Cold Day Memory review by Sevendust

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  • Released: Apr 20, 2010
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 9.2 (66 votes)
Sevendust: Cold Day Memory
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Sound — 7
Sevendust's eighth studio album Cold Day Memory marks the return of guitarist Clint Lowery after a four-year break from the band, which had been trekking onward with Sonny Mayo during that time. Apparently Lowery felt the new record was one of the most difficult because there was more pressure to deliver quality material after being gone for an extended period. The resulting sound stays consistent with Sevendust's musical history, but it's true that the added guitar nuances did provide Cold Day Memory with its best moments. The album, which never ventures too far outside of the band's comfort zone, still contains enough catchy, melodic hooks that it will undoubtedly still fare well on the Billboard alternative charts.

This time around Cold Day Memory worked with producer Johnny K, who in the past has aided bands like Disturbed and Staind obtain a commercially viable sound. He doesn't disappoint with Cold Day Memory, which is chock-full of possible singles. There are quite a few tracks that follow a similar format, namely one with laid-back, smooth verses and exploding choruses that allow the metal to come through the mix. Splinter, Unraveling, and Karma are among the tracks that stick with this approach, and while predictable, you usually are guaranteed a nice crescendo. Plenty will feel the band has taken the safe path musically speaking, but the new album does have a slightly broader musical scope than some of Sevendust's peers.

At times the band broaches the industrial genre, but those moments are extremely fleeting. In both Splinter and Forever Dead, the intros feature computer-like effects that could easily have led into NIN territory. But that big transition never happens, and Sevendust usually sticks with a fairly straightforward alternative metal sound. Through it all, vocalist Lajon Witherspoon is a powerhouse in the vocal department and easily bounces between beautiful crooning and demonic growls.

Lowery and fellow guitarist John Connolly are the individuals who deserve to be given the most credit on Cold Day Memory, however. When you think a particular song is going to revolve around the usual power chords, the guitar team whips out some intriguing effects and lead work. Whether it's the whining guitar sound in Karma, the Perfect Circle-like intro in Ride Insane, or the sonic delivery in Strong Arm Broken, Lower and Connolly continue to pique one's interest.

Lyrics — 7
The lyrical content on Cold Day Memory emphasizes inner personal conflict or general obstacles in life, and the subjects are a fitting match for the music usually. Whether in Forever Dead (So go, now find yourself; You're selfish, condescending) or Unraveling (I want the world to see; You sold a broken dream; You were not there for me; I was unraveling), there is a general sense of overcoming hindrances. The lyrics are fairly commonplace for rock, with everyone from Disturbed to Killswitch Engage delivering similar themes.

Overall Impression — 7
Sevendust hasn't ventured too far out of its comfort zone this time around, although the creative effects and instances with computer-esque sounds (think Linkin Park) do add a bit more flavor. For the most part, Cold Day Memory does offer some satisfying alternative metal, even if it is slightly predicable. The arrangements are aided by Lowery and Connolly's fresh choices in the guitar arena, and as always, Witherspoon has a much broader range of vocal versatility and that in itself can carry the album.

30 comments sorted by best / new / date

    strat0blaster
    "Sevendust hasn't ventured much out of their comfort zone?" Really? Compare "Splinter" with "Denial" and repeat that comment. This is the most unabashedly metal album they've ever done, and is much heavier overall than any other album they've done. The drumming has stepped up a ton, the guitar work is tight and on point, and it's extremely aggressive. I've been a fan of this band since they were Crawlspace, and this album blew me away 100%.
    Violent Kid
    mrb1946 wrote: I think this album was more of a 8.5-9.. Definitely deserves better than 7.. And they're finally making the transition into better, more technical solos with the return of Lowrey.
    Couldn't agree more. I was pretty impressed with the album as a whole. You can definately hear Clint's influence on the overall sound; it's more melodic like some of their earlier stuff. And Lajon's vocals are sick, per usual. For anyone who liked Breaking Benjamin's Dear Agony, you'll probably dig this too
    jayfrantz
    I thought the album deserved a much higher rating than what it got. This was 100% better than the last three and I still find new stuff in it every time I listen to it. Clint and John did an awesome job with this, Morgan is more aggressive on the drums this time, and LJ just kicks ass on this one. This album is going to be tough to beat for years to come.
    roosterfx1
    i love bands that have interesting vocalists like sevendust, deftones, skindred system
    mrb1946
    I think this album was more of a 8.5-9.. Definitely deserves better than 7.. And they're finally making the transition into better, more technical solos with the return of Lowrey.
    MYLILSS
    i am huge fan of sevendust, and thought this was one of there best albums yet ... i havent quit listening to this album since i got it in the mail via the preorder thing they had going. they really stepped it up on this one
    ibanez124
    It is definetly a welcome change back to the days of Seasons and Alpha. Hope and Sorrow didnt really do anything for me, especially with nine hour intros on each song.
    EpiExplorer
    It sounds like a wierd mix between Trivium, Skindred and AHIG Slipknot.. Iunno. Its all can describe it as. But its not too bad. Better than Disturbed in any case.
    Chevelle454
    Sick album, i did a preorder and got it almost a week before it came out, and it was signed. These guys put on the best live show, even better than Van Halen when i saw them
    fuzzymunkee
    this album is pretty killer. better than Chapter VII by far. Lajon Witherspoon is a really underrated singer.
    JamesAutumn
    i think it's a good album overall and its good that original lineup kept there original sound, and lajon just has an amazing soulful voice especially on "Better Place" and there are several track where him and clint are harmonizing beautifully. it goes to show that original lineup bands don't suck when they come back. atleast in the case of Sevendust.
    TheAbsentOne
    Shustermeister wrote: Bah, am i the only one that doesn't compare Sevendust with Disturbed? They really sound nothing alike... Anyways, good album.
    Thank you, I never thought they sounded similar and I've been a long time fan of both and have seen Sevendust and Disturbed live. They're both amazing, but I don't find them to be as similar as some say..
    Shustermeister
    Bah, am i the only one that doesn't compare Sevendust with Disturbed? They really sound nothing alike... Anyways, good album.
    mr_metal121
    damn, love Sevendust, haven't heard them in ages, surprised they have a newey out at the moment, Hope and Sorrow was kick ass, definitely gonna check this out
    fuzzymunkee
    this album is amazing and really deserves more than a 7. They really stepped up to the plate here and having Clint back helped for sure. I still fail to see why this band is so underrated too. I've seen them live numerous times and they still are the greatest live show out there.
    scottyboy45
    sevendust is the best band live that i have ever seen and i have seen alot of bands! This is an awesome album ! Not only do they write great music but they are a very hard working band and tour a shitload! I have much respect for these guys. I have been a sevendust fan like stratoblaster since they were crawlspace .. and they just keep getting better! Morgan is one the the best drummers in the world that no one really knows about.. hands down!
    fuzzymunkee
    Shustermeister wrote: I was actually just about to say that slipknot4adam. This is the most "agreeing" ive ever seen from UG.
    It's hard for people to rip on a great underrated band.
    adampwatson
    Sevendust are great! True they haven't strayed away from their other records but that's why i still listen to them! The alternate tunings and heaviness is awesome. And no they don't sound like Disturbed. Ever.
    Shustermeister
    I was actually just about to say that slipknot4adam. This is the most "agreeing" ive ever seen from UG.
    slipknot4adam
    anyone notice that we all think this album is killer? this is the first time i have been on a review on this site and everyone is pretty much agreeing that this album rocks. Clint back makes such a difference. the songwriting on this album is tons better then what it was on the past 3. and they weren't terrible albums, but compared to this one and seasons, not even close. good to see people appreciate how completely awesome sevendust is!
    guitter515
    First, why would you want Sevendust to experiment? The band has a trademark sound that is one of a kind. It doesn't make sense to me why anyone would want them to attempt to sound like other bands such as NIN. Second, the album is one of there best efforts, probably second to animosity. Third, i believe this is one of the very few times where a band actually did put out the heaviest album they have ever done and the most melodic they have ever done. Normally when band's state this is their goal it is rarely achieved. As Lajon says on the dvd he feels that the heaviest music can still be accompanied/mixed with quality melodic singing. In all the band has a signature sound, why should the stray from it? Its what makes them Sevendust.
    loreo316
    How do you have Cold Day Memory as their worst rated album? I'm not saying its the best but its definitely not the worst. Only 3 song on the album dont really catch my ear but the rest are very solid. Best song on the album is Nowhere
    Mainer
    Shustermeister wrote: Bah, am i the only one that doesn't compare Sevendust with Disturbed? They really sound nothing alike... Anyways, good album.
    hmmm, for the most part no, but sometimes
    Ayoung
    I'm with Stratoblaster. I've been dying for another incredible Sevendust album since Season.Morgan definitely stepped up the drumming. The guitar work is the most intense I've heard come from Sevendust yet. I like Disturbed as much as the next jackass but they don't even come close to Sevendust. Hell look at how long Clint has been writing music (Steel Rain).
    SIEGE312
    They don't change anything really from their past albums, though you can definitely tell Lowery's progression from the early days through his time with Dark New Day, his guitar work seems a little cleaner this time around. That all said, the fact that they didn't experiment much as they already did with Hope & Sorrow, who says that's necessarily a bad thing. They've definitely found their niche in the Alt. Metal scene now that they've matured some. I think they can churn out some mainstream accessible yet decently heavy music for a couple albums until they get bored.
    mrb1946
    I think this album was more of a 8.5-9.. Definitely deserves better than 7.. And they're finally making the transition into better, more technical solos with the return of Lowery.
    staind_dust87
    Its an awesome album, it doesnt really do anything totally different from the last few albums but Clint def brings a new vibe to it. it has a little more of a "seasons" feel to it. The guitar work shines the most on Cold Day Memory. Good job guys
    Shebz11
    all the songs in this album are so repititive.....i expected something much better