COLD – The Things We Can’t Stop (2019)

Prepare your heartstrings this 13th of September when the alternative rock band, COLD, unsheathes their 6th studio album. Under Napalm Records, The Things We Can’t Stop dissects the pains and crosses necessary for each of us to bear. Being an unbalanced anthology of grief and throes of human nature, it discusses a variety of conflicts from simple loss to worldly chaos.

Intro was the opening of the curtains, the lighting of the stage. This was where the orchestral cue began. There came a monologue in the voice of a female, inviting us to listen to its story. It was a direct approach to each of our tender feelings.

Shine assisted this while bringing nostalgia throughout the track. The strings were still there, giving only minimal guitar phases. The chorus came as a dedicated and vulnerable gift. It was difficult to manage the frailty of emotions when the vocals was a genuine example of this. Thirdly came Snowblind. In contrast, it began with the distortion of guitar. It almost felt like it was suited to be sung in the rain. In a deep and dark solace. The music was solemner. With simple bland strums and pacific beats, it left no pressure to one’s mind, all the while providing room for the violins.

Cold-hearted plucking brought The Devil We Know into existence. Maintaining the same style, it was the fusion of human feelings and circumstances of pain which developed this cathartic experience. Run (Snow Patrol cover) revived the violins. It sounded like a plea. A prayer of a thoughtless man. Always effective in pricking and compressing one’s chest even with a steady and uneventful beat, it spared some guitar solo so formless at first impression.

A ballad came into play when Better Human began. It was a momentary rest from all these confused things of the living. By the piano, it poured an unbroken misery and a poignant solo. Simply, it was still a continuous release of sorrow and all the adjectives alike. A child’s voice could be heard before the track ended. As if mimicking a long-ago innocence. Without You was a tumble of drums. A steady stream of guitar. With unapparent bass. A doubtless surrender spoken through musical means.

The similar sadness could be found in the pluckings of Quiet Now. Its airy-fairy guitar solo was equivalent to a shocking amount of longing. As if there was something amiss inside. It was lacunar. A vocal release of things temporary, of things ephemeral in the physical. The One That Got Away would have your ears drowned in these personal regrets. The guitar came like an illusory substance, too untouched and immaterial. The lyrics narrated a failed love. It was burdened with the world of no return.

An episode of dystopia could be glimpsed at Systems Fail. It enumerated the possibility of corruption in endless narrows of melodies. Abruptly ceasing then cycling lyrics on repeat. It was an emphasis on how we struggle for life. But then, at the end, there came the inanimate sound of a flat line.
To compensate for this, Beautiful Life could be likened to a reincarnation of some sort. Born out of cellos and pianos, the song was a tribute to the present. That even after the abyss of human misery and its pool of tears, we are reminded to exist. None of these contorted truth would ruin us, if that was why this song was mellow, if why it was soft on the ears and heart. As an outro piece, We All Love was a constant piano accompaniment. Along with nude vocals it bared sensitive subjects, those which could drastically move us in another private degree. Then finished the album with the echo of a lower-octave piano key.

The Things We Can’t Stop was an ensemble of ache and thorns. The band was cautious in collecting all these fragile parts which makes one’s seat of emotions sore. Combined with the outspoken character of their genre, the album is able to painfully replay all things we are not the master of.


Estefan Malgret.

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