By Simon Vozick-Levinson
Updated March 02, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST

”I thought you knew that pity was a four-letter word,” Lajon Witherspoon barks near the start of Sevendust’s sixth studio disc, Alpha. ”Now I feel the need to make you suffer,” he adds a few minutes later. At least he’s honest. The band mercilessly assaults listeners on songs like ”Aggression” and ”Confessions of Hatred,” burying every potential hook under a barrage of enraged howls and pummeling guitars. Witherspoon’s singing voice is far more expressive than his screams; too bad he uses it so infrequently here.