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Industrial delights - 84%

MikeyC, November 29th, 2008

After a year and a half, Australian industrial grind band The Berzerker have released their fifth album entitled The Reawakening. Oftentimes, you’ll see bands crumble and fall when releasing something so quickly, as Aborted have shown, with their latest album being a shadow of what it once was. However, I believe that The Berzerker have come out with perhaps the best release of their career.

Maybe what fuelled this improvement is the fact that Luke Kenny, the brains and brawn behind this band, has created his own record label called Berzerker Industries. Free from the “constraints” of Earache, it sounds like he’s free to create the sounds he wants to. Not that The Reawakening sounds too different to their other releases, mind you. There is a small extra amount of techno beats in this album, more than previous albums (see the track “Unforgotten Force”). I like this addition, however that might have something to do with me enjoying industrial metal to some extreme. The addition of these elements seems to inject life into albums, even though others would say it has the opposite effect. If anyone has heard the band Whourkr, then you’ll know how much I love them, and thus how much I love the industrial side of metal.

Moving on, and the snare drum has that triggered sound that is not unlike the snare on Dissimulate, recorded 6 years ago. It’s definitely not a conventional sound used, but that is more than likely the point here. Unfortunately, it’s occasionally buried underneath the bass-heavy pounding of the bass drumming (the whole drumming is done by a computer, I believe). The snare could easily get annoying to some listeners, but because I enjoy being different (or maybe I’m tone-deaf, who knows?), I like it and believe it to be a credible addition to the industrialised theme.

The drums and techno additions are, quite honestly, the biggest changes here. The guitar riffs and the vocals are trademark Berzerker qualities that you’ve heard in previous albums. There are plenty of riffs to be had here, of course, but this is one album where I view songs as a complete entity, rather than focusing on a distinct riff, or vocal line. So while I remember few riffs from the album, it doesn’t make it any less enjoyable for me.

A quick word about the bonus tracks: I got the digipack with the bonus tracks connected at the end. Now, these tracks go for over 20 minutes themselves, so they have to be considered as a part of the album also, at least for the digipack. These are all techno remixes of either “Spare Parts” or “Caught In The Crossfire”, however not many of these versions (or none) sound like the original, save for some vocal lines or whatever. If you’re into techno, you’ll probably enjoy them to some degree. Otherwise, you’ll be likely to skip them (and this band!) altogether. I listen to them, and like all of them, but my favourite would be Frazzbass’s mix of “Spare Parts”. It’s a speedcore track, and because I enjoy speedcore, I was destined to like it more than the others.

Fans of The Berzerker will probably enjoy this album, however it’s hard to say whether it will be more or less than previous albums. For those who don’t like this band, The Reawakening won’t change your perspective at all. For me, I would consider this their best, rivalling Dissimulate and Animosity in terms of quality (thankfully they didn’t release another World Of Lies, as that album was a disappointment). A must have for fans of this kind of music.