By the release of Blood & Stone, the thirteenth album from Atlanta rockers Sevendust, you have to wonder what the band has to do to reach the levels achieved by other radio-friendly rockers. What makes this even more criminal is that as the rock heavyweights bang through the jarring opener “Dying To Live,” Sevendust is clearly capable of making some serious tunes.

Blood & Stone is an absolutely huge-sounding rock album that sees the group kicking this disc off with a thick-sounding guitar that bodes well for the rest of the record. Thankfully, after such a pulsating opener, the rest of Blood & Stone, while not quite matching the opener in terms of brute-force power, still has plenty of punch in its standout tracks. “Blood From A Stone” is another heavy-hitter but, in all honesty, other than maybe “Against The World,” there is very little in the way of weaknesses on this album. Away from the thumping, grunge-laced rock, “Feel Like Going On” is a melodic, American radio rock smash built for arenas as is “Nothing Left To See Here Anymore.” In fact, while we’re on the subject of being built for arenas, in frontman Lajon Witherspoon, Sevendust has a man whose voice is so powerful and emotional it’s simply built to bring packed crowds to their feet.

Maybe the problem with Sevendust is that they’re never very far away from the words “dependable” and “consistent” and that is the case again with Blood & Stone. So, at thirteen albums in, could you accuse the band of playing it safe when it comes to their sound? Of course, you could but, putting a more positive twist on things, you could listen to Witherspoon powering through the emotional “Criminal” or the guys cranking through the brilliant “What You’ve Become” and you could as easily say they’re playing to some very powerful strengths.

If you need further proof on what those strengths are then the album wraps up with Sevendust’s totally joyous rendition of the Soundgarden classic “The Day I Tried To Live.” Now, there are certain iconic rock frontmen you just can’t afford to cover half-heartedly and Soundgarden’s late Chris Cornell is one of them. And, if there is one man who can carry off the task it is Sevendust’s Witherspoon whose powerful, soaring voice does a top class job of paying tribute to the music icon with Sevendust’s smash cover showing just another reason why the band and Blood & Stone deserve to be rocking alongside the elite of the rock world.

Blood & Stone Track Listing:

1. Dying to Live
2. Love
3. Blood From A Stone
4. Feel Like Going On
5. What You’ve Become
6. Kill Me
7. Nothing Left to See Here Anymore
8. Desperation
9. Criminal
10. Against the World
11. Alone
12. Wish You Well
13. The Day I Tried To Live

Run Time: 49:23
Release Date: October 23, 2020
Record Label: Rise Records

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.