Cold Day Memory
Seven Bros./Asylum, 2010
REVIEW BY: Bruce Rusk
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/20/2010
Sevendust is one of those bands that never really got the respect they deserved. It’s just my opinion, but they seemed to have been overlooked by many in the unending wash of angry, nihilistic nu-metal and rapcore that dominated a lot of chart space in the late '90s.
Maybe they weren’t angry enough, or hurt enough, or knucklehead enough, or whatever. Lost among the likes of the angsty emo-metal of Korn and Disturbed and the jackassery of pseudo-metal acts like Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park, Sevendust has teetered on the edge on mainstream success, but never broke past that barrier into greatness. It’s a shame because they stretched the playing field for mainstream metal at the time, falling somewhere between soulful hard rock and gritty, headbanging metal. Throughout their career, despite some minor stylistic changes, their sound has been solid and dependable, with a reliance on strong melodies alongside their heavy, mosh-worthy riffs.
Cold Day Memory, their eighth studio outing, is classic Sevendust and has all the pieces that have made their music so enjoyable in the past: heavy, churning metal punched up with strong melodies and singer Lajon Whitherspoon’s soulful vocals. Also, this release features the original lineup once again, with guitarist Clint Lowery returning after a five-year absence.
Witherspoon’s unique voice and their dedication to melody is what sets this group apart sonically from much of their metal brethren, along with strong vocal harmonies and catchy guitar hooks. They can get introspective and ratchet the noise back as on the track “Confessions,” then turn around and hit you with icy blast beats. The first track that caught my attention was “Last Breath,” a powerful near-ballad that would shine as a radio single. “Karma” features some nice guitar work that reminded me of Adam Jones from Tool and features a chorus of crunchy riffs sure to set heads to banging, as will the breakneck closer, “Strong Arm Broken.”
Since I first heard them, Sevendust haven’t changed that much, but it’s all positive in their case. Throughout the years, these guys have been consistent and true to their musical legacy. Refusing to bow to fads or style, they stick to their proven formula and crank out solid metal with a strong sense of lyrical maturity and a lot of heart. Soldiering through band drama, near financial ruin, and label indifference, the quality of their music has never suffered. Cold Day Memory is another fine addition to their legacy.