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Sevendust - "Cold Day Memory" (CD)

Sevendust - "Cold Day Memory" CD cover image

"Cold Day Memory" track listing:

1. Splinter
2. Forever
3. Unraveling
4. Last Breath
5. Karma
6. Ride Insane
7. Confessions (Without Faith)
8. Nowhere
9. Here and Now
10. The End Is Coming
11. Better Place
12. Strong Arm Broken

Reviewed by on June 3, 2010

"...'Cold Day Memory' will stick with you like a dream you don’t want to end."

Think – how many bands do you know that have released eight albums? How many bands out of that number do you know that have the same lineup of band members on the eighth album as they had on their first? Now, here’s the reason “Cold Day Memory” gets 4.5/5 skulls - how many of those bands are still relevant and making music as good as their early music? With “Cold Day Memory,” Sevendust crushes all doubts and rises above lesser bands with their near-perfected blend of syncopation, groove-laden rhythms, and bright melodic singing mixed with multi-voiced yells.

Starting from the top, the heavy groove has always been a central part of Sevendust’s music, from the irresistible syncopation of early songs like “Black,” “Home,” and “Praise,” but the early days are not just “the early days” to this band. The opening track to “Cold Day Memory,” “Splinter,” comes in with the same fast-paced syncopation they never lost over eight albums. All over songs like “Splinter” and “Ride Insane” is another Sevendust trademark – huge heavy groove breakdowns. These involve drummer Morgan Rose going nuts with his feet while hitting his cymbals steady as the band plays to the kick drum rhythm.

The music on “Cold Day Memory” sounds reminiscent of the music on 2001’s “Animosity” and 2003’s “Seasons” albums. With Clint Lowery back on guitars and backing vocals, after a three-album stint with guitarist Sonny Mayo, the haunting and lush background guitar work came back as well. There’s too much going on in songs such as “Last Breath,” “Confessions (Without Faith),” and “Karma” to catch it all the first or second time around. Ear candy like this makes this album worth many plays. Moreover, there are some very well-fitted and intricate guitar solos throughout the album for fans of technical prowess.

In the area of vocals, Sevendust has always been waving the flag of “we have clean vocals and we’re heavier than you!” The vocal talent of Lajon Witherspoon is undisputed, and he’s even more boisterous on “Cold Day Memory” than earlier albums. He also has the trademark Sevendust backing vocals of Morgan Rose and Clint Lowery, assisting with various signature yells, whispers, and sung parts. The only thing lacking on this album (as with a lot of metal) is the lyrical writing. Most of the choruses are huge and meaningful, but the verses seem unfocused and vague at times. Regardless, “Cold Day Memory” will stick with you like a dream you don’t want to end. Sevendust have become veterans of metal with “Cold Day Memory,” and have only gotten better with time.

Highs: Clint Lowery is back, Lajon Witherspoon’s vocals are top-tier, and the Sevendust groove is back and heavier than ever.

Lows: The lyrical writing still isn’t that strong.

Bottom line: You’d be hard pressed to find near perfect albums like these still being made eight albums into their career by bands from the nu-metal days. "Cold Day Memory" is a colossal, heavy, and beautiful album best played on repeat.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)