Weakened
Endless Eclipse


3.0
good

Review

by Magnus Altkula STAFF
August 22nd, 2013 | 13 replies


Release Date: 07/19/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: RIYL modern death metal hybrids with sci-fi themes

It was Re-Independence Day yesterday (20.08) in Estonia and, due in no small part to local television channels, Will Smith-starred 1996 box-office hit "Independence Day" always starts haunting me during this time of the year. Remember that scene where Smith punches an alien square in the face? That’s also how Weakened’s space-themed debut album sounds – like an impromptu punch to the nose. Endless Eclipse is a noteworthy little release, especially because it’s somewhat of an oddity in the death metal world. It’s got a really clean, slick production usually associated with modern tech death bands, but that’s not who Weakened are. There are progressive leanings on show, but to call Weakened a full-out progressive death metal band isn’t quite right either – it just means they know how to write songs. They definitely don’t qualify under revival or osdm, so who are they? It is most probable that Weakened will have to focus on carving out a real niche for themselves at one point, but for the time being they’re another promising heavy band from France.

Weakened’s take on modern death metal is definitely an acquired taste, especially since its sparse breakdowns and a few tone selections sound (only at certain moments, mind you) -core influenced, or at least reminiscent of it. Regardless, Endless Eclipse is heavy and varied enough to possibly satisfy fans of groups ranging from Hypocrisy to Anata. The only thing holding it back is its production, which is devoid of absolutely any grime and will leave fans of dirtier metal undoubtedly indifferent. In fact, the production has a real yin and yang effect going for it: on one hand it is well-balanced, not to mention the excellent tone of the drums, but on the other the guitars sound too squeaky-clean and the whole thing gives off a way too sterile feel. It is possible to look past this initially due to the decent songwriting chops of the band, but on repeated listens the arid production values leave a bittersweet aftertaste.

Concerning the songs themselves, most of them are satisfactory, mid-paced modern death metal tunes, and that’s the general impression the record shall leave after the album’s most unique track "Blackroom" has finished: it’s neat. Endless Eclipse is an adequate metal record with a few cool tricks up its sleeve to keep the listeners entertained, but it’s also evident this is just a starting block for Weakened. Even though the songwriting chops are there, the band’s direction and aim aren’t transparent at this point. Currently too refrained for the technical/progressive death metal crowd and definitely too "metal" for fans of core-heavy (not to mention synth-heavy) bands like Born of Osiris and the ilk, Weakened find themselves in a fringe area between two poles. It is possible to do good while in that fringe area as well (this album proves it), but it would probably be too tight a rope to walk on for too long. The mix of death metal and episodic -core leanings works here, but only to a point, seeing as how Endless Eclipse sounds more like a well-rounded conglomeration of the band’s influences and less like a revolutionary masterpiece.

Anomalistic works almost always go down as positive phenomena for me, even when the album in question doesn’t feature light-up-the-world material. Different isn’t always good, but it sure as hell beats boring and trite. Weakened haven’t managed to take the very best from their influences (ranging from Hatebreed to Decapitated and Amon Amarth), but they took enough to craft a decent modern death metal offering which, at the least, can function as a solid basis for future endeavors. Endless Eclipse doesn’t sound exactly like another, more famous band’s album would and while the record isn’t greater than the sum of its parts, it doesn’t take away from the things it gets right (diverse guitar bits, interesting alien melodies, smooth transitions). The future is wide open for Weakened and which way they’re going to go is to be seen. For the time being though, Endless Eclipse is a decent option for those seeking a modern death metal record not bound to a specific sub-genre.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
August 21st 2013


8387 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

http://weakened.bandcamp.com/

Still trying to overcome my writer's block which has been raging throughout the summer now. This isn't essential, but if it sounds interesting enough, just click on the link above.

BallsToTheWall
August 21st 2013


44786 Comments


Good review. Will not be jamming this false dm.

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss

jtswope
August 22nd 2013


2435 Comments


Good review man. Not sure I feel compelled to listen to this.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2013


7318 Comments


You have to explain this Re-Independence Day concept to me Magnus my man. Hahaha I realize I'm totally going off tangent from this review here but my curiosity is seriously piqued XD

Digging: Portishead - Dummy

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2013


8387 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

During WWI Estonia was bound to become a battleground for the Russians and Germans but due to some luck (uneasy civil situation in Russia, mostly) clever thinking and heavy underground meddling of our top politicians and statesmen we seized an opportunity to finally, after centuries of oppression (from the Swedes, Germans, Russians, you name it) to declare independency on 24.02.1918 while the Russian Red Army was retreating from our borders and the Germans hadn't managed to swoop in yet. After WWI ended we managed to defend our new-found sovereignty with some help from allies like Latvia, Finland, the Whites from Russian civil war and The UK. Since then, our independence lasted 22 years until we were re-occupied by the Russians during the start of WWII. Our Re-Independence day is in celebration of us decisively winning back our independence from The Soviet Union in 1991, mere months before the Union's eventual downfall.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2013


16466 Comments


wait do they really play independence day in estonia on re-independence day?

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2013


8387 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't think it's a "modern tradition" or anything, but this year it was like that indeed (they do show the movie annually, just during different times to, you know, keep the excitement levels high). The channel that broadcasted it isn't run by Estonians of course, so it might've just been the British having a bit of fun.

We also got Robbie Williams as the year's biggest concert on the 20th so yeah, The Brits were definitely up to something.

Guzzo10
Contributing Reviewer
August 25th 2013


1069 Comments


THIS ISN'T TEH WEEKND

Digging: Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

FrozenVain
August 25th 2013


2470 Comments


Really nice review, man! This does sound interesting but I dunno. Might check it out.

Imperial
August 25th 2013


1738 Comments


Just a really weak sounding album by today's standards.

LocksmithGerald
August 25th 2013


46 Comments


IM FEELIN A LITTLE TIGHT UP IN THE CENTRAL SQUARE IF SOMEONE COULD TWEAK MY TUMBLERS THAT'D BE NICE

Imperial
August 25th 2013


1738 Comments


^^^

Apollo
September 1st 2013


10361 Comments


Yeah this just sounds like deathcore tbh. Good review tho Styles



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