Track By Tracks: Weep - Life In Shades Of Grey (2023)

1. The Blinding Mist:

This track was definitely the byproduct of one too many listens of Nattens Madrigal by Ulver. It was the first track I wrote for the EP and started as a desire to write the most stereo-typically second wave black metal song I could muster. Unfortunately I got lost somewhere and the middle and it revealed itself to be the new sound I had been searching for. The post-hardcore interlude that transitions into acoustic guitars was the perfect balancing act between all my musical interests, and the gritty production and larynx-demolishing vocals are the DSBM cherry on top.

2. Life in Shades of Grey:

The title track was the moment I realized that this EP was going to be something special. The whiplash effect of beautiful post-hardcore melodies and black metal fury hits all the right beats for me. The lead guitar has always done a lot of heavy lifting for Weep but I think the leads on this track are especially poignant. Weep plays a very delicate melodic balancing act between the upbeat major melodies of post-hardcore and the evil depressive DSBM side. In the past I felt that the combination wasn’t quite clicking but on this track the beautiful mournful leads floating over blast beats and tremolos create the perfect mixture to mope to.

3. Vacant Eyes:

More downtempo than the previous two tracks, the real treat here is the chunky riff that occupies the midsection. Weep isn’t really a guitar solo kind of band but I tried my best to channel Morningside-era Opeth and deliver something special to accompany it. Add in probably one of my best vocal performances and your cooking with some serious kerosene. The transition into clean guitar and the build to the double-bass conclusion exemplifies Weep’s deft knack for avoiding the monotony and flaccid energy levels of most DSBM.

4. Frail Forms:

Whoops, forgot to add the metal in this one. I did in fact rip off Erik Satie’s Gymnopédie 1 for the acoustic guitar line but he’s been dead a few hundred years so who cares. This is the first song that really features my clean vocals and while I wouldn’t say they’re anything special I think the raw honesty of them combined with the sincere lyrics about the death of a loved one capture an emotional honesty that is often lacking from DSBM. One of DSBM’s major issues is that it tends to use mental illness as an excuse to be edgy rather than the jumping-off point for serious musical reflection, I think this song is proof that Weep is committed to the latter rather than the former.

5. Iron Scented Regret:

Undoubtedly one of the best songs I’ve ever written, the brief runtime of this track and its sharp transitions really show off the post-hardcore influence present. I’ve always enjoyed pairing guitar melodies with vocals tightly and the intro of this song is an example of why it works so well. However, the back half is where it gets really transcendent. The Agalloch style leads prancing over bittersweet arpeggios and a slinky bassline demonstrate why post-hardcore and black metal are a match made in heaven. The dynamic shift into the acoustic outro also features my best clean vocals to date.

6. Can’t Bring Back You:

Fittingly the last song I wrote for the album, this track leans a bit towards the emo-crust direction, especially in the intro. Lyrically I would argue this is one of the strongest tracks on the record, and the vocal performance reaches ludicrous levels of intensity towards the end. I recall almost passing out while tracking the last few shrieks and the driving double bass line and intricate snare accents really bring a sense of finality to the project. Ending with piano might be DSBM cliché, but cliches are popular for a reason.

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