Sound — 10
Not many bands release eight albums. This is a fact. Fewer bands still have the same line-up from their first album as they do their eighth. This is also a fact. But, the saddest fact of all is that rarely do any of these bands still make good music, possibly their best music yet. Sevendust has risen against the odds for their most recent album and made music their most heavy, technically skilled and creative music yet. "Cold Day Memory" sees the return of Clint Lowery on guitar and backing vocals, meaning Sevendust is back with their original line-up. This allowed them to explore into a region previously unknown to them- technical solos. Clint Lowery plays better than I have ever heard him on this album. Sevendust has always had heavy groove as a foundation for their music, ever since their debut album. From the first track, "Splinter", they show they have maintained the same fast-paced syncopation. This track also sheds light on another Sevendust trademark-huge heavy groove breakdowns. They can also be found on "Ride Insane", my favorite track on the album. The band sounds a lot like their 2001 album "Animosity", but they do venture into newer territory. They sound much more metal than ever before, with heavy riffs, yelling (good yelling) and much more impressive drumming. Check out the breakdown on "Ride Insane" and you will know what I mean. Although Sevendust has worked with Disturbed's producer, they create (or maintain) their own, unique sound. They do not sound like Disturbed. Just thought I should throw that out there.
Lyrics — 9
Lajon Witherspoon sounds much more developed and his voice has more substance than before. He also has Morgan Rose and the aforementioned Clint Lowery backing him with whispers, yells and sung parts. Despite Lajon's clean, beautiful voice Sevendust sounds heavier than many bands out there. However, the lyrics are lacking at times. The choruses are meaningful, but the verses are vague and unfocused. But, Lajon could be singing a menu from a Chinese restaurant and it would still sound phenomenal. Don't let the lyrics put you off this album.
Overall Impression — 9
Sevendust still has the same sound they created in their debut album, but not in an AC/DC kind of way where their songs sound the same (I love AC/DC, so don't get mad at me for hating on them). However, they do vary their sound with more intense, heavier and technical guitar and much tighter and impressive drumming. They sound better than ever, and if their lyrics in the verses were as purposeful as in the choruses, this album would be near perfect.