Tag Archives: john connolly

The Dotted Line: Sevendust Signs To Rise Records

Here’s a little bit of news from the Sevendust camp that is sure to generate some interest in the hearts of their worldwide fans. Check out the full press copy below and I will close with some thoughts afterwards.

The Press Release:
Heavy metal legends Sevendust have inked a new record deal with Rise Records. Coming off the success of their last album Kill The Flaw, a record that brought the band their highest album sales chart position of their career, Sevendust join the an impressive roster of labelmates that includes Five Finger Death Punch, Of Mice & Men, Silverstein and PVRIS to name a few. Sevendust is comprised of iconic vocalist Lajon Witherspoon, the dual-guitar attack of John Connolly and Clint Lowery, and the driving rhythm section of Vince Hornsby on bass and Morgan Rose on drums.

“Signing Sevendust is definitely one of the highlights of my career. I’m honored to work with an artist with a legacy as great as theirs, and I’m really excited to work with them on the forthcoming album,” explains Craig Ericson, Founder of Rise Records.

“For Sevendust, it was important to find a label that understood where we’ve been and have some new ideas and strategies on where we can go. Through our 20 years playing together, we have garnered the best fans in the world that have become our extended family. Rise from the very beginning explained a very unique game plan to us that we feel like is going to help us celebrate our die hard Sevendust fans and expose us to new ones,” explains guitarist John Connolly. “There is an excitement we feel just knowing the Rise team is going to be behind this new chapter of our career”
Continue reading The Dotted Line: Sevendust Signs To Rise Records

Sevendust’s Self-Titled Debut Hits 20 Years (1997-2017)

It was twenty years ago today that a brand new band on the Metal horizon released their self-titled debut album and I am talking about the crushing power that is Sevendust from Atlanta, GA. The guys were dishing out a sound that came to be known as Alt-Metal or to some “Nu-Metal” and I have to admit that I wasn’t paying attention at all to this kind of thing at the time. Instead, I was finding myself focusing on the stuff coming out of the European side of the Metal fence since it was something that served my own musical cravings a lot more. I disclose this information not as a slight to Sevendust at all but more as an awareness on how one can miss something exciting without even realizing it. Sevendust would be the bands final name as they began as Snake Nation, Rumblefish and then Crawlspace. I’m glad that they settled on Sevendust.

The band members at the time of the debut consisted of Lajon Witherspoon (lead vocals), Clint Lowery (lead guitar/backing vocals), John Connolly (rhythm guitar/backing vocals), Vinnie Hornsby (bass) and Morgan Rose (drums/backing vocals). Though Lowery would leave the lineup in 2003 and be replaced by Snot’s Sonny Mayo, he has since returned to the group and the full original lineup continues to tour together for their legions of fans. This body of musical work was co-produced by Twisted Sister’s Jay Jay French and it was actually thanks to an episode of MTV’s “Behind The Music” that I even first heard the name Sevendust. According to historical record, French’s time working with the band was short-lived. I’ve placed the albums Wiki entry down below for all of the finer details and since I was not in “their camp”, it works out better for you readers at the end of the day. Down below are the original track listings for the release. Later on we would find an expanded release coming out with some bonus live tracks and other versions but this is only about the debut.
Continue reading Sevendust’s Self-Titled Debut Hits 20 Years (1997-2017)

“Alpha” by Sevendust

Artist: Sevendust
Title: “Alpha”
Label: Asylum/7 Bros Records
Release Date: 3/6/2007
Genre: Heavy Metal/Alt-Metal
Rating: 4/5

It is not common to find a band who sounds as fresh as their beginnings by the time that they hit their sixth album but such is the case with the one and only Sevendust. Now armed with a new label that is under their own creative control (the launched 7 Brothers, a division of Asylum Records) they present to their fans “Alpha” – an album that will forever cement why they are one of the most exciting groups in not only Alternative Metal, but in the genre as a whole. Once again, you will hear that singer Lajon Witherspoon is totally on point and one of the better singers in this genre. On the latest albums, we have found him singing with intense levels of melody but he is not your typical growler or screamer by any margin. We get that from drummer Morgan Rose who provides the necessary angst and rage from behind his kit as he performs gravity defying technical patterns at the same time. In my humble opinion, he is what more Metal drummers should be like as his skills are always commendable and stylish. The pair works well as far as the dynamics go in Sevendust and this is prevalent across the record – but mostly in the closer of the title track “Alpha”. The song “Beg To Differ” is definitely one that will set the crowd to fervor as one of their new favorites since the band once again shows how adept they are at fashioning a song that elicits crowd activity. On “Driven”, there is a lot of the feel that we found them doing on their last album Next; a record that I felt did not get enough attention even though it has been met with largely positive reviews.
Continue reading “Alpha” by Sevendust

“Third World Genocide” by Nuclear Assault

Artist: Nuclear Assault
Title: “Third World Genocide”
Label: SPV Records
Release Date: 8/30/2005
Genre: Thrash Metal
Rating: 2/5

Nuclear Assault was one of those bands from way back in the day of Thrash Metal that always had a strong cult following more than arena level touring capacity. The signing to SPV Records has brought us to “Third World Genocide” and if this is expected to be the bands return to the scene where they are held in high regard, then they could have done a little better at it. I can readily admit that I was not the most ardent of fans of the group but I did always give them some props for the often biting social commentary that was found in their lyrics. John Connolly is a force to be reckoned with onstage and literally screams his lungs out for two-hour sets and they always drew a tremendous crowd in their early days. The new CD has the pre-requisite Thrashing but nothing really stands out like it once had but perhaps to their diehards this is something seen a little easier. It is also layered with a fine dose of humor which is apparent on the songs “Whine And Cheese”, where an almost Sex Pistols like vibe comes across. “Long-Haired Asshole” is Country Metal if needing a genre qualification and you simply laugh as you wonder why a band so noted for brutalizing the ears was taking a seemingly goofy route. The band lineup remains the same as the old days with John Connolly on guitar and vocals, Danny Lilker on bass and vocals with Glen Evans on drums. The only exception is the absence of Anthony Bramante on lead guitar. The album tracks were recorded by Eric Burke but when I caught a performance shortly after the release the slot was being filled by Karl Cochran, who has worked with Ace Frehley on a number of occasions. “Third World Genocide” was not really high on my recommendation list, but again I could be missing something here that I am not designed to get. True fans might love it, but that will be a surprise to me. I expected a little more from “Old School” Thrashers, especially when what comes from bands like Overkill and Exodus still rings true with a historical glory.
Continue reading “Third World Genocide” by Nuclear Assault

“Louder Harder Faster” by Nuclear Assault

Artist: Nuclear Assault
Title: “Louder Harder Faster”
Label: Screaming Ferret Wreckords
Release Date: 10/10/2006
Genre: Thrash Metal
Rating: 2/5

Formed in 1984 at the onset of the Thrash Metal movement Nuclear Assault was a brutal example of what the genre could do to the ears of the audience. Dan Lilker (originally a member of Anthrax), John Connolly, Glen Evans and Anthony Bramante always aimed to destroy on stage and while not everyone’s cup of tea developed a fan base for years to come and released revered Thrash epics such as “Survive” and “Handle with Care”. Unlike many of their peers who changed and modified their brand of sound over the years, Nuclear Assault never veered from the path and as a result remained high on the list of their most ardent supporters while at the same time losing some who might have grown out of the style they played. This DVD is the first ever for the band and while it includes what seems to be a kick ass set of material the release itself is nothing more than a disappointment. Shot during the “Louder, Harder, Faster” festival in 2005, this DVD of the same name is a terribly produced effort that uses minimal camera angles and a sub-par sound recording. Drums are too loud in the production while vocals and lead guitars are impossible to hear. Lilkers bass seems to cut through and perhaps this was the positioning of the mics while this was being done.
Continue reading “Louder Harder Faster” by Nuclear Assault