Release Date: April 20, 2010
Reviewed by Evelyn Miska

Sevendust first made their appearance on the music scene in the late 1990s and over the years steadily put out albums and gained a following. However, when guitarist Clint Lowery left the group in 2003, things came to a bit of a halt. Although the band continued to produce songs, none of them seemed to have the same success as when Lowery was part of the group. However, Sevendust managed to hang on for those years and, much to their delight, Lowery came back in early 2008. The band’s latest release, Cold Day Memory, is truly a collaborative effort with lyric contributions from all the band members and a surprising blend of hardcore, metal and melody.

What will probably be most surprising to new listeners is how melodic their brand of heavy metal/rock can be. Sure, there are tracks such as “Splinter” and “Karma” where there are good doses of that metal roar, but frontman Lajon Witherspoon can do more than just scream. “Splinter” and “Forever” both have some good, driving drum and guitar riffs that amplify that metal mood and, with tracks like this, it isn’t hard to see how this could be fun live.

However, the album does falter in some areas. Tracks such as “Unraveling” have almost too much going on between the song’s sentiment and the layers and layers of instrumentation and vocals. The message is understandably dramatic, but it almost gets lost in the medium. “Ride Insane” also falls into this same trap and while the core of the song is good, there’s too much happening and it ends up taking away from the song itself.

“The End Is Coming” opens with a very dramatic introduction and moves into what is de rigueur for Sevendust. As with almost all of their songs, the track follows the same balance with a blend of heavy drums, somewhat melodic verses and ultra heavy and scream-filled chorus. It isn’t necessarily a bad combination of things, but the problem comes in when that seems to be the only trick a band has in their bag.

Sevendust certainly has a big sound and equally large ambitions, but even with the return of Lowery, they need to consider branching out a bit if they want to widen their audience at all. What they do and are good at is fine, but they need to figure out how to finesse their sound and formula so it doesn’t sound like the same track on repeat.

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