Jacksonville, Florida-based alternative metal outfit Cold started out by sharing the aesthetic of another Florida band, Limp Bizkit. Both groups favored technically complex, bleak, and brutal metal that merged elements of Jane’s Addiction, Metallica, and Tool, but Cold also embraced elements of shoegaze and soaring, Snow Patrol-esque alternative rock. Bizkit frontman Fred Durst actually discovered Cold playing in the Jacksonville area and helped them sign to the A&M subsidiary Flip. Emerging in 1998, the band caught fire in the early 2000s with the albums 13 Ways to Bleed on Stage(2000) and Year of the Spider (2003), both of which were certified Gold. Cold went on hiatus in 2006, but re-formed a few years later as a touring entity. They returned to the studio in 2011 and released Superfiction, another commercial success, followed in 2019 by The Things We Can’t Stop.
Originally operating under the moniker Grundig, and for a very short time as Diablo, Cold coalesced in 1996 around a core line-up consisting of Scooter Ward (vocals, guitar), Kelly Hayes (guitar), Jeremy Marshall (bass), and Sam McCandless (drums). The band caught the attention of Limp Bizkit bandleader Fred Durst, who passed a pair of demos on to producer Ross Robinson, who helmed the group’s eponymous debut album. Released via Durst‘s A&M Records imprint Flip, Cold arrived in the summer of 1998, and through constant touring the combo earned a devoted following both at home and across the country. They added a second guitarist, Terry Balsalmo, to the ranks for their sophomore effort. Released in 2000 via Geffen/Interscope, which had absorbed A&M the year prior, 13 Ways to Bleed on Stage became Cold’s breakthrough, achieving Gold status via the mainstream rock hits “End of the World,” “Just Got Wicked,” and “No One.” Featuring their biggest hit to date, “Stupid Girl,” 2003’s Year of the Spider was even more successful, debuting at number three on the Billboard Album charts and eventually taking the same golden path as its predecessor: the band sold over 100,000 copies of the album in its first week of release. By this point, Cold was moving steadily away from the Limp Bizkit model in favor of a moodier sound suggestive of contemporaries like Staind, Fuel, and Seether.
Despite Year of the Spider doing well with rock fans, Geffen soured on Cold in the midst of promotion for the album. Being dropped from the label led to internal strife. Guitarist Kelly Hayes departed, guitarist Terry Balsamo left to join Evanescence, and drummer Sam McCandless and vocalist Scooter Ward were left high and dry. Then a family member of Ward‘s became ill, and the future of Cold looked bleak. However, the band endured. They signed a new deal with Lava/Atlantic, and issued the less aggressive and more melody-driven Different Kind of Pain in August 2005. By this point, Cold’s lineup included Ward, McCandless, guitarists Matt Loughran and Mike Booth, and bassist Jeremy Marshall.
After the release of A Different Kind of Pain, the group parted, with Ward and McCandless launching a band that became the Killer and the Star. By the time the Killer and the Star released their debut album in 2009, Cold’s original lineup had reunited. They mounted a tour in 2009, then set about recording a new album, Superfiction, which was released in the summer of 2011 and quickly shot to the upper echelons of the Billboard Independent, Alternative, and Hard Rock Albums charts. Cold set up camp with Napalm Records for their sixth studio long-player, 2019’s The Things We Can’t Stop.