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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Sevendust

Cold Day Memory

Review by Vivian Lee

Nu-metallers Sevendust have returned with an eighth offering, Cold Day Memory.   It has been ages since I had heard Sevendust's debut, which seized me with its energy, and held my attention with melodic and sharp-edged vocals, tireless yet restrained drum work.  That’s not to mention the variation from fast and frenzied to sludgy, slow, and heavy. Sevendust's sound is just as driving and energetic as it was on their debut album all those years ago. The aggression is still there; starting out, and recapping with strong tracks ("Splinter,” "Strong Arm Broken").

Lajon Witherspoon's vocals on this album have a Hetfield growl more than a Corey Glover soar, but the range is being expanded with each song (witness "Last Breath” and “Karma”). Guitarists Clint Lowery (Cold Day Memory marks his return to the band) and John Connolly work well together and bassist Vinnie Hornsby and drummer Morgan Rose handle their rhythmic duties well.

I had hoped for something that pushed envelope of development a bit more, but lyrically the band has matured; more than just “angry young man” anthems, but still sharp.  Fans of Sevendust will debate over the status of Cold Day Memory as strongest or weakest of the band's offerings, but it is worth adding to the collection.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Splinter

Computerized sound effects lead into hard riffs that propel this anthem to turning the tables on a tormentor, which is sustained with loud drumming as an undercurrent to alternating three part vocals.

Forever

The energy generated by "Splinter" is continued with this track at first but it becomes slightly quieter.

Unraveling

The strongest aspect of "Unraveling" is the opening guitar melody, a thread that is woven throughout the song's tapestry. Along with the drumming the almost bluesy vocals can be overlooked.

Last Breath

I loved "Last Breath"'s melodic vocals and guitars, energetic and slow but steady rhythm.  This is a good song.

Karma

A sutra chant leads into a mid tempo song about hindsight; and life's journey, filled with rocks in the road.

Ride Insane

With lines like "I've been through hell for a reason/I see my life slipping away,” "Ride Insane" plays like a song advising living in the now - right now.

Confessions

A radio-friendly metal song; it is easy to listen to, nod one's head to the beat and sing along at the top of one's voice.

Nowhere
This is an uptempo cut that is melodic in parts.  It is not strong as its brothers and sisters on the album, but it is listenable.
Here And Now

This is not my favorite, as it simply lacks punch compared to the others.

The End Is Coming
The soaring, hard edged vocals stand out amid the instrumentals here. 
Better Place
The slow soft intro made me hope for something aggressive as a counterbalance, but I was disappointed.  The lyrics are uplifting, though..
Strong Arm Broken
The album's last track is a forceful send-off to the listener, guaranteed to leave the ears ringing
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