Earache describes The Berzerker's new album Animosity as "aural terrorism", given the ever-present onslaught of double bass drum fury combined with hyperkinetic riffery and vocals from hell. While firmly rooted in an old school grind blueprint, the band also seem to benefit from studio trickery in order to update their sound without sacrificing their core elements.
Contrary to some of their older albums, Animosity's guitar sound is more primal, more in-your-face; and thankfully, the processed spoken vocal samples that appeared on some of their previous works are nonexistent here. This is unbridled heaviness, played at break-neck speed and topped with demonic vocals. The machine-gun riffery of "False Hope" keeps pounding out like a marching army of hundred thousand troops whilst monstrous double bass drums of "Evolution" are among their most relentless to date. That said, being a drum machine, the not-so-organic sound of the drums may turn some old-school death metal fans off. While in no way a setback to the album, the tones of kicks and toms do sound identical on each and every song. The most interesting parts are when the guitars slow down to generate doomy atmospheres, as on the intro of "No More Reasons", but it only lasts for a couple of seconds before everything turns into yet another "play as fast as you can" type of grind. That said, the guitar work is also rather simplistic, despite seeming quite complex at first. Most of it is repeated three-note rhythms that get buried under the two-part vocal lines: Luke Kerry does both the super low death growls and the deafening black-like shrieks depending on the speed and structure of the song.
Fans of Berzerker will no doubt enjoy this release, but to me, it seems rather bland and even boring most of the time.
- Eye for an Eye
- False Hope
- No More Reasons
- Weapons of War
- Heavily Medicated
- Lonely World