The conclusion to the 1998 season series (actually released in January 1999) certainly lives up to the title billing, in that things do sound awfully cold and gloomy this time around. Opening track "A White Rainbow" does it brilliantly, though Balance
's upfront, softly echoed vocal backed by viola from William Breeze
and buried background chants result in an unstable, fascinating blend. Enough randomly crazed distortion comes in at the end to send everything just enough over the top. The holiday season is invoked with the final track, the traditional "Christmas Is Drawing Near," with Rose McDowell and Robert Lee
making a return appearance in the series with an excellent, enveloping performance. The two tracks in between, "North" and "Magnetic North," mix a little more instrumental warmth in here and there, but still come across as attractively alien and distant, rising and falling drones and random melodies floating with Balance
's electronically roughened delivery.