|Posted on June 20, 2014 at 12:55 AM|
Sevendust – Time Travelers & Bonfires
Written by The Rock Man
More often than not I love a really good acoustic album by a hard rock/metal band. To be considered as a “really good” acoustic record many things need to line up. The record needs to deliver something unique, the songs need to stack up well in a stripped down format and I do love a strong vocal performance with outstanding harmonies. Of course it goes without saying that the production values should be top notch. When I lay back and close my eyes I want to feel like the band is right there in the room playing just for me. Naturally there are some who hear the word “acoustic” and are instantly dismissive of the whole album without even giving it a listen. I guess for some if there are no electric guitars blasting out of a stack of Marshall amps it’s not real metal.
So along comes an album by Atlanta rockers Sevendust that may actually have something to keep everyone happy. Time Travelers & Bonfires is the band’s latest effort, which features six brand new songs and six re-recorded back catalogue classics. When I heard the band was going down the much travelled acoustic road I did have some pre-conceived ideas about what it would sound like. My initial thought was it was going to be completely stripped back to just a couple of acoustic guitars and vocals. I didn’t expect to hear electric guitar solos which appear on a handful of songs.
One aspect of the record I was looking forward to was the vocal performance of frontman Lajon Witherspoon. On Time Travelers & Bonfires Witherspoon’s singing is elevated to a whole new level of excellence, his beautiful rich soulful vocal tones are on full display on tracks such as Under It All, The Wait and One Life. Bonfire is a definite highlight with its smooth upbeat toe-tapping groove and cool vocal harmonies.
As mentioned, the second half of the record revisits some of the bands previous work with some very interesting and surprising results. Denial is a Sevendust classic and this version re-invents the song and is exceptionally brilliant in its simplicity. Crucified is quite an interesting song with its funky swagger and swing approach while Trust, another fan favourite, lends itself very well to this project. Again, Witherspoon’s vocals are just exceptional. Karma maintains the same spirit as the original version and Black is just simply a brilliant song regardless of the format it is presented in.
I once heard the comment that the measure of any good song can be judged by how well a song sounds in an acoustic setting, that being said the songs that appear on this collection speaks volumes for the quality of Sevendust’s music.
Categories: Album Reviews