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Weakling - Dead as Dreams - 33%

Thralldom, March 26th, 2012

Honestly, I do not have anything against this band or their fans. However, this is one of the biggest examples of a band that releases a single album that is endlessly (and needlessly) hyped by fans and critics. I am both surprised and glad to see that I am not the first person to find this to be the case, although I do not fully agree with what some other reviewers had to say about this album.

The members of Weakling do have some level of instrumental ability that is above many other black metal acts, especially those from the United States. However, their compositional skills mostly seem to extend to creating unnecessarily long songs with incredibly pretentious and ridiculous song titles. Before going any further, I would like to apologize for the heavy use of descriptors, but I feel particularly passionate about what I am writing in this review.

The unfortunate fact is that, for me (and a few others at least), this band comes across as faceless amidst a sea of more talented bands. While it is apparent that they consider the very talented Swans to be an important influence and they occasionally almost manage to capture the slow, grinding feelings of releases such as Cop on this album, they are generally unworthy of being seen as Swans' essence translated into black metal. The vocals are pretty typical, and actually not offensive at all, but they lack any real identity and they fail to convey anything more than the most generic emotions.

They might have eventually amounted to something if they stuck around for more than one album. That is, if they decided to make an album that was actually about something other than maxing out the recording length of a CD. There is really no purpose for the songs to be so long and directionless.

Although there are no real standout compositions here, I will give the album some credit for occasionally being ambitious, not being about something childish like suicide or depression and not sounding like they recorded it in one of the band members' mothers' basements. Despite the cool album cover, listening to this album will ultimately result in wasting over an hour of your time that could have been spent doing something productive.