In the couple of years since COLD's much-acclaimed debut first saw the light of day, the band had seemingly disappeared from the face of the Earth, having reportedly encountered a host of record company and other business-related obstacles that have kept them out of the spotlight. Rumors have also abounded that the act were heavily pressured to write more radio-oriented material, and on the first listen, the group's sophomore effort appears to validate these stories, with much of the material featuring a less guitar-heavy and more polished sound than was the case on the band's debut.
Despite its less immediate nature as compared to its predecessor, 13 Ways To Bleed On Stage is very much a grower, and repeated exposure to the songs reveals a much more mature songwriting approach this time around, with all the album's tracks featuring a decidedly dark vibe that is all but certain to keep them off MTV and pop charts—at times even conjuring up comparisons to a heavier DEPECHE MODE or U2.
As heavy rock albums go, 13 Ways To Bleed On Stage is a boldly original effort that unfortunately requires several listens to get into and will therefore be deemed too ambitious to catch on with the general public. Consequently, COLD's chances of mass-scale commercial success are rather slim, but with a bit of luck, this sadly overlooked quartet may hopefully get rewarded with the kind of artistic recognition that an album of this high quality truly deserves.