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Review: Weakling - Dead as Dreams
Dead as Dreams

Label: tUMULt
Year released: 2000
Duration: 76:09
Tracks: 5
Genre: Black Metal


Review online: January 30, 2016
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.27/5 (85.33%) (15 Votes)

This is one of those releases that nobody noticed when it came out, but its effect on the genre down through the years has grown until it is almost incalculable. Weakling only existed for a few years, and this was their only album, and it may well mark the exact point where the Second Wave of Black Metal turned into the Third Wave.

This is an excessive album by any measure, clocking in at over seventy-five minutes with only five songs, none of them under ten minutes in length, and the title track stretching for a monstrous twenty. And yet, if you want to understand where modern USBM is coming from, you have to hear this. Wolves in the Throne Room may have redefined North American BM with their 2006 release Diadem of Twelve Stars, but everything on that disc grew out of this one. Hell, even the band logos are similar.

Named for a song by the Swans, Weakling obviously draw on some influences from darker, more experimental bands like Neurosis and Die Kreuzen, but this remains a metal album all the way through. This was a band that took bits off other genres and grafted them to their Black Metal base to form huge, mutated behemoths fuels by dark, crushing riffs and expansive arrangements. They set the mold for pretty much every band since that calls themselves "Cascadian" Black Metal, and for a lot of the more noisy, atmospheric stuff as well, like Forgotten Tomb or even Xasthur.

The band recorded this in 1998, and the fact that it sounds just as fresh and adventurous eighteen years later indicates just how ahead of its time it really was. Released to almost no notice in 2000 after the band was already defunct, this remains a massive, iconoclastic, powerful album that the real Black Metal fan should make an effort to hear. A fantastic, underrated, hidden jewel of the underground.

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