hollowed-out caves to wander through by torchlight. “Just Got Wicked”’s unconventional song structure-- one verse followed by a rough amalgamation of bridges, choruses, middle-8s and breakdowns-- feels like falling through a twisting series of trapdoors, crawlspaces, and skylights. Scooter Ward-- who sings like Michael Stipe crawling out of a Jacksonville, Florida marsh-- sounds by turns menacing (“I can taste your innocence”), lost (“Everyone got twisted up”), confused (“I can’t explain the way that I feel”) and confident ( “1, 2, 3 here I come with the wicked). Sam McCandless, one of nu-metal’s all-time underrated drummers, is deep in the pocket here with a straightforward groove dotted with the occasional open hi-hat and thundering fill. The music video, directed brilliantly by Marc Webb, drops Cold in a shallow body of black water in some underground bunker. A gang of vampirically beautiful youths surrounds the band from a distance, a large moat of concrete between them. Webb shoots Ward from a series of high angles. He sings up and into the lens, eyes circled by black eyeliner, looking like he’s been locked downstairs in this cursed concert for months. It’s a perfect video for a song that feels so weird; a mutating roiling mass of inky black electronics, needle-prick guitar taps and warbling synths oozing through the dark. Something wicked this way comes.
Plenty of nu-metal bands wanted to be creepy, but Cold could actually do it. The songs from their sophomore record 13 Ways to Bleed On Stage are