'Cold' is the debut album from the band which shares its name and simply put, it's a glimpse of what was to come. Its heavy, loud, quiet and haunting which is how one could descrube Cold in a nutshell. It's a sort of grungy-metal. Fronting the band is Scooter Ward who, as '13 Ways To Bleed On Stage' would be guitarist Terry Basalmo's first contribution, was also a guitarists alongside Kelly Hayes, as well as playing piano. Jeremy Marshall and Sam McCandless complete the band on bass and drums respectively.
'Cold' is not often easy listening, its very raw and songs like 'Insane' could not be in a lower pitch and played more slowly. It would be very easy to turn around and just say, ""well that's just rubbish." But if you give this album your complete attention, you will be rewarded by seeing just how much potential these guys had (which would be realised on their next two albums). You'll see the gems in Marshall's pounding bass lines, Hayes' signature guitar and effects and McCandless' excellent drumming on the most basic of kits.
This is not Ward's best showing vocally in Cold. He mumbles a lot, which at first is not a negative as it fits with Cold and their style. It's more infuriating than anything, because he is very a talented and can sing beautifully if required and also be a very powerful, forceful vocalist. But when you get about five or six 'mumbling' songs in a row it can become tiresome. However, he does enough to show he can be a very good singer and on the album's stand out track 'Go Away,' which is arguably the heaviest, you see that when he is unleashed he can be brilliant.
He is not helped with the over-use of effects on his voice on several songs. But these can also detract from the music on songs like 'Superstar,' where there is just far too much trying to be done on what should be a good acoustic song. This is probably the worst song on the album as there is a decent acoustic line with one of Ward's better performances, and suddenly there is this effect (presumably from a guitar or bass) which is completely out of place with the song and appears to interrupt the song at random points. In the second half they chuck a load of effects at Ward's singing too and the song just completely falls apart.
However, the following song, 'The Switch' shows Cold can use these effects very well and is the song on which all the frustration of the previous few tracks are blown away. The guitar effect are used brilliantly and in this faster paced song Ward's voice fits perfectly and it just makes a very good rock song, and it's still very much Cold.
In some ways, you want the album to end here as it would be a satisfying ending. But you get an odd song, 'Makes Her Sick' which is not bad musically or vocally. It is actually probably the song which could finish the album summing everything perfectly. It's fast, but still and haunting. But the leading lyrics of the song are... well bizarre: "It makes her sick, it makes her throw up" is not exactly a piece of lyrical brilliance. Ward's songwriting had been very acceptable untill then but you get the feeling he had been rushed at this point or had just run out of ideas.
So, not a great finish to the album. But this is still a good album, it's not the album I would recommend to someone if I was introducing them to Cold, this is more the interesting album fans of Cold should pick up to see where it all began.