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Weird, chaotic and gluey with hilarious lyrics. - 25%

oneyoudontknow, March 1st, 2010

Berserker is a strange release … so much is certain and there is nothing subliminal about it. The listener is directly confronted with it as the arrangements as well as the song-writing is outside the ordinary routine of what metal artists normally reach for. Especially the drum-computer, or better said the strange way in which it was programmed, needs to the emphasized. Unlike a lot of other bands no monotonous or repetitive arrangements were used on this album. Rather the contrary is the case and a surprisingly dynamic catchy beat is used at times. There are also 'blast' parts of course, but the dominating impression is that of modern and out of the metal arena influences.

When I listened to the music the first time, then Type O Negative came to my mind. It was the sound as well as the style in which the guitars were played that gave me this impression. To be frank, Belmez does not copy the style of the Americans the whole time, but there are some references now and then which should be mentioned. Generally, the music consists of doomy guitar parts, which are separated in a rhythm and a lead one. While in the back some loose accords are played, whose combination gives the idea of a vague melody, solo parts – often quite long ones – were placed on top of it. So, together this gives a rather startling and surprisingly odd combination, but maybe Belmez wanted to stay true to the meaning of their name; just look up Bélmez Faces and you get a glimpse behind this band.

The downside of this album is its overall impression and the thickness in which the music progresses. Belmez' art basically consists of one approach, which was varied in some respect over the length of the album. They stuck to it and they were able to create an interesting as well as somehow unique atmosphere, so these are both arguments in favour of the band. Consistency is there but here it has become a burden to the band. The compositions lack surprising elements because Belmez always relied on a specific and characteristic set of ideas. Hence, the music becomes predicable in some sense and the listener bored.

Final bits and bytes
So, while there are some nice arrangements now and then, they are not able to leave a positive impression as the overall mediocrity and shallowness of the concept fires back on the band. Their idea of music simply follows a too predictable rule to grab the attention of the listener over the whole length of the album. Yet, this all would and could be tolerated would it not be for the hilariously bad lyrics. Especially the track Meine Kraft takes the cake and brings this album to low levels that might surprise those who are not familiar with the German tongue. Yes indeed, metal and this language are two facets that are difficult to bring together on a high level. Too often the bands simply cannot resist the temptation to pull some sort of stunt and Belmez really should have been aware of what they did; I mean, they should have seen the responses coming. The, let us call it, 'ode to the beloved one' (see above) is even worse than Dark Funeral's Atrum Regina; which says a lot. Some things are better left unsaid … or avoided in the metal arena.

So, basically we have here an idea going horribly wrong and whether you will like this release or not depends on something simple as your level of understanding of the German tongue.