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Sevendust - Cold Day MemorySevendust: Cold Day Memory
Asylum Records

Sevendust's Cold Day Memory Leaves Lasting Impression

Mention the band Sevendust to most rock fans and "nu-metal" is likely how the group would be classified. While that genre is clearly where the Atlanta-based quintet got its start in the mid-1990s, Sevendust's eighth album, Cold Day Memory, continues the band's steady evolution from riff-rockers to a dynamic and melodic hard rock powerhouse.

The first single from Cold Day Memory, "Unraveling," has been a smash on rock radio, sitting in the top-20 of Billboard's Active Rock chart for multiple weeks. The mid-tempo cut, co-written by Sevendust and Dave Bassett, showcases the trade-off and harmony vocals of lead singer Lajon Witherspoon and guitarist/vocalist Clint Lowery, resulting in a sweeping, emotional anthem about disillusionment.

Sitting side-by-side with the melodic tracks are the signature crushing riffs and head-splitting aggressive songs that fans have come to expect. Cold Day Memory has plenty of those moments, particularly the lead track, "Splinter," which features some old-school thrash-influenced guitar lines. Along with "Forever," "Ride Insane" and "Strong Arm Broken," the heavier side of Sevendust is represented quite well on the album.

Witherspoon and Lowery, along with guitarist John Connelly, bassist Vince Hornsby and drummer Morgan Rose, have crafted a record that comfortably straddles both sides of Sevendust's sound, with the added bonus of blistering guitar solos on a number of the tracks, including "Nowhere," "Confessions" and "Karma" to name a few.

Most impressive, however, is that Cold Day Memory pushes the proverbial genre "box" even wider for Sevendust. While the band has explored more "epic" or "progressive" songs in the past, most notably with the nine-minute "Burn," found on 2007's Alpha, new songs such as "The End is Coming" and "Better Place," albeit shorter, give a nice glimpse into Sevendust's growth as songwriters.

If there is a criticism of Cold Day Memory, it's the lyrical content. While well written and from the heart, it seems each Sevendust album revolves around the same stories of anger, frustration and personal struggle. Although life experiences are obviously a great source of inspiration for the band and resonate with fans, it would be nice to see Sevendust branch out with its lyrics in the future.

Regardless, Cold Day Memory captures the band at a creative high point. The ebb and flow of the album takes the listener on quite a ride, with a diverse slate of songs that appeal to both diehard and mainstream rock fans. Time will tell if Cold Day Memory is the record that propels Sevendust into the spotlight once again, but it certainly has raised the bar for modern rock.

- Brian Heaton

Copyright 2010, Brian Heaton. All Rights Reserved.