Band – Weakling
Album – Dead As Dreams
Country of Origin – USA
Genre – Black Metal
Release Date – 1999
Label – Independent/tUMULt/N:C:U
Author – Hayduke X
Over the course of this last year, the MoshPitNation team has been discussing new ways to approach music, and we’ve come up with a few new ideas for presenting our thoughts on these terrible sounds we all love. One of those ideas might be better classified as old, or at least the music should be. We are planning to review some classic albums from across the spectrum of metal. Here is my first offering to this particular idea.
I have heard it said that Dead As Dreams is the original Cascadian black metal album. If I could remember where I heard that, I would credit the speaker, but unfortunately, that’s just something I picked up in passing. I can’t even guarantee the truth of the statement, though feel free to comment with your thoughts on the matter. In 1999, I was at the beginning of my long “years of musical hiatus” with little money and little time. I was married the July before and had my first child in July of that year. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, even though I had already earned a bachelor’s degree, and was cobbling together whatever work I could find. I wouldn’t even become aware of the existence of black metal for over a decade. I was already a metalhead, but hadn’t really discovered the underground. The so-called ‘groove metal’ of bands like White Zombie and Prong were about the heaviest of which I was aware. Thus, I can’t give you any context about the scene at the time.
However, I can state categorically that I believe Dead As Dreams to be the greatest USBM album of all time. It’s certainly the best I’ve heard. Feel free to challenge me on that with other albums you think beat it. The combination of tense, controlled, and oppressive riffing and the mellower atmospheric sections meld together perfectly to create a poignant, haunting experience. The rough production works well in making the album feel like a force of its own, without overwhelming nuance. The album is a sonic apocalypse, the rolling drums and bass presenting the weightiness of chokehold humanity has on nature, the keys haunting the background like the ghosts of extinct species, the guitars finding strange, disturbing, and intricate patterns through which to express themselves, and the misery of the vocalist’s wails to top it all off. Truly a masterpiece. Others more knowledgeable than I have written better words about this sole full length from Weakling, so I’ll keep this short, and finish with a plea for a repress. Please?
Biography: Hayduke X has been writing for MoshPitNation since June of 2016. He is also a contributor to The Metal Wanderlust. Prior to joining the MoshPitNation team, Hayduke published reviews on his own blog Rage and Frustration. In addition, he has DJ’ed an online metal radio show of the same name as his blog, written for TOmetal.com, done interviews for Metal Rules, and collaborated with The Art of B Productions to create video interviews with a wide variety of bands.