Black Metal Trance part III: Weakling

While Burzum achieved a lot by simple means, his music can sometimes become too simple. Mood, sound and structure can get you very far, but add complexity to the mix and the music can become truly mindboggling, as well as hold up better to repeat listenings. Among the literally uncountable bands that have been influenced by Burzum, I find Weakling to be the best by far (do click that link, it gives an excellent summary of the bands history). Perhaps Weakling’s greatness is because they weren’t a clone, and to be honest they were only marginally influenced by the norwegian.

Unfortunately that’s all in the past tense, because they split before their only album “Dead As Dreams” was released. But holy shitlord what an album! It’s 76 minutes long, but only contains 5 tracks. And that’s 5 tracks of relentless fucking metal, no filler 20 minutes of dull thuds. It has tormented, howled vocals and a kaleidoscopic sense of progression that makes other “progressive metal” bands’ 7-minute tracks seem like toddler lullabies. I’ve describled “Dead As Dreams” as a black vortex in the past, and that’s pretty much what it is. It’s not chaos though, it’s extremely well arranged, which makes one wonder how the hell they could rehearse this stuff considering the track lengths.

Very rarely do they get close to any sort of rock groove – instead they steer their despair-drenched black metal juggernaut through mathy rythms and majestic riffs, pounding you into a barbwire-clad trance. There’s not a dull moment on here, and even though the production is a bit on the thin side this is an album I keep coming back to. One of my most captivating listening experiences in recent years was listening to this start to finish (as it should be enjoyed) lying perfectly still on a bed, eyes closed. It worked like a sensory deprivation tank, where I completely lost contact with all senses apart from my hearing. Trippy.

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