The Berzerker – The Berzerker (2000)

January 13, 2014
The Berzerker – The Berzerker (2000)

Before The Berzerker became a fully-fledged band with Dissimulate and the tour that came before it, the project was – if footage from the Principles and Practices.. DVD is anything to go by – basically one very angry Australian man shouting at his friends until they made a death metal record with hardcore gabba drumming. I don’t really know how or why Dig from Earache signed Luke Kenny on two mediocre, dancy Morbid Angel remixes, but I’m sure as shit glad that he did. How The Berzerker was born from that initial session, I’ll never know.

You could argue The Berzerker’s existence before the self-titled, but in my opinion, they/he didn’t really come into their/his own until they/he started making albums for Earache. This first output, a ramshackle collection of unfinished tunes by Luke and several musician friends, left much more of a mark than I think anyone ever expected. It is now no secret that this album was released in an unfinished form, the band simply running out of time before the release date. Couple that with the group handling a lot more experimental and dirtier grindcore here than on any other of their albums, and you have a recipe for disaster. But, in the long run I think it is what made The Berzerker; that dirty sound with the awkward mix of gabba techno and death metal guitars; each genre lurching over the other uncomfortably in the unfinished mixing.

“Reality” and “Forever” are two of my all time favourite tunes, “Burnt” isn’t far behind and “February” just seethes absolute fucking loathing for the human race, which is just gravy. Throw in a bunch of medical samples and the intro for Faces of Death and hey presto, you’re onto a winner. Who needs mixing and mastering? Excluding the final two tracks, which are the shittiest excuses for harsh noise to ever be exported from Oz, The Berzerker is an absolute animal of a record, one that lays bare the disgusting reality of human existence, and emphasises the all too easily-forgotten looming presence of death. Grim stuff.

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