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Genghis Tron - Dream Weapon CD (album) cover

DREAM WEAPON

Genghis Tron

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.81 | 7 ratings

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ssmarcus
4 stars By now its a fairly familiar tale. An American millennial extreme music artist from the early to mid 'oughts specializing in "smothing-core," decides to dial back the intensity and veer off into some electronic and post-rock experimentation. Its a phenomenon that is both equal parts meme and illustration of the immense power of the zeitgeist. An artist's creative direction is already decided by the current around them. Only whether they sink below the changing tide, swim ahead of it, or find themselves carried by it in the form of a meme is left undetermined.

Dream Weapon, Genghis Tron's first album since 2008, is very much in the spirit of this change in zeitgeist. Tron rose to relative prominence a decade and a half ago as an artist known for blending the extreme hardcore and metalcore prominent at the time with electronica. Particularly notable was their use of a drum machine in place of a real drummer. Initially used out of necessity due to not finding a suitable drummer, the drum machine eventually became the defining feature of Tron's sound. In hind- sight, Tron's introduction of synthetic and electronic sounds seems to have heralded the trend in the wider context.

Enter 2021's Dream Weapon, a record so utterly unrecognizable from its predecessor's that it might as well have been put out by a different artist. Short sprints of aggression and brutality have been replaced by spacious and repetitive electronic ambiance. The post-hardcore screams and cries of former singer Mookie Singerman have been replaced by the distant droning croons of Tony Wolski. Even the drum machine has been replaced by flesh and blood drummer Nick Yacyshyn. Though the usage of a real drummer may seem like a step away from the electronic frontier, in context, the acoustic drums serve to advance the record along its perpendicular post-rock axis of experimentation.

While Dream Weapon is certainly a drastic departure for Genghis Tron, as I've already indicated, I can't really say its all that unexpected when taking broader music trends into context. Still, this record sees the band both comfortable and inspired in their new skin, producing some immensely captivating music along the way. The record's sole weakness is in just how maddingly restrained it can be across most of its run time. Though successful in building long trance-inducing passages, the album definitely could have afforded passages with more prominent vocals and guitar riffs, akin to what the band did on the track "Dream Weapon." Nevertheless Dream Weapon is worthwhile entry to the band's small but respected discography.

ssmarcus | 4/5 |

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