Released: Apr 20, 2010
Genre: Alternative Metal
Label: 7 Bros/Asylum Records
Number Of Tracks: 12
Although Sevendust's eighth studio record doesn't venture too far out of the band's comfort zone, it's still full of single-worthy material.
Cold Day MemoryFeatured review by: UG Team, on april 23, 2010 0 of 7 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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. // 7
Lyrics: 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. // 7
Overall Impression: 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. // 7
Cold Day Memory
Snowman388, on june 14, 2010 4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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. // 10
Lyrics: 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. // 9
Overall Impression: 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. // 9