Models of Consistency
Steadily releasing albums since 1997, Georgia’s Sevendust make their mark as one of the hardest working and most consistent bands in the metal world today. One of the first metalcore or alternative-metal bands to enter the mainstream with chart hits like 1999’s “Denial” and 2003’s “Enemy,” their latest release Cold Day Memory marks an interesting new chapter in Sevendust’s history.
At the beginning of their career Sevendust’s albums were all produced by Jay Jay French, the band’s manager and a founding member of heavy metal hair band Twisted Sister. When they decided to go their separate ways, Sevendust produced their own albums alongside Sean Groove for several years. It is intriguing that at this late juncture in their career the band decided to work with Grammy winner Johnny K, who produced Disturbed’s The Sickness among other good albums.
The results sound nothing but good for Sevendust. The band have tightened up their alternative-metal direction and put it in a neat package. Clint Lowery, who left in 2003 to play in his brother’s band Dark New Day, also returns as Sevendust’s guitarist. Songs like “Last Breath” have a very catchy, modern-rock radio feel to them with smooth, overdubbed vocals over a pounding but funky rhythm, while the guitars focus on riffs rather than fanciful fretwork.
Sevendust have always branched out into more melodic directions while maintaining their heaviness, and this album is no exception. “Karma” is a perfect example of this, a catchy, well-written tune with an underlying crunch of rhythm guitars and drums keeping it from getting too mushy and soft. No one song goes way out there—“Confessions” head in a softer direction, while “Ride Insane” goes heavier—and Cold Day Memory maintains an excellent balance.
Sevendust were smart to bring in some fresh blood as far as production goes, and the songwriting definitely seems more energized now that Lowery has returned. If you are not already a Sevendust fan, Cold Day Memory is probably not going to be the album that wins you over. Still, this is a highly recommended pickup, and should end up being one of the band’s more successful albums.