THE BERZERKER

"Dissimulate" (Earache Records; 2002)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

The maniacal, grinding tour-de-force that is The Berzerker continues along the path of complete destruction with their latest effort, "Dissimulate." The listener is left to decide if it is simply the destruction of all that is wrong with the world or a re-ordering of what is right with the world by eliminating all that is wrong.

"Dissimulate" actually manages to push the boundaries of extreme music even just a little bit further than their self-titled disc (if you can believe it). That alone should impress you if you're a fan of extreme brutality or are at least a little familiar with The Berzerker's self-titled disc. Once again the quality of the riffs on "Dissimulate" makes each track different from the others - however, that observation may not be apparent from the first dozen or so listens from the casual listener. But then again, who can listen to grindcore in a casual manner?

The Berzerker meld death metal and grindcore in a unique way - once again this is successful outcome of dual vocalists (or is it three vocalists?), crazed percussion (sampled or otherwise), and spoken word bits which give the listener a chance to 'know' what the song is about before they are sonically assaulted. The band's use of industrial elements remains, but are perhaps woven into the music in a more seamless way on "Dissimulate."

Very few tracks on "Dissimulate" break the three-minute barrier and many tracks are under two-minutes. The pacing, as on the self-titled debut, is fast and furious bordering on being violent - regardless the music is simply free of compassion. There is no doubt that "Dissimulate" is as deliberate as it is punishing. The Berzerker's ability to make you think about their philosophy makes the disc a cerebral experience as well as a physical experience.

In addition to twelve original tracks a crushing cover of Carcass' "Corporal Jigsore Quandry" is included.

Whilst not my favorite style of metal, grindcore has a place in my listening experiences and The Berzerker are high on the list of required listening. "Dissimulate" is an impressive slab of grinding madness.

If you liked "The Berzerker" you'll love "Dissimulate."

"Dissimulate" was produced by The Berzerker.

For more information visit http://www.theberzerker.com/

"The Berzerker" (Earache Records; 2000)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

The Berzerker are one of the few bands who have actually made something already extreme even more extreme. Grindcore, already on the fringes of extreme music, gets a new dose of frantic pacing and rapid-fire intensity. Doses of what you ask? Well, for starters, The Berzerker incorporate industrialized percussion to the mix. Additionally, the vocals are shouted at light speed - so if the gruff vocals don't get you the blinding speed will confuse you all the more.

Needless to say, The Berzerker's self-titled debut is not something to relax to. "The Berzerker" is not for the faint of heart. In fact, a steely stamina will be required for casual fans of the genre while those who lean towards this extreme form of grind will undoubtedly find reason to celebrate the manner in which The Berzerker have managed to infuse some life into the grind genre.

One of the things I appreciate about "The Berzerker" is that it isn't too difficult to tell one track from another. Often in the grind genre, the tracks seem like the same track, slightly altered, one right after another. The Berzerker make distinctions in their songs with pre-recorded spoken-word bits, varied drumming and percussion, or a multitude of vocal approaches, and a few spots where synths serve as a horror-themed movie soundtrack.

Fans of Brutal Truth and Pig Destroyer will enjoy "The Berzerker." Fans of some of the more intense death metal bands will find something to like in "The Berzerker" as well.

The Berzerker is collective of maniacal musicians hell-bent on destroying the boundaries of extreme music.

For more information visit http://www.theberzerker.com/

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 28 Feb 2016 12:56:00 -0500.