Weakling Dead As Dreams

As thick distortion fades in, it cuts off to drop to a very depressing acoustic guitar passage that builds into Weakling Dead As Dreams of the most darkly beautiful passages I've ever heard at three minutes in. Throughout this album, little tidbits of additional vocal nuttery go on, with a variety of gurgles Weakling Dead As Dreams clicks and unworldly sounds being produced from John Gossard's vicious vocal chords. Guitar solos can be heard throughout as well, always very sinister and befitting the atmosphere of the album. An alternate title could have been "Fuck The Universe" but fortunately Craft went there. The dark thrash lead that opens the next track "No One Shall Be Called a Man While He'll Die" is amazing, as well as the seamless movement that follows about four minutes into the song. I would recommend this to any fan of black metal, or any fan of atmospheric music in general. The album closes with the devastatingly apocalyptic "Desasters in the Sun," Weakling Dead As Dreams perfect way to close out this monster with a bang.

Relatively mainstream islands of experimentation and creativity could still be found in bands such as Ulver and Arcturus , but these were of a very different character to that of Weakling.

Dead As Dreams feels like an album produced in isolation from the wider black metal scene, predicting some of its coming changes whilst seemingly being uninterested in what was happening in the wider world, which further enhances the feeling that Dead As Dreams is a once-in-a-lifetime highpoint, a work of genius that could not possibly be repeated. Footnotes: [1] Instrumental rehearsal versions of four tracks from Dead As Dreams were recorded on 25th May , with only the title track not appearing on this demo tape.

These versions can be heard on Youtube here. Twitter Facebook Tumblr. Reviews Punk Metal Rock. Featured December 22, 0. By Stuart Wain on March 31, Features. Tracklisting: 1. Photo credit: Stuart Wain. A photo supposedly from a rare live peformance, taken from Last.

Stuart Wain. December 23, 0. December 22, 0. Weakling was a short-lived black metal project born out of San Francisco, California. They were active for about three years , I believe, to , when they dissolved , never performed live, and only released one album, the five track, minute long masterwork known as Dead As Dreams , in Various sources speculate it was released in , but here on MA, the release date says , so that's what I'm going with. Now onto the music.

Dead As Dreams is one of those albums that encapsulates war so perfectly. The music on this record is terrifying. I mean that. The music on this record is beyond explanation. It is scary. Like really scary. From the riffs to the vocal performance to the drums to the bass and the keyboards, there's not one element that works individually apart from one another.

Each instrument compliments the other perfectly to create this unsettling atmosphere that's unavoidably palpable. This album plows forward like a war machine hellbent of global genocide and won't stop until you and everything you love are reduced to a smoldering pile of ash.

The riffs are so memorable, twisting maddeningly through every single song, through every single movement. There's not one riff you'll forget if you pay attention to everything that's going on.

And trust me, there's a lot going on. Drums pummel away endlessly with tactless precision. The guitars blare away as the antithesis of peace. There are even some lovely chimes that play in the opening track. Keyboards hang in the background of the riffs, sending chills down your spine. Sometimes everything just ceases and the keyboards are placed front and center to play this solemn melody as a cold wind blows, cutting through the dark clouds of war spiraling all around like a tornado.

It's absolutely spectacular and a truly unnerving moment. The vocals deserve their own paragraph. In an interview that's on tUMULt's website, John Gossard described how he came up with his unique vocal performance on this album.

Apparently, he just decided to scream his lungs out because other black metal bands were doing it. Really, though, Mr. Gossard's performance is nothing shy of harrowing. It is without a doubt the most demented, insane, bloodcurdling performances I've ever heard behind a microphone. From anybody. Don't get me wrong, I've heard bands like Mayhem and Silencer. I thought those were some of the most petrifying screams I'd heard before. Through every song, it sounds like he's the victim of an exorcism a-la The Exorcist.

He forces out these bone-chilling, suffocating screams and howls that are unique to me in that they sound like legitimate sorrow and anguish. The vocals seem to accurately depict the aural sentiments behind witnessing the hopeless horror or endless war. Speaking of war, this album is one of few I can think of that seems to encapsulate the bitter proliferation of war, death, hopeless, sorrow, anguish, and depression all in one.

This album is only five elongated songs, but in that time, it was able to perfectly present to the listener with an auditory glimpse of what the end of the world would actually sound like. There are no standout tracks because all of them are equally as incredible. Because when you listen to tracks like "Cut Their Grain and Place Fire Therein," the only thing that comes into your mind are the countless explosions on the battlefield, the devastating power of napalm blasting the Earth into a crater, tracer bullets swooshing to and fro past you as you dash into the thicket of Hell's violent underbelly.

As it ends, the epic 20 minute title track only serves as a painful reminder of how hopeless everything is. As thick distortion fades in, it cuts off to drop to a very depressing acoustic guitar passage that builds into one of the most darkly beautiful passages I've ever heard at three minutes in.

It's almost suicidal in how misanthropic it is. The whole song is rather progressive for black metal, frolicking with passages of doom, progressive, and what would later become post-black.

Before reading the interview on tUMULt's website, I had no idea this riff was taken from another song. The riff originally came from a Norwegian black metal band called Demonic. The dark thrash lead that opens the next track "No One Shall Be Called a Man While He'll Die" is amazing, as well as the seamless movement that follows about four minutes into the song.

Everything goes quiet and the bass starts playing. Once again, each instrument has their place. There's not one thing that feels out of place, too loud, too quiet, too awkward, or it feels like it didn't belong and was just tacked on for the sake of it.

The album closes with the devastatingly apocalyptic "Desasters in the Sun," the perfect way to close out this monster with a bang. If I haven't made it clear at any point before I close, this album is not an easy listen. It may only be five tracks long, but all five tracks are sprawling and epic in length, ranging from ten minutes to twenty minutes.

On top of that, there's so much going on that only heavy black metal enthusiasts and those with an interest in long songs will gravitate to this album. Back when this thing was released, it was somewhat polarizing, but it was still regarded as a masterpiece in black metal.

Seventeen years later after its limited release, it's now a collector's item, even more polarizing, and is regarded as even more of a masterpiece not just in black metal, but in the entirety of the whole genre of metal. This album is not for everyone, I assure you, but for anyone who's curious about it, especially purveyors of the finest black metal out there, Dead As Dreams is mandatory listening. This album has to be heard to be believed. If you can, buy a physical copy to own.

Many different answers will come from many different people about who they think the best American black metal band is. I think the sunny city of San Francisco would be the last place the casual listener of black metal would think any band of this particular genre would come from. But if Wrest's project Leviathan and this album is anything to go by, great black metal can exist just about anywhere, especially in places you wouldn't quite expect.

Weakling is revered in the atmospheric black metal sub-culture for its influence on countless bands, most controversially Wolves in the Throne Room but also Alda, Skagos, Panopticon, Falls of Rauros, and so many more. This is their only album, an absolute masterpiece, one of the greatest in all of black metal and I would say one of the foundations for atmospheric black metal as we know it today. Let's start with the guitars on this album.

They are relatively clear in the dense mix, but the density is in fact the numerous guitar layers creating an almost and riffs hook in your brain for days. In the first song "Cut Their Grain and Place Fire Therein" alone, I can name at least four awesome riffs or passages, and I can say the same or more for everything else in this seventy-six minute long album.

The title track's despairing intro with both guitar and piano stands out as well. The tone itself is thicker than the brittle buzz of "true" black metal, sometimes reminding me of the tone on the first few My Dying Bride albums. Guitar solos can be heard throughout as well, always very sinister and befitting the atmosphere of the album.

Even with the lo-fi production, there is still enough clarity for the bleak atmosphere to reach multiple musical elements, including the depressing melodic moments. Surprisingly, the bass shows up more than a few times in this album, most notably in the middle of "No One Can Be Called as a Man While He'll Die", revealing exactly how important it is to the band's overall sound. The drumming is also incredibly stellar. From vicious black metal blasting to crushing doom to even some thrash, the diversity is quite unexpected.

Along with the guitars, they have a very dirty sound to them, taking advantage of the lo-fi sound while filling out the sonic landscape quite well with creative fills and patterns.

None of these five songs resort solely to blasting or mid-pace or anything. There are always changes in pattern and tempo. The vocals on this album derive primarily from Varg Vikernes', but with far more despair and torture behind them. They focus on the typical mid-range black metal shrieks, with more ferocity behind them than many contemporaries, as well as high screams that definitely work as a primordial DSBM sound, most notably in "This Entire Fucking Battlefield", a very Nordic piece similar to Enslaved or Borknagar.

Throughout this album, little tidbits of additional vocal nuttery go on, with a variety of gurgles and clicks and unworldly sounds being produced from John Gossard's vicious vocal chords. In addition, there is a dense bit of keyboard work behind everything that focuses on the sinister and grim. It's quite minimal, similar to In the Nightside Eclipse, and just makes everything even darker and denser.

Weakling's comparisons to Wolves in the Throne Room, who came around a few years later, are definitely not without reason, but I don't think there was any direct copying so to speak. Wolves in the Throne Room has never been this aggressive, and while their atmosphere is definitely dark and introspective, Weakling's is genuinely SCARY.

Yeah, scary. I love "soundtrack to the apocalypse" sounding metal and this works pretty well under that description.

While I might prefer Wolves in the Throne Room over Weakling solely due to their greater amount of material, Dead as Dreams is of just as equally perfect quality as the best stuff their spiritual successor put out. The completely organic sound does wonders in today's love for more sterile production not that there's anything wrong with clean sound or triggered drums, they can be used quite effectively when done right , and every piece of music on Dead as Dreams is performed at its most perfect, no questions whatsoever.

It is a journey through a twisted, armageddonesque psychic plane full of glorious dynamics and evil evocation. Seriously now; does Dead as Dreams really seem that overrated to you? Most of the reviews I've read of it spew venom about how it's pretentious and overbloated, preceded by a disclaimer that they cannot, for the life of them, understand why people love the album so much. Do Weakling draw their lines in the sand from an early stage?

Absolutely, though there's a growing part of me that feels like the supposed divisiveness over this album is caused in some part by the fact that many people aren't willing to give it the time it needs to grow.

Still, there's something to be said for an album that's grown on me with each and every single fucking listen I've afforded it. I never hated what Weakling did here. I was, however, bored, or more precisely unsure on what I could latch onto first in listening to it. The daunting song lengths-- that thing literally everyone mentions about it-- makes Dead as Dreams a tough nut to crack, at least at first. Even as one who loves each and every track here, I can say Weakling don't write their epics in a way that relates well to common sense.

On a standard progressive metal record, a twenty minute epic would unfold with an established beginning, middle and end. Weakling don't offer the same obligatory signposts in their compositions. Many listens ago, I probably would have sounded the popular accusation that Dead as Dreams fail to organize their ideas effectively. At the point I'm at now, I'm sure they know exactly where they're going throughout the majority of their album.

They're just organizing themselves in a way many of their listeners aren't used to. Part of the greatness of Weakling , I think, lies in their outsider identity relative to the established black metal canon. No one gave a shit who they were in the late 90s, and even today, Dead as Dreams ' classic status is belied by Weakling 's relegation as apparent forefathers to the "hipster" scene.

As far as I'm concerned, Weakling 's relatively plain appearance did nothing to stop them for tapping into what black metal should really be about. Where in the 'expected' Third Wave fare of bands like Taake and jokey Nargoroth there's a recap of frostbitten tropes that feels redundant in context, Dead as Dreams feels emotionally exhausting and dangerous, at least so long as you give it the opportunity to be.

Weakling 's sound particularly the drone and post-rock have become synonymous with the 'soft' end of modern black metal. It's really something wonderful, then, that the innovator still sounds monumental and oppressive. Josh Smith and John Gossard's guitars are thick and bleak. The latter's vocals here notably an ad hoc tack-on on Gossard's part are rough and authentically tortured-sounding. If there's anything really divisive about Weakling , I suppose it would be the vocals.

From my experience, the people who like the posty side of black metal are usually cheerier than the genre's depressive sector. On top of the band's groundbreaking style, elements of organic character like this are a large part of what makes Dead as Dreams so damn good.

Of course, a metal album is nothing without its composition. Dead as Dreams is one of the most challenging listens I've heard in recent months, not because it's as sonically offensive as some of the recent pushers-of-boundaries, but because of the sheer density. The length and sometimes rhapsodic approach they take to songwriting is practically begging for the criticisms that have been heaped upon it in years since.

I thought the same way for the first few listens; it's really important to kep mentioning that Dead as Dreams never struck me with the awe of a masterpiece on my first impression. I feel like I 'get' the album now. And no, there's not a conventional structure you're secretly missing.

Instead of providing a traditional outline, Weakling 's compositions develop organically. That's the only way I can really describe what's going on here. The only other instance I get think of that occurring on similar terms structurally is with Moonsorrow 's V: Havitetty. Each idea expands on the emotion of the one before it. Whether stretching, amplifying, darkening, uplifting, murking up or relieving the momentum of a given piece, the vast majority of Weakling 's ideas work in their place.

I wish there was a way to better communicate my found awe towards this album. The frustrating truth is that whatever key that's needed to unlock this album for a prospective fan has to come with time, and more patience than a lot of so-called black metal fans seem capable of mustering within themselves. It's rare that a band strikes so many chords for me on opposite ends of the spectrum.

I would never expect earnest doom and post-metal riffs tied up amid bleakest shrieks and depressive atmosphere, but here it is nonetheless.

Prior to the release of the album, a few odd tales sprung up about the possible ways it could be distributed, including printing a single copy to be given to a single fan in Europe or burying copies of the album in the ground and giving maps to fans who wanted to find them.

Initially, Weakling was mainly noted for featuring guitarist Josh Smith of The Fucking Champs fellow Champ Tim Green served as producer , but a recent reissue of their material has brought their work some more attention, and the album has been hailed in some circles, and by musicians including Fenriz of Darkthrone , as a masterpiece.

Gossard and bassist Sarah Weiner later played together in the similarly short-lived doom metal band The Gault although Weiner was the drummer of that outfit ; after that band's demise, Gossard went on to join established funeral doom outfit Asunder, and formed a second black metal band, Dispirit , in the wake of Asunder's dissolution.

Keyboardist Casey Ward currently plays drums in The Husbands. Drummer Sam Foster currently plays drums for death metal band Saros. Although Weakling has never officially announced a split, they broke up in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification.

Dissatisfied with the dedication of the members, Gossard left the band while the rest of the lineup continued on as Black Goat. Prior to the release of the album, a few odd tales sprung up about the possible ways it could be distributed, including printing a single copy to be given to a single fan in Europe or burying copies of the album in the ground and giving maps to fans who wanted to find them. Initially, Weakling was mainly noted for featuring guitarist Josh Smith of The Fucking Champs fellow Champ Tim Green served as producer , but a recent reissue of their material has brought their work some more attention, and the album has been hailed in some circles, and by musicians including Fenriz of Darkthrone , as a masterpiece.

Gossard and bassist Sarah Weiner later played together in the similarly short-lived doom metal band The Gault although Weiner was the drummer of that outfit ; after that band's demise, Gossard went on to join established funeral doom outfit Asunder, and formed a second black metal band, Dispirit , in the wake of Asunder's dissolution. Keyboardist Casey Ward currently plays drums in The Husbands.

Drummer Sam Foster currently plays drums for death metal band Saros. Although Weakling has never officially announced a split, they broke up in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. There is certainly no doubting the musical influence of Weakling upon Wolves In The Throne Room, who exploded in popularity following the release of Two Hunters , an album which — in turn — has gone on to shape large parts of the USBM scene with its long songs and extended atmospheres.

US black metal had yet to find its identity [2], with the likes of Judas Iscariot and VON still very much in thrall to the music coming from Northern Europe, whilst Leviathan and Xasthur — who would come to dominate US black metal shortly before Wolves In The Throne Room — were still exploring their sound on demos.

Relatively mainstream islands of experimentation and creativity could still be found in bands such as Ulver and Arcturus , but these were of a very different character to that of Weakling. Dead As Dreams feels like an album produced in isolation from the wider black metal scene, predicting some of its coming changes whilst seemingly being uninterested in what was happening in the wider world, which further enhances the feeling that Dead As Dreams is a once-in-a-lifetime highpoint, a work of genius that could not possibly be repeated.

Footnotes: [1] Instrumental rehearsal versions of four tracks from Dead As Dreams were recorded on 25th May , with only the title track not appearing on this demo tape. These versions can be heard on Youtube here. Twitter Facebook Tumblr. Reviews Punk Metal Rock. Featured December 22, 0. By Stuart Wain on March 31, Features. Tracklisting: 1. Photo credit: Stuart Wain. A photo supposedly from a rare live peformance, taken from Last.

Stuart Wain. Like really scary. From the riffs to the vocal performance to the drums to the bass and the keyboards, there's not one element that works individually apart from one another.

Each instrument compliments the other perfectly to create this unsettling atmosphere that's unavoidably palpable. This album plows forward like a war machine hellbent of global genocide and won't stop until you and everything you love are reduced to a smoldering pile of ash. The riffs are so memorable, twisting maddeningly through every single song, through every single movement. There's not one riff you'll forget if you pay attention to everything that's going on. And trust me, there's a lot going on.

Drums pummel away endlessly with tactless precision. The guitars blare away as the antithesis of peace. There are even some lovely chimes that play in the opening track. Keyboards hang in the background of the riffs, sending chills down your spine. Sometimes everything just ceases and the keyboards are placed front and center to play this solemn melody as a cold wind blows, cutting through the dark clouds of war spiraling all around like a tornado.

It's absolutely spectacular and a truly unnerving moment. The vocals deserve their own paragraph. In an interview that's on tUMULt's website, John Gossard described how he came up with his unique vocal performance on this album. Apparently, he just decided to scream his lungs out because other black metal bands were doing it.

Really, though, Mr. Gossard's performance is nothing shy of harrowing. It is without a doubt the most demented, insane, bloodcurdling performances I've ever heard behind a microphone. From anybody. Don't get me wrong, I've heard bands like Mayhem and Silencer.

I thought those were some of the most petrifying screams I'd heard before. Through every song, it sounds like he's the victim of an exorcism a-la The Exorcist. He forces out these bone-chilling, suffocating screams and howls that are unique to me in that they sound like legitimate sorrow and anguish. The vocals seem to accurately depict the aural sentiments behind witnessing the hopeless horror or endless war. Speaking of war, this album is one of few I can think of that seems to encapsulate the bitter proliferation of war, death, hopeless, sorrow, anguish, and depression all in one.

This album is only five elongated songs, but in that time, it was able to perfectly present to the listener with an auditory glimpse of what the end of the world would actually sound like.

There are no standout tracks because all of them are equally as incredible. Because when you listen to tracks like "Cut Their Grain and Place Fire Therein," the only thing that comes into your mind are the countless explosions on the battlefield, the devastating power of napalm blasting the Earth into a crater, tracer bullets swooshing to and fro past you as you dash into the thicket of Hell's violent underbelly.

As it ends, the epic 20 minute title track only serves as a painful reminder of how hopeless everything is. As thick distortion fades in, it cuts off to drop to a very depressing acoustic guitar passage that builds into one of the most darkly beautiful passages I've ever heard at three minutes in. It's almost suicidal in how misanthropic it is. The whole song is rather progressive for black metal, frolicking with passages of doom, progressive, and what would later become post-black.

Before reading the interview on tUMULt's website, I had no idea this riff was taken from another song. The riff originally came from a Norwegian black metal band called Demonic. The dark thrash lead that opens the next track "No One Shall Be Called a Man While He'll Die" is amazing, as well as the seamless movement that follows about four minutes into the song.

Everything goes quiet and the bass starts playing. Once again, each instrument has their place. There's not one thing that feels out of place, too loud, too quiet, too awkward, or it feels like it didn't belong and was just tacked on for the sake of it. The album closes with the devastatingly apocalyptic "Desasters in the Sun," the perfect way to close out this monster with a bang.

If I haven't made it clear at any point before I close, this album is not an easy listen. It may only be five tracks long, but all five tracks are sprawling and epic in length, ranging from ten minutes to twenty minutes.

On top of that, there's so much going on that only heavy black metal enthusiasts and those with an interest in long songs will gravitate to this album. Back when this thing was released, it was somewhat polarizing, but it was still regarded as a masterpiece in black metal. Seventeen years later after its limited release, it's now a collector's item, even more polarizing, and is regarded as even more of a masterpiece not just in black metal, but in the entirety of the whole genre of metal.

This album is not for everyone, I assure you, but for anyone who's curious about it, especially purveyors of the finest black metal out there, Dead As Dreams is mandatory listening. This album has to be heard to be believed. If you can, buy a physical copy to own. Many different answers will come from many different people about who they think the best American black metal band is. I think the sunny city of San Francisco would be the last place the casual listener of black metal would think any band of this particular genre would come from.

But if Wrest's project Leviathan and this album is anything to go by, great black metal can exist just about anywhere, especially in places you wouldn't quite expect. Weakling is revered in the atmospheric black metal sub-culture for its influence on countless bands, most controversially Wolves in the Throne Room but also Alda, Skagos, Panopticon, Falls of Rauros, and so many more. This is their only album, an absolute masterpiece, one of the greatest in all of black metal and I would say one of the foundations for atmospheric black metal as we know it today.

Let's start with the guitars on this album. They are relatively clear in the dense mix, but the density is in fact the numerous guitar layers creating an almost and riffs hook in your brain for days. In the first song "Cut Their Grain and Place Fire Therein" alone, I can name at least four awesome riffs or passages, and I can say the same or more for everything else in this seventy-six minute long album.

The title track's despairing intro with both guitar and piano stands out as well. The tone itself is thicker than the brittle buzz of "true" black metal, sometimes reminding me of the tone on the first few My Dying Bride albums.

Guitar solos can be heard throughout as well, always very sinister and befitting the atmosphere of the album. Even with the lo-fi production, there is still enough clarity for the bleak atmosphere to reach multiple musical elements, including the depressing melodic moments.

Surprisingly, the bass shows up more than a few times in this album, most notably in the middle of "No One Can Be Called as a Man While He'll Die", revealing exactly how important it is to the band's overall sound.

The drumming is also incredibly stellar. From vicious black metal blasting to crushing doom to even some thrash, the diversity is quite unexpected. Along with the guitars, they have a very dirty sound to them, taking advantage of the lo-fi sound while filling out the sonic landscape quite well with creative fills and patterns. None of these five songs resort solely to blasting or mid-pace or anything. There are always changes in pattern and tempo.

The vocals on this album derive primarily from Varg Vikernes', but with far more despair and torture behind them. They focus on the typical mid-range black metal shrieks, with more ferocity behind them than many contemporaries, as well as high screams that definitely work as a primordial DSBM sound, most notably in "This Entire Fucking Battlefield", a very Nordic piece similar to Enslaved or Borknagar.

Throughout this album, little tidbits of additional vocal nuttery go on, with a variety of gurgles and clicks and unworldly sounds being produced from John Gossard's vicious vocal chords. In addition, there is a dense bit of keyboard work behind everything that focuses on the sinister and grim. It's quite minimal, similar to In the Nightside Eclipse, and just makes everything even darker and denser. Weakling's comparisons to Wolves in the Throne Room, who came around a few years later, are definitely not without reason, but I don't think there was any direct copying so to speak.

Wolves in the Throne Room has never been this aggressive, and while their atmosphere is definitely dark and introspective, Weakling's is genuinely SCARY. Yeah, scary. I love "soundtrack to the apocalypse" sounding metal and this works pretty well under that description.

While I might prefer Wolves in the Throne Room over Weakling solely due to their greater amount of material, Dead as Dreams is of just as equally perfect quality as the best stuff their spiritual successor put out. The completely organic sound does wonders in today's love for more sterile production not that there's anything wrong with clean sound or triggered drums, they can be used quite effectively when done right , and every piece of music on Dead as Dreams is performed at its most perfect, no questions whatsoever.

It is a journey through a twisted, armageddonesque psychic plane full of glorious dynamics and evil evocation. Seriously now; does Dead as Dreams really seem that overrated to you? Most of the reviews I've read of it spew venom about how it's pretentious and overbloated, preceded by a disclaimer that they cannot, for the life of them, understand why people love the album so much.

Do Weakling draw their lines in the sand from an early stage? Absolutely, though there's a growing part of me that feels like the supposed divisiveness over this album is caused in some part by the fact that many people aren't willing to give it the time it needs to grow. Still, there's something to be said for an album that's grown on me with each and every single fucking listen I've afforded it.

I never hated what Weakling did here. I was, however, bored, or more precisely unsure on what I could latch onto first in listening to it. The daunting song lengths-- that thing literally everyone mentions about it-- makes Dead as Dreams a tough nut to crack, at least at first. Even as one who loves each and every track here, I can say Weakling don't write their epics in a way that relates well to common sense.

On a standard progressive metal record, a twenty minute epic would unfold with an established beginning, middle and end. Weakling don't offer the same obligatory signposts in their compositions. Many listens ago, I probably would have sounded the popular accusation that Dead as Dreams fail to organize their ideas effectively. At the point I'm at now, I'm sure they know exactly where they're going throughout the majority of their album.

They're just organizing themselves in a way many of their listeners aren't used to. Part of the greatness of Weakling , I think, lies in their outsider identity relative to the established black metal canon. No one gave a shit who they were in the late 90s, and even today, Dead as Dreams ' classic status is belied by Weakling 's relegation as apparent forefathers to the "hipster" scene. As far as I'm concerned, Weakling 's relatively plain appearance did nothing to stop them for tapping into what black metal should really be about.

Where in the 'expected' Third Wave fare of bands like Taake and jokey Nargoroth there's a recap of frostbitten tropes that feels redundant in context, Dead as Dreams feels emotionally exhausting and dangerous, at least so long as you give it the opportunity to be. Weakling 's sound particularly the drone and post-rock have become synonymous with the 'soft' end of modern black metal.

It's really something wonderful, then, that the innovator still sounds monumental and oppressive. Josh Smith and John Gossard's guitars are thick and bleak. The latter's vocals here notably an ad hoc tack-on on Gossard's part are rough and authentically tortured-sounding. If there's anything really divisive about Weakling , I suppose it would be the vocals.

From my experience, the people who like the posty side of black metal are usually cheerier than the genre's depressive sector. On top of the band's groundbreaking style, elements of organic character like this are a large part of what makes Dead as Dreams so damn good. Of course, a metal album is nothing without its composition. Dead as Dreams is one of the most challenging listens I've heard in recent months, not because it's as sonically offensive as some of the recent pushers-of-boundaries, but because of the sheer density.

The length and sometimes rhapsodic approach they take to songwriting is practically begging for the criticisms that have been heaped upon it in years since. I thought the same way for the first few listens; it's really important to kep mentioning that Dead as Dreams never struck me with the awe of a masterpiece on my first impression. I feel like I 'get' the album now. And no, there's not a conventional structure you're secretly missing. Instead of providing a traditional outline, Weakling 's compositions develop organically.

That's the only way I can really describe what's going on here. The only other instance I get think of that occurring on similar terms structurally is with Moonsorrow 's V: Havitetty.

Each idea expands on the emotion of the one before it. Whether stretching, amplifying, darkening, uplifting, murking up or relieving the momentum of a given piece, the vast majority of Weakling 's ideas work in their place. I wish there was a way to better communicate my found awe towards this album. The frustrating truth is that whatever key that's needed to unlock this album for a prospective fan has to come with time, and more patience than a lot of so-called black metal fans seem capable of mustering within themselves.

It's rare that a band strikes so many chords for me on opposite ends of the spectrum. I would never expect earnest doom and post-metal riffs tied up amid bleakest shrieks and depressive atmosphere, but here it is nonetheless. And, as a final note, I'm almost relieved Weakling never put anything out after this. Despite their obvious talent, I'm not sure the organic magic here could have really been replicated nor enhanced.

Instead, they said all they needed to say, then faded into the abyss. That's a lesson some of their fellow black metal legends would have done well to follow.

Weakling was a rather interesting black metal band from San Francisco, California. California is definitely a hotbed for the US black metal scene, with bands such as Xasthur, Leviathan, the supergroup Twilight, and of course these guys. Unfortunately, Weakling only cut one album back in before calling it quits. That album was, of course, "Dead as Dreams". Often regarded as a classic in the American underground black metal scene, "Dead as Dreams" had gained a massive cult following throughout years after its release.