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Sevendust Cold Day Memory Album CD Review

24 April 2010 35 Comments


By: A. Estes

Sevendust Cold Day Memory Album CD Cover

It’s been almost seven years since Atlanta, Georgia’s Sevendust have recorded with original guitarist Clint Lowery in tow. In that time, Lowery played in Dark New Day with his brother Corey and filled in as a hired-gun for Korn, before reconnecting with the band just in time for the release of 2008’s, Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow, which was recorded with his replacement, Sonny Mayo, in tow. Although Mayo helped keep the band pumping through nearly three album cycles worth of recording and touring, Lowery’s absence was noticeably felt, and longtime fans will breathe a sigh of relief at his return to the fold with the band’s eighth (!) album, Cold Day Memory.

Like any good Sevendust album, Cold Day Memory kicks off with a bang. “Splinter” opens the album with some killer leads by Lowery (oh how we missed you) and the patented three-part vocal harmonizing between the guitarist, singer Lajon Witherspoon and drummer Morgan Rose. From there, the band keeps the energy going through tracks like “Unraveling” and “Forever,” which, at their heart, are classic Sevendust and sound like they could have been lost tracks from 2001’s Animosity. “Karma” finds the band simultaneously crushing and caressing with a killer breakdown that seems designed to incite a moshpit giving way to the soulful melodies of Witherspoon, only serving to show that they’ve still got it after all of these years.

Unfortunately, the middle of the album doesn’t quite live up to what the beginning promises. For the recording of the album, the band brought in producer Johnny K to help them reel things in and find their edge, and while it works in creating some truly memorable songs, they lose focus mid-way through and seem to fall asleep at the wheel. Things pick up a bit again with “Nowhere” and especially “Better Place” –a very Clint-centric song that will appease old-school fans – before capping off with the intense “Strong Arm Broken,” but the middle is perhaps the band at their most middle-of-the-road, and that’s a bummer.

Maybe if they had shaved off a few songs in the middle that just don’t stick (“Ride Insane” in particular) “Cold Day Memory” would have been a tighter and more accomplished affair. Also, it wouldn’t have hurt to let Clint into the spotlight a bit more. Afterall, this is his long-awaited return to the band, but it feels maybe like there was some apprehension about stepping on each other’s feet. Something along the lines of “X-Mas Day” or “Angel’s Son” would have helped add to the dynamic of the album and is something most of us have been craving for years now. I guess if you’re looking for some Clint-tunes, his solo EP, Chills — released under the Hello Demons, Meet Skeletons moniker — will have to suffice for now.

Overall, though, Cold Day Memory marks another exciting chapter in the band’s history. Surely, there are more than a few songs here that will only help to intensify their live show and the album only goes to prove what we all knew all along: that Sevendust are at their best with its classic line-up intact. The CD comes with a bonus DVD that is worth picking up, as it features a documentary on the making of the album that goes beyond the usual fluff most bonus DVD’s consist of. Even though it’s not perfect, Cold Day Memory has enough to please any fan, and that’s enough to recommend it to anyone reading this. Go buy the album, go see them live (where they truly shine) and continue to support the hardest working band on the scene.

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35 Comments »

  • 1942 said:

    This is GOOD but not one standout track. This is an overall disappointment.

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  • darius said:

    incorrect. fantastic record; a much welcomed addition to the 7dust catalog. huge collective sigh of relief from the band’s loyal fans. we all held our breaths with this record after Chapter 7 (worst 7dust album, hands down) and now we rejoice. SEVENDUST is back!

    i disagree with this statement:

    “Unfortunately, the middle of the album doesn’t quite live up to what the beginning promises”

    balogna. the whole album rocks!

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  • SMASHERDEVOURER said:

    DARIUS, YOU ARE SPEAKING STRICTLY FROM A FAN PERSPECTIVE WHICH IS WHY YOU DONT SEE THIS ALBUM’S MEDIOCRITY

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  • darius said:

    no, if that was the case than i wouldn’t dislike Chapter 7 as much as i do. i didn’t like that record from the moment i first heard it. i can listen to my favorite band’s releases with an open mind. i truly love Cold Day Memory.

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  • E said:

    HAHA “fan perspective” well no shit! just because one of your bands comes out with a new record does not mean you will like it, am I right here? Who cares if its from a fan, geez, you know reviews are kind of dumb if you think about it, cuz everebody has their own tastes. But you guys are wrong this is simply an amazing album, the flow is perfect and balanced, if you are a heavy rock fan I think you will love this album! It really grows on you after a couple listens. Hell, my girlfriend loves it just from hearing me listen to it and she never heard of 7d before! But I guess my opinion doesnt mean anything because I am speaking from a “fan perspective” lol. Listen to it yourself a couple times and decide for yourself. Peace Everyone

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  • Andrew said:

    ** @ E: In regards to “you guys are wrong” I just wanted to say that the two hosts of the show, myself and Darius, give the record a thumbs up. Andy (who is different than Andrew) is the one that wrote this review. I just wanted to clarify that.

    My only criticism of the album is it lacks a powerful single. As a whole, though, it’s great. No complaints here.

    ** @ Darius: I don’t think SMASHER had any malicious intent with that comment, as we do talk about Sevendust constantly. I’m more impressed with actually seeing “bologna” spelled correct. And, what is the origin of that? Why did “bologna” become this term that’s synonymous with bs?

    ** @ 1942: I wouldn’t say it’s a disappointment, but you’re right about the standout track. It’s easy to criticize every little thing, but overall, this is a great Sevendust record.

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  • Morgan said:

    I just wanted to say that I am a hard core 7D fan and have been since the beginning. After being somewhat disappointed with Chapter 7 and absolutely hating Alpha, Cold Day Memory is a kickass 7D album. You couldn’t ask for better songs like Splinter and Better Place. I love every single song on the album and do believe that songs like Splinter and Better Place could be strong singles for the band. Clint Lowery has brought back the UMPH that 7D needed to have an album like this. I’ve been honored to have met these men on more than one occasion and even have Morgan Rose’s name tattooed on my leg right above my ankle. I don’t think anyone could be a more hardcore fan of 7D than me and I just happen to be a freelance rock journalist. So, I say to those 7D haters, SUCK ON IT!!

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  • Andrew said:

    I agree with your blasting of Chapter VII, but Alpha was a solid album.

    I think Sevendust has been around so long and earned so much respect that there are very few haters. I’ve seen them countless times over the years and I can count on one hand the bands that were also on those tours that are still around today.

    I’ve seen Sevendust with Clint countless times and with Sonny a few times, and honestly, they rocked just the same. The only issue is limitations on what they could play with Sonny due to not having Clint’s vocals.

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  • Morgan K said:

    I guess we are all entitled to our opinions, Andrew. But I honestly didn’t like Alpha very much. There were a few good songs on that album, but a while back when I did an article ranking 7D albums, Alpha was at the bottom of my list. I have to agree about Clint’s vocals. Sonny was a great addition to the band when Clint left, but in my opinion, Clint’s vocals are far superior and make the band’s sound perfect. And, I’m just curious about something. Everyone calls a certain song on CDM Forever Dead, but on the album it’s just listed as Forever. I know it’s the same song because I’ve got the lyrics memorized. 😉 I LOVE YOUR SITE!!!!!

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  • darius said:

    I’ve seen Sevendust with Clint countless times and with Sonny a few times, and honestly, they rocked just the same. The only issue is limitations on what they could play with Sonny due to not having Clint’s vocals.
    — true statement. perfect.

    i also would like to point out that ALPHA is not just a solid album, it’s a straight-up KICK ASS album. love it. chapter 7 is the worst; Cold Day Memory is a return to form.

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  • Carla said:

    7 was disappointing. This is the hardest working band in music. They can’t hit a home run each time out. The fact that we as fans can unanimously isolate 7 as being below par is a testament to the power of the rest of their catalogue.

    I think Clint Lowery is a talented musician. He came back to the band. That doesn’t make it the Clint show. The band would have been foolish to take Cold Day Memory and make it “Clint-centric” or whatever adjective you want to use. Sevendust is a band. Everyone carries their own weight. Clint put a stamp on the album but the album serves the fans better by not having Clint’s face on that stamp. It’s Sevendust – not The Clint Lowery Band.

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  • Andrew said:

    @ Morgan K

    Thank you very much for visiting our site. Sevendust fans are always welcome. We definitely have to get one of the guys on our show in the near future.

    You’re critical of Alpha. Why? What was missing? What are your feelings on Next? Both of those were records with Sonny, and you appear to be pro-Clint, so I thought I’d ask.

    I don’t know why people refer to the track as Forever Dead. Off the top of my head, about 10,000 bands have a track with that name.

    @ Carla

    I love your quote and couldn’t have said it better. And to those of you that love semantics, Carla’s statement is not a positive spin. It’s absolutely accurate.

    “The fact that we as fans can unanimously isolate 7 as being below par is a testament to the power of the rest of their catalogue.”

    @ Darius

    Thank you for agreeing with me. That might be a public first.

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  • Morgan K said:

    Like I said before, I have nothing against Sonny Mayo. I think he’s a great guitar player. I decided to listen to Alpha before responding to your question. There are only four songs on that album that I can listen to in their full length ~ Driven, Feed, Aggression and Burn. That’s it. I don’t like it when Lajon raps or screams his lyrics and he does a lot of that on Alpha. So, it’s not really Sonny that’s the problem. I can listen to every song from Next and enjoy it very much. In fact, Ugly is one of my very favorite 7D songs ever. Hero, Patience, Silence and Failure are the best songs on that album other than Ugly. I love 7D songs that are more melodic and harmonizing with a little bit of the crazy, heavy hitting beats where the beat of the song changes a bit. I am a softy for their ballads like XMas Day, Angel’s Son, Follow, This Life, and yes, I am a fan of the song The Past. I am going to list every single 7D album in the order that I would rank them being the best, like I did in an article over a year ago.
    1. Animosity
    2. Seasons
    3. Home
    4. Cold Day Memory
    5. Sevendust
    6. Next
    7. Chapter 7
    8. Alpha
    It’s okay that we don’t agree on this, but it’s how I feel about them and their music. And, I am very opinionated and will always stand strong with them. I’m glad I finally have someone intellegent to actually talk to about 7D and other music.

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  • darius said:

    NEXT is a good album. not one of the greats, but a solid one. “pieces” kicks ass everytime, especially live. “hero”, “ugly”, “silence” and “failure” are all great tracks. the rest of the record falls short of expectations, especially “the last song”.

    im amazed that anyone would rank ALPHA as their least favorite 7Dust album; that’s crazy talk. the sheer aggression on that record continues to blow me away.

    i loved sonny mayo and i love clint; both versions are fantastic. that’s what makes this band so special, as Carla mentioned, they really are about the band and not the individual. i think that chapter 7 fell victim to 1) the band getting over their heads in the studio and not working with an outside producer and 2) completely rushing the record out. only “inside” is listenable.

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  • Morgan K said:

    @ Darius I guess we are going to have to agree to disagree when it comes to Alpha. It’s okay that we disagree, we aren’t perfect neither the same person. 🙂 But, I have to agree with you about The Last Song off of Next. That song is horrible. Like I have said before, I am fan of Lajon singing. He needs to leave the “screaming” to Morgan. Morgan is one of the best “screamers” in the business and the fact that he can do it while drummer just boggles my mind. My personal favorite off of Chapter 7 is Scapegoat. That, Inside and The Past are the only listenable songs on the album to me. I have to say that this has totally be enjoyable having an actually opinionated conversation with someone who knows what the heck they are talking about. I’ve actually listened to ever single 7D album yesterday and today thanks to our “talks.” Thanks a bunch!

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  • 5150 said:

    Great points in this thread!

    Sevendust does not need Clint Lowery.

    Clint Lowery needs Sevendust.

    Clint took a lot of shit, threw it against the wall, and none of it stuck. Dark New Day, some solo work, touring with Korn, etc.

    Sevendust kept on keepin’ on without him and drew the same numbers and the shows were just as energetic.

    The grass is never greener.

    Darius and Carla eluded to the fact that it’s about the band, not individuals. I agree 100%. That’s why they’re still around. That’s why most stops of their headlining tours sell out.

    Has anyone heard the solo track Lajon recently did?

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  • budbundy said:

    Great discussion.

    My wife feels that Chapter 7 is one of the band’s better albums. I’m curious, are you a female Morgan K? I’m not looking to pry but as a fan of this band myself I’m trying to find how anyone can defend Chapter 7.

    @ SMASHERDEVOURER – Fan perspective? I remember when this show used to take calls you’d always call about Fear Factory? That band could release an album glorifying 9/11 and you’d find a way to back. You don’t have any right to talk about fan perspective as if that’s blinding someone’s views. Go listen to Transgression.

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  • Morgan K said:

    @ budbundy YES I am a female! And, I am probably the only female you will ever meet that is such a HARCORE 7D fan. I’ve met 7D a few times and seen them in concert a bunch! I have a wall in my bedroom dedicated to the band with pictures I have taken of them and with them. I also have Morgan Rose’s name tattooed on my leg right above my ankle! I am very opinionated when it comes to music and especially 7D. I will stand firm with my opinions whether you agree with them or not. If I were given one wish, it would be to spend a day with 7D and pick their brains about their music!

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  • xBITTERPILLx said:

    I want to rain on this parade so fucking bad but I just can’t.

    Props to AKF for posting this review. It’s not 100% pro-7D as the show usually is. Props for keeping it real.

    Chapter 7 is the WORST 7D album by far. Seasons is the 2nd worst – all you industry heads that read this site know why. The album failed believe it or not.

    7 shit the bed at the right time. If 7 came out after the s/t, 7D would have been in big trouble. If 7 came out after Seasons, BIG TROUBLE. People will forget about it. The only perk is it gives them another slamming track in Inside to use to open shows.

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  • xBITTERPILLx said:

    I just read through the comments again. 5150 brings up a good point about the shows with Clint and w/o Clint. The shows with Sonny were much more energetic than the shows with Clint. I saw them 3-4 times with Sonny and in those 3-4 times, maybe 2 were the best I’ve seen them EVER. Clint Lowery is not as important to the band as some may think. Next is killer. Alpha is killer (Morgan, this is NOT the worst 7D record – you’re on drugs).

    The only thing that sucks about 7D is their album covers.

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE MOD said:

    It’s a beautiful night in New York City!

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE MOD said:

    Check it out. And then go back to discussing the almighty Sevendust.

    VISA Secured Credit Card – Credit Score Not a Factor!

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  • darius said:

    Seasons is not the 2nd worst album ever. not even close. i know exactly what you mean by how it “failed” but that doesn’t mean it was a bad 7D record. it just didn’t generate the sales that they had hoped with Butch Walker producing a slick pop-influenced record.

    i do agree that if it was released after s/t or chapter 7, than things could’ve been pretty bad. still though, i love it from start to finish; it’s one of the more unique (in some fan’s eyes for the wrong reasons) albums and it spawned a number of hits that hold up today.

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  • Andrew said:

    In glancing over this thread, four of you currently work in the music industry, and one of us formerly worked there. Some are approaching this from a fan perspective. Some approach this from a business perspective.

    I agree with Darius. Seasons did NOT fail. It didn’t perform as well as they would have hoped, but it certainly did not fail. It was very pop-driven, but overall, it’s a solid release.

    xBITTERPILLx hit it on the head. If there were any time for Chapter VII to come out, it was between Alpha and Cold Day Memory. It will be forgotten in due time.

    — I don’t have a problem with Butch Walker. The guy knows how to craft a great song. I enjoyed all his work under the Marvelous 3 banner. Some of the songs he does for other artists are very bubble gum, but they’re not too bubble gum so that they’re impossible to listen to.

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  • Morgan K said:

    @ Bitterpill ~ You a rude, disrespectful individual and you oughta be ashamed of yourself! I don’t know if you work in the music industry or are just a fan, but for you to say I do drugs is mean and hateful! I am a 34 year old freelance music writer, a mother and a schoolteacher! I can’t voice my opinion without being a accused of being a drug head?! I can say that Andrew, Darius and company want this site to be kept clean or I would give you a few choice words for calling me a drug head! EVERYONE IS ENTITLED TO THEIR OWN OPINIONS, YOU BUTTHEAD! Just because I am a fan of the SEASONS album and NOT ALPHA doesn’t mean I’m on drugs, you idiot! Go look in the mirror before you go accusing nice, clean people of being drugheads!!!!

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  • Andrew said:

    Actually, Darius and I like to keep this site HONEST.

    Darius and I are actually good friends in real life, but agree on very little. We get the best out of one another by being so passionate and having opposing viewpoints. I don’t surround myself with “yes people” because I find it counterproductive. Of course, we both like to keep the site clean, but at the same time, this is one of the few sites you’ll ever see where the hosts openly allow themselves to be criticized. I believe we should have the freedom to intelligently speak our minds. We don’t sensor much.

    I don’t think Pill was insulting you. I do think he was saying, “You’re crazy,” in a playful way. Few people on that write here have evil intentions. A lot of the folks that comment on our site are 25+ and work or have worked in the business. I don’t like to delve into people’s personal lives, but looking at the thread, one of the people I know books talent for about ten clubs here in New York City, one of the people works out in Los Angeles for an extremely well known company, one is a prominent guitar teacher and adjunct college profession on music theory…and the list goes on and on.

    As far as being a mother goes, I’ll just say your children are lucky to have a mother that listens to great music. And kudos to you on being an educator. A lot of listeners to our show are teachers, and it’s always cool to add another one to the mix.

    * And by the way, Darius is the decency police. He’s usually the first to tell me when things have gone too far, which happens about once a month.

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  • Morgan K said:

    thank you for your comment, Andrew. it makes me feel better. i just don’t take drug talk very likely. i’ve lost a friend to drugs and i have a cousin who is a recovering drug addict. that’s something that shouldn’t be used in a jokingly manner.

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  • 69-eyes said:

    As a recovering former addict (not the junkie type), I take great offense to the usage as well. BUT, it was lighthearted. If there is any website that doesn’t glorify drug use, it’s AKF. I take Andrew to task all the time but if there’s one thing he’s straight about it’s drug use. He does need a fashion coordinator though.

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  • Andrew said:

    @ 69-eyes

    You’re right. We do not condone the glorification of drug usage on our site.

    Are you ever going to let me live that down?

    Before anyone jumps on this bandwagon, I went to a Fear Factory show in a suit. I think was in 2005. I was coming from a prior engagement. I didn’t have time to change. My fashion is coordinated just fine.

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  • darius said:

    you went to marilyn manson in dress pants in 2008

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  • 007 said:

    Clint Lowery = OVERRATED

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  • Laura in NJ said:

    Dress pants and…?

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE MOD said:

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  • Andrew said:

    @ Laura in NJ

    I don’t recall, but I know they were olive green with pinstripes. I own it.

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  • Joe's bar said:

    Hey Sevendust Fans!

    The gang will be heading to Joe’s Bar in Chicago for a special performance on Thursday, October 21st. Tickets are on sale now and they are going fast! Click the following link for venue and ticket information.

    http://joesbar.com/event_full.php?id=1692&l=1&dt=10/21/2010

    Hope to see you all there!
    Joe’s Bar Music and Production

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