Sound — 10
The sound is a little more melodic, and yet you know without a doubt they are Cold songs. The guitar work is quite similar, although I believe they are playing a step higher as opposed to drop C (not sure though). I love the type of sound they play, but I am more a fan of less complex guitar work in favour of being able to keep a simple melody. People who hate nu-metal, you'll hate this. For previous fans, you won't be disapointed. Innovative? Not really. Catchy and enjoyable? Absolutely.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are true to the band. Cold is incorrectly viewed as just another nu-metal teenage angst-ridden band with whiny lyrics. "The process for making this record wasn't just about dealing with the darkness, the dark side; it was a healing process," says singer/songwriter Scooter Ward. Ward constantly backs up his lyrics by statements like this. One song that sticks out here is Tell Me Why, written for a fan who was in contact with them during the recording process who was battling personal demons. Also, When Heaven's Not Far Away was written for Ward's younger sister who was having health problems. The lyrics show that while they are dark and depressing, it isn't done to complain, it's done to cope. I respect anyone putting their emotions out to the world in an effort to cope. The words themselves are not complex, they are raw emotion. Ward sings with emotion in his trademark voice. Fantastic singer, IMO.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall I'm liking this CD. I have an advance copy, so it won't be on the market for another month or so. Notable tracks include Different Kind Of Pain, Happens All The Time, Heaven's Not Far Away, and When Angels Fly away. I can't say it's any better or worse then Year Of The Spider, it's just a little different. Overall, an outstanding disc from these guys, however it's clearly going to be an underrated disc because of the genre and the band isn't really all that big anyway. Good CD.