Instead of calling this album Next, they should have called it "Back" – OK, that was pretty bad. After the corporate abortions that were its last two albums, Sevendust has returned to the sound that made the group worth listening to in the first place.



It’s not a complete regression, but the band welded the melody of its last two efforts on to the pummeling groove metal of its first two. "Ugly" and "Hero" are on par with its early hits, and the few power ballads are inoffensive.



Unfortunately, one holdover from 1997 didn’t age well. Lajon Witherspoon still has one of the most soulful voices in any genre; it’s too bad that he’s singing is so clichéd. He doesn’t care what you think, he misses you – stuff like that. It’s not like we’re expecting him to sing about killing dragons, but some creativity would have been nice. Just enjoy the music, and wait for the inevitable nostalgia tour.



Grade: B