Year of the Spider

Year of the Spider

4.7 7
by Cold
     
 

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For the past few years, Scooter Ward and his bandmates have rushed headlong down paths of self-doubt and self-destruction, documenting the results in songs as dark as any to have emerged from the nü-metal universe. So it comes as something of a surprise to hear Cold collaborating with an apparent polar opposite, Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, who sits

Overview

For the past few years, Scooter Ward and his bandmates have rushed headlong down paths of self-doubt and self-destruction, documenting the results in songs as dark as any to have emerged from the nü-metal universe. So it comes as something of a surprise to hear Cold collaborating with an apparent polar opposite, Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, who sits in on the purposefully ugly "Stupid Girl" (similar in theory, but not in sound, to similarly titled songs by Garbage and the Rolling Stones). No worries about Cold changing directions, though: The Floridians drag Cuomo down into the muck with them, where he thrashes about in suitably moody fashion. For his part, Ward continues to expose the feral urgency heard on the band's last outing, 13 Ways to Bleed on Stage; it comes to the fore here on "Suffocate" and "Don't Belong," and it's exacerbated by Sam McCandless's primal drumming. Ward's worldview has expanded beyond the confines of his own four walls, and even though there are those who might say he's better off now than when Cold was slogging through the southern club scene, he's still got plenty of nihilism to vent -- and vent he does on the apoplectic album closer, "Kill the Music Industry." There's plenty of bite, and plenty of venom, lurking here.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Johnny Loftus
While no less a nu-metal authority than Fred Durst was their original benefactor, Jacksonville's Cold has always had a secret weapon in its heavy rock arsenal: mouthpiece. It's mouthpiece Scooter Ward's powerful singing -- not shouting or rapping, like so many of his contemporaries -- that distances he and his mates from the pack. This doesn't mean they're better; indeed, Cold's first two releases weren't consistently strong efforts. However, with the release of Year of the Spider, Cold has placed more emphasis on atmospherics, centered itself behind Ward's lyrics, and has even collaborated with Weezer. While these moves might alienate some metalheads out there, it's a great way of surviving the coming day of judgment, when the bell will toll for all but the best of the nu-metal moaners. Year of the Spider was produced by Howard Benson, who's best-known for masterminding P.O.D.'s triple-platinum Satellite. Just as that group tempers its pummeling rhythms with passionate lyricism, so Benson has massaged the aggro-metal of Cold's initial releases into a better framework for Ward's gruff croon and deeply personal lyrics. Grappling with a family crisis, Ward pleads bitterly and openly in "Cure My Tragedy (A Letter to God)": "If you make the world a stage for me then I hope that you can hear me scream," he sings. "Don't take her smile away from me she's broken and I'm far away." It's arresting to hear such defiant honesty in a genre that, despite its reliance on depressing themes and personal rage, too often is maligned by its own acrimony. "Wasted Years" reaffirms this sentiment. An ambitious, acoustic-driven ballad accentuated by a full string section, the song builds with Ward harmonizing over specters of himself, repeating the song's desperate words until the final couplet. "It's not hard to fail/It's not easy to win." While this sort of impassioned lyricism can easily become a cliché, it's a credit to Ward's talent as a singer that he sells it. Sure, he sounds too much like Maynard James Keenan, and often seems like the emotional twin of Aaron Lewis. And in its new, more tuneful configuration, Cold can at times approximate the populist alt-rock of Bush. But none of this diminishes the fact that, in the bombastic, one-dimensional world of nu-metal, Cold's regeneration as a melodic, vocal-driven metal band helps it stand out, and will likely help it survive when the industry inevitably pushes away from the post-grunge table. Ward co-wrote the standout single "Stupid Girl" with Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, and while nothing else on the record features as hooky a chorus, the appearance of Dollshead vocalist Sierra Swan livens up the otherwise dour "Suffocate." (The move toward female vocal contributions in metal, illustrated best by the success of Evanescence, is an encouraging trend toward levity.) Year of the Spider is still bruised with the clichés that burden so many releases in this genre. But the dreary purples, blues, and blacks have faded just enough to reveal a band that isn't as concerned with anger and volume as it is with emotion and melodic breadth.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/13/2003
Label:
Interscope Records
UPC:
0606949364021
catalogNumber:
000000602
Rank:
37508

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Cold   Primary Artist
Howard Benson   Piano,Keyboards,Soloist
Julie Gigante   Violin
Roland Kato   Viola
Armen Ksadjikian   Cello
David Low   Cello
Simon Oswell   Viola
Mark Robertson   Concert Master
Evan Wilson   Viola
Sierra Swan   Vocals
Michael Valerio   Bass
Ana Landauer   Violin
Terry Balsamo   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Deborah Lurie   Conductor,Synthesizer Strings
Kelly Hayes   Guitar
Songa Lee   Violin
Scooter Ward   Vocals
Sam McCandless   Drums
Phillip Levy   Violin
Sam Fischer   Violin
David H. Speltz   Cello

Technical Credits

Howard Benson   Programming,Producer
Mike Plotnikoff   Engineer
Rivers Cuomo   Composer
Casey Stone   Engineer
Jordan Schur   Executive Producer
Eric Miller   Engineer
Deborah Lurie   String Arrangements
Jason Harter   Art Direction
Scooter Ward   Composer

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Year of the Spider 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is a typical Cold album. I have to admit that the first half of the album is a bit soft...too much melancholy stuff, but the latter half is great though (nonetheless the album is still great). Tracks like "Suffocate" and "Sad Happy" make this album the all more enjoyable. Their great guitar riffs and drum beats keep the audience on a high horse throughout the album. I would totally recommend this album to guitar-loving, beat-seeking, lyric-reading fans that can really appreciate great music when they hear it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After Getting this CD, i didnt expect it this badass. the thing about this CD is that there is no track-skipping needed, because you'll be so hooked to the CD. the live features on their DVD are pretty awesome as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With time, all things get better. And nothing is more true with the release of Year of the Spider. This is truely Colds best work. Their first and second releases (Cold, and 13 Ways to Bleed On Stage) were very depressing and didnt work well with Scooter Wards vocals. What I have heard in this new release is a more mature group, and it is excellent! Remedy speaks to those who feel that they should figure things out on there own instead of being told what to do all the time. It is great. Prolly their best one yet.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is definitly thier best album yet! The songs are inspiring and motivate me- I am proud to say that I am a huge fan of Cold!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This could very well be one of the best cd's I've ever heard. The cd is a mixture of rock and melody, which brings Year of the Spider to an extremely high peak when it comes to music. This is possibly the greatest Cold cd made. It brings up many important matters from death of a loved one to abusive relationships.
Jay_Godzilla_fan More than 1 year ago
I was so exited for this CD back when it was going to come out and I was NOT disappointed! Well except for I didn¿t have a tattoo to send in and get put on the booklet...but the music was great. And again the lyrics GREAT! Love how he expresses himself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago