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A Different Kind of Pain

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★★★★☆
(113 Reviews)

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  • Cold had a lot to overcome before releasing their fourth studio album. Aside from the revolving door of guitarists and being dumped by their record label, frontman Scooter Ward went through a trying period in his life. From entering rehab to being left by his fiance, and even coping with his sister’s battle with cancer, Ward sure has plenty to talk about on this album. And yet, with all of those obstacles, this is the quickest Cold have released an album! So how does it stack up to the previous three, excellent releases? Well…

    I don’t want to sound like a hater, but Cold’s formula is really wearing thin. I’ve been a big fan of the group since their self-titled debut and onwards, and from hearing such powerful and provocative, yet catchy tunes like “Give” and “No One,” I hold a pretty high standard for Cold. Unfortunately, the bulk of the material on “A Different Kind Of Pain,” just doesn’t hold up to the group’s previous work. Sure, there are a few songs that really stand out and will be remembered, such as the energetic opener “Back Home,” the positive “God’s Song” and “Happens All The Time” and the moving ballad “A Different Kind Of Pain.” However, there are too many songs that just move at the same pace, sound way too much alike, and just go nowhere. Musically, Cold haven’t advanced at all. The absense of original guitarist Kelly Hayes and current Evanescence axe-man Terry Balsamo can’t help but be noticed throughout this album. Their riffs and unique playing really gave Cold their own eclectic style (as best evidenced on 2000’s “13 Ways To Bleed On Stage”). Their replacements, Matt Loughran (who used to play with the band back when they went by the name Grundig) and Mike Booth do an adequate job, but don’t really come up with anything unique. Usually, Cold’s riffs helped to give mood to the songs, but here, the weight is entirely on Scooter’s shoulders. He does a good job, as he has in the past. The lyrics on this album are very deep and the positive perspective he gains from his troubles is truly inspiring. However, his vocals are a bit overproduced in spots, which takes away from the emotional effect of some songs.

    The album feels very low-budget (just take a look through the booklet…) and Cold fail to try anything remotely new. It’s not that the album is bad, but it’s just very bland when you consider their past and the trials that they went through to make this album. You would think such situations would inspire something a little more cathartic, and a little more powerful. There are some truly brilliant moments on this album, but they are few and far between. Which is too bad, as this is probably the most important album of their career. It’s sad to say, but this is Cold’s worst album. Here’s hoping they don’t get left in the cold.

    Posted on November 13, 2009