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Sevendust - Best Of (Chapter 1 1997-2004) Review
By Dan Upton

October 2005 saw the release of Sevendust's fifth studio album Next on new label Winedark. So, like any good label would, TVT took the opportunity to package a retrospective along with a few bonuses. The question of course is how much this package will provide for both the longtime fans and the people just finally getting into the band courtesy of Next.

All of the previous studio CDs are covered, and for the most part they've picked the obvious big tracks, like "Bitch" from their debut, "Waffle" and "Denial" from Home, "Praise" and "Angel's Son" from Animosity, and "Enemy" from Seasons. On the other hand, there are some not-so-obvious choices; Home is a bit overrepresented with 4 of the 12 tracks, including "Rumblefish" which has inexplicably been renamed "Assdrop." There are songs from that disc that I think would've been better, or they could balanced the discs better and added another track from Seasons. The tracks going in order by original CD gives an interesting review of how they've grown as songwriters, particularly in the use of more vocal harmonies. I'm also a little surprised TVT completely neglected the live acoustic release South-side Double-wide, either for that version of "Angel's Son" or perhaps their cover of Johnny Cash's cover of "Hurt."

For the fan who owns all of the studio albums, the draw for this set would be the bonuses: two B-sides to Seasons from the UK version, a cover of Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues," Alice Cooper's "School's Out" as a B-side from their debut, and enhanced CD content including the video for "Praise." Unfortunately, these are rather hit-or-miss, particularly in the case of the B-sides--they were probably passed over from the actual CD for a reason. "Rain" is pretty good, more of the slow heavy melodic stuff from Seasons, but the rest I could do without. The Marvin Gaye cover in particular is kind of disappointing, since Lajon has so much soulful potential with his voice that goes to waste with their harmony arrangements.

Overall, this ends up being pretty much what you'd expect for a greatest hits package--if you're new to the band and want to see where they came from, the 12 retrospective tracks are definitely worth it. On the other hand, if you already own their previous releases, the four bonus tracks and video don't make up for the price of admission.

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