Review Summary: In the process of trying to steer their sound in a far more accessible direction, Wold has stripped themselves of their more entrancing qualities and released a lifeless, near-worthless display of guitar distortion.
Trying to argue that Wold wasn't at one point a pretty intense band is confounding. The marriage of Fortress Crookedjaw's inane squawking and the spastic, noise-ridden brand of black metal was at the very least disarming, and to most listeners it was unbearable. From L.O.T.M.P.
's grueling stretches of dissonance to the cold tones of Stratification
, Wold has never really aimed for accessibility, but with Working Together for Our Privacy
, they're certainly coming closer.
By taking most of the scathing feedback from releases like 2007's Screech Owl
out of the equation, it would seem like Wold have made their sound twice as user-friendly as before. And since they've almost completely stripped themselves of their fast and repetitive brand of black metal (for you Crookedjaw detractors, be happy there are no vocals), we're talking about exponents. But these are illusions and nothing more. Instead of trying to expand upon their sound in any logical way, Wold has stretched out this barren landscape of one-dimensional drones without a sense of purpose - perhaps without any sense at all.
Fuzzy guitar notes are sustained with very little tonal variation and songs go nowhere (fast), continuing to do so for upwards of ten minutes. Dynamics are few and far between, and when they are used, they're used inappropriately. It seems that the entire album is a series of fuzzy, drawn-out notes without a sense of beauty, mystery or soul to make it all special. Instead, all of the chords sound like cold, lifeless drones that were hung out to dry without having been of any use whatsoever. Thus Working Together for Our Privacy
is built off a tiring, trite and oftentimes one-dimensional atmosphere that was flawed from the start.
Now doesn't that sound exciting?
Of course it does. Throughout three tracks of seemingly endless material, the Saskatchewanian duo churn out loud, fuzzy chords and seem unable to do anything with them. Opener “The Secret” blares on for what seems to be an eternity with yawning guitars and a wee bit of static to remind you that indeed this is Wold. It seems like a large, rumbling haze, but unfortunately that's as deep as it goes. The next two tracks are hardly different, adopting a slightly more ominous and cold feel. But again, rather than expanding upon these vibes, Wold keep their diaphanous cacophony too subtle for its own good; that is to say Working Together for Our Privacy
is stone cold and dead.
Rather than a cinematic atmosphere or a haunting vibe, we listeners are left with layer upon layer of guitar work. Instead of something emotionally impacting, we have a lifeless corpse that gives minimalism, drone music and industrial art a bad name because it insists on feeding the genres' detractors with almost non-existent atmospheres and a tedious display of a temperamental concept. Considering that all of this record's flaws stem from this lack of heart, it's not hard to decide that this single problem is responsible for Wold's latest failure.