Released: 2007, Earache Records
The Berzerker is a band that causes much controversy amongst metal fans. Over the course of three albums (beginning with 2000’s self-titled release), the band have been both hailed as the next step in death metal brutality and denigrated as senseless noise merchants. All the while, I’ve been completely ignorant of the Melbourne, Australia export. Why? Well, most probably because I tend to find death metal of the “blasting for blasting’s sake” variety very boring after the first few listens. For me, it just has no staying power.
So, going into my first listen of ANIMOSITY, it’s safe to say I was curious, but not exactly excited. The verdict? It’s pretty much exactly what I expected it to be: nigh-indecipherable speed death blosh, mechanized into the next century by synthetic drums and sound effects. However, that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it. I mean, there’s just some kind of perverse enjoyment to be derived from a pure aural assault like “Evolution”.
When the band does back off a bit and let a few riffs claw above the cogs and wires, there are some catchy bits to be heard. Most surprisingly on the song “Heavily Medicated”, which begins as a typical blast-athon, but quickly moves into an infectious melodic death metal-styled riff, just before diving back into the REEK OF PUTREFACTION zone. Such morsels are spread throughout the album, rewarding the closer listen.
All in all, with ANIMOSITY The Berzerker shows that they have more to offer than you might expect. Sure, most of the album is an unfathomable racket but sometimes that can be a good thing.