doubt, one of the albums, of the year.
    Can’t get anything better.
    May this band keep going on.
    This album, is my therapy, something to keep us alive.
    Content and pleasing to the ears, heart, but mostly the soul.
    Quality, right from the first album, until this day.

    Kind regards.
    Lindesy K Paige

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