The Cold View - _Wires of Woe, Ways of Waste_
(Endless Winter, 2014)
by: Dan Lake (7 out of 10)
"Pathways through the waste of human life have no intent. They are a maze of inevitable failure and dishonest regret."

Holy shit, that's dark. Flipping through the liner notes of the Cold View's sophomore release, _Wires of Woe, Ways of Waste_, these are the lyrics that struck me as most gritty and poignant. On their own, words like "failure" and "regret" evoke a kind of romantic melancholy, a rearview sadness that can be accepted and recovered from. Frontloading those sentiments with "inevitable" and "dishonest" drains all possible consolation, though, by forecasting our own crass choices and betraying our shame. Nothing quite encapsulates the stripped-down stoicism of the album like the quote above.

There might not be any album in the history of recorded music that wants to be in your record collection less than _WWWW_ does. By his own admission, the Cold View's main man A.A.S. is strongly influenced by drone music, and the muted core of _WWWW_ bears this out. This is no extreme cousin to the guitar rock album; in fact, debut record _Weeping Winter_ derived from synthesizer and sequencer sounds, and while the new music includes more guitar, there has been no great leap away from the buzzing crawl of old. The new artwork might even be a bit misleading: color photographs of cloudy industrial sunsets, as opposed to _Weeping Winter_'s bare contrast of black on dark gray, might indicate a broader overall palette, but beyond a few precious details, this is not the case. _WWWW_ groans in its own lonesome darkness, and it might choose to put out its own eyes if it even hallucinated about a hint of light.

With four tracks that each top fifteen minutes, _WWWW_ is not an album for aggression hounds, or even for the dewy drone/doom novice. Its uneventful sloth and dogged inward spiraling are harrowing, maddening, and will absolutely repel all but the most dedicated depressives. Luckily, the album lives in digital form at Bandcamp, so you can wallow in it on a trial basis. But settle in. _WWWW_ resists snap judgment, and it refuses to give you anything you want. Either give yourself up to what it is or give up and go away.

7/28/2013 D Lake 7 The Cold View - Weeping Winter
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