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Album Reviews : The Berzerker – The Reawakening

By on January 22, 2009

Without a doubt, The Berzerker is one of Australia’s most recognisable metal bands overseas. Regular tours to Europe and America saw the band build a cult following in the extreme metal circles, with many calling them “the most extreme metal band there’s been”. However, after three well received album releases on the label Earache Records, their contract was not renewed and the band was left to fend for themselves with recording their latest album titled ‘The Reawakening’.

Instead of signing to a new metal label, the band, led by vocalist Luke Kenny decided to go it alone and create their own label, known now as Berzerker Industries. These episodes in the recent life of the band have resulted in the viciously honest album. Straight off the back, the lyrical in the opening songs, in particular track 4 titled ‘The Deception’, in which vocalist Luke Kenny’s piece of mind is explicitly delivered on regarding the label dramas shows much passion in the music, a plus to their music that even a glam metal fan would appreciate.

Musically, while the brutal sound is definitely still there, I’m very glad to hear that the subtle change towards a more melodic sound as seen on Animosity has been sustained. It adds a certain listenability that for me wasn’t quite there on earlier Berzerker releases. Just to clarify that point to people who love the heavy as fuck approach, this is still some very brutal music, if you can’t crank your neck out of place while headbanging to this, then nothing will do it!

An interesting musical comparison that my mind keeps coming back to is Bloodbath. Well, it’s more like Bloodbath sped up and with the signature drum sound that instantly marks a song as ‘The Berzerker’. Throw in some amazingly fast and technical Ed Lacey riffs, with Luke Kenny programming, plus a little Carcass in the mix like always and there you have it, ‘The Reawakening’.

Between the recording and release of this album, The Berzerker/Berzerker Industries offered the public a chance to release some of their own talent on the album in the form of a re-mixed Berzerker song as bonus songs on the album. What resulted were 6 tracks of varying influence. My personal pick out of these remixes would be the Stanley Cupid mix of Caught in the Crossfire, which brings an almost dance/rave party feeling to the table, a drug infused state of mind maybe, either way; the extra songs get a tick from me as a great addition to the album.

The switch to their own label in my opinion hasn’t yielded the rewards that it well could or should have recieved. It certainly was certainly not through lack of trying, with much of the public being bombarded with The Berzerker album flyers at every metal show in Australia (especially Melbourne) in the months leading up to its release. The Reawakening is a quality album and the band/label deserve far more credit and support than it has so far received in the public domain. 7.5/10

Band: The Berzerker
Album: The Reawakening
Year: 2008
Genre: Industrial Death Metal
Label: Berzerker Industries
Origin: Melbourne, Australia

Track listing:
1. Wisdom and Corruption
2. An Unforgotten Force
3. Caught in the Crossfire
4. The Deception (Reviewer’s Choice)
5. Disassembly Line
6. Evolution of Aggression
7. Your Final Seconds
8. Harvesting a Loved One
9. Internal Examination
10. Spare Parts

11. Spare Parts (Namshubofenki Mix)
12. Spare Parts (Bazooka Mix)
13. Caught in the Crossfire (Zardoic Mix)
14. Spare Parts (Delta 9 Mix)
15. Caught in the Crossfire (Stanley Cupid Mix)
16. Spare Parts (Frazzbass Mix)