Title - 'Time Travelers & Bonfires' (7brothers Records)
Artist - Sevendust
OK, boys and girls, and for all those a little confused as to what this new album is all about, Time Travelers & Bonfires is a collection of brand new songs - along with re-recorded Sevendust classics. Ensuring that they paid homage to some of their best known songs, the newly re-recorded songs include: ‘Black,’ ‘Gone,’ ‘Denial,’ ‘Karma,’ ‘Trust,’ and ‘Crucified.’ Also, six (6) brand new songs have been written and recorded for this highly-inventive acoustic album.
Indeed, back in late 2013, Sevendust partnered with PledgeMusic for a direct-to-fan campaign (www.pledgemusic.com/projects/sevendust) to help fund the creation of Time Travelers & Bonfires. So, yeah, you truly devoted fans rock!
The album, featuring Lajon Witherspoon (vocals), Morgan Rose (drums/vocals), Clint Lowery (guitar/vocals), John Connolly (guitar/vocals), and Vince Hornsby (bass/vocals) first brings us a very; dare I say beautiful arrangement of ‘Come Down,’ before the Gothic vibe of ‘Under It All’ comes forth. The quite brilliant, soaring ‘The Wait’ is next and showcases Witherspoon’s vocals to a tee.
The fraught ‘Upbeat Sugar’ fires out next, like a speeding train it threatens to derail at any juncture even at this acoustic speed! The love song known as ‘One Life’ is next, and is backed by ‘Bonfire,’ a song that forces the guys to strum their acoustic guitars like mad men!
The (quick) follow-up to their ninth studio album, Black Out The Sun continues onwards with ‘Gone,’ a track that highlights just how good a collective outfit Sevendust really are. ’Denial’ is, as always, a HUGE song as is; in many ways the track that follows, ‘Trust.’ The impeccable acoustic guitar work continues on ‘Crucified,’ which allows Witherspoon to become melodic once more.
The album then comes to an end with both ‘Karma,‘ a track that bounces and skips along just perfectly in this acoustic setting, and then comes to a close with, weirdly ‘Black.’ I say weirdly as it is the first single currently being serviced to radio! So quite why it ranks as the 12th track out of twelve on this new recording is beyond me. That said, it is a worthy lead single, one that at times rakes Witherspoon’s vocal chords all across the red hot coals, and so still contains as much power as the original.
Now, it’s not the first time Sevendust has explored their acoustic side. You may recall that back in 2004 they released their critically acclaimed Southside Double-Wide live acoustic album. The difference here may well be as simple as a studio enhancement, but the song(s) remain the same: precise, clear cut, and crisp renditions of prior work combined with new cuts.
Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk