Sevendust – Cold Day Memory
With the opening track “Splinter” starting off like a runaway freight train, my initial thought is “What train is this, and who’s driving?” For a few seconds I thought it was Avenged Sevenfold. (Isn’t it ironic that both band names include the word “seven”? Don’t you think?) You know the old-school Sevendust fan in me wanted so badly to be falling all over myself and gushing pure rock enjoyment…but alas, I did not. That’s not to say that the disc doesn’t begin with a valiant effort, but for my money, the disc begins like so many others; others that showed promise but failed to deliver. You all know what I mean, right? I’m sure there’s a band out there that you took a chance on, maybe some “new” band that had a sick hit on the radio or caught your attention on a movie soundtrack, only to find that they’re nothing special. Now imagine that feeling when you’ve picked up the latest release by a band you actually remember being awesome. Yup…it sucks. Now, before I get too far, let me say that all hope is not lost before it’s even gained. Any Sevendust fan knows that you can’t judge the buffet before it’s served. A new Sevendust CD is like an un-tapped mine…it’s all about finding the hidden gems among the rough patches.
Sevendust albums have always seemed to me like a collection of song ideas that need a lot of work, with a handful of finished, truly kick-ass songs interspersed. Cold Day Memory, the group’s eighth studio album, starts off as no exception to this trend, but quickly picks-up. Once you get through the first two tracks in the line-up, something changes. The sound becomes more developed, the songs become more engaging, and suddenly you feel like you’re listening to a different CD than you were when you first popped it into your player. Could this disc mark one of those maturing moments in the band’s continuing evolution? Have song structure and melody made their way into the permanent Sevendust mix? Certainly the disc is more pleasantly surprising the deeper in you get, which in itself is one of the biggest improvements over their earlier offerings. (more…)