The Berzerker - World Of Lies
Earache Records
Brutal Industrial Death Metal
14 songs (58'42)
Release year: 2005
The Berzerker, Earache Records
Reviewed by Kayla
Album of the month

For ages, mankind has attempted to answer the basic questions of the universe. Who are we? Why are we here? What would happen if Necroticism-era Carcass and Strapping Young Lad had a baby? While we may never know the answer to the first two, The Berzerker has kindly given us the answer to the last in the form of their third full studio album.

World Of Lies bursts forth from the womb brandishing a bloody chainsaw. It kicks off with the first of many audio samples and a short, buzzing crescendo that melds perfectly into the opening riff of Committed To Nothing. What follows are 59 of some of the most punishing minutes I’ve experienced in quite a while, full of riffs that ascend and descend like miniature shockwaves and distorted, inhuman kickdrumming. In fact, there’s not a lot that’s human-like in the album at all. The tone is similar to that of Meshuggah, especially on Catch Thirtythree; very mechanical and precise. The drums have a hollow quality to them that reinforces this and works very well to create a sound of impersonal brutality.

A strange sort of duality emerges from the sonic assault. While the guitars are so clear as to be able to discern every note played, the vocals are so harsh it’s nearly impossible to understand them. However, this only adds to the inhuman quality the band seems to be going for. Vocalist and mastermind behind the operation Luke "The Berzerker" Kenny provides two sets of vocals, one a lower roaring growl and the other a midrange gargle, that play off each other well and are used to great effect when layered in “Y” and Free Yourself. The samples that pepper the album and usually appear at the beginning of songs provide moments of relative calm that offer some breathing space before the next round of skull-crushing. The samples themselves mostly feature a man’s voice speaking calmly, at times delivering part of a sermon or speech, at others instructing an unseen audience on the finer points of cremations and autopsies.

Repetition is a danger present in putting together this sort of an album that The Berzerker avoid handily. While almost every song features light speed drumming and rolling riffs, each song is incredibly individual, from the heavy, chunking All About You to the epic descending arpeggios of “Y” and the jackhammering-cum-industrial-screeches of Never Hated More. “Y” is definitely the highlight of the album. It’s the perfect synthesis of industrial vocal distortion and a brutal but bizarrely smooth melody that you can only cling to desperately in the hope it won’t throw you and trample you like a maddened rodeo bull.

By far the most puzzling part of World Of Lies comes at the end, in the form of the last two tracks. Silence is exactly that – five minutes and one second of silence. Farewell is a little over twenty minutes of what I can only describe as atmospheric industrial drone death. The same riff is repeated with almost no variation, over which floats a bleak, haunting string synth line. Silence is an interesting idea, and despite having been done before, the context of the rest of the album gives it a new meaning (one I doubt John Cage would have envisioned). In its own way, it’s just as jarring as any of the preceding tracks; the effect is similar to being hit with red-hot steel over and over again, then being dunked in cold water. Farewell is excellent on its own, and certainly has a finality to it that makes it a good album closer. However, the combination of the two tracks on the heels of so much constant battering is a little disconcerting. Only the thematic and tonal similarities that they have with the rest of the album save the endeavor from failure and makes it into something worth listening to, rather than another good reason for the existence of the skip button. Even so, I doubt Silence will be high on anyone’s playlist.

If you're a fan of the type of aural annihilation that makes your head bang until your neck snaps like a matchstick and blood runs out your ears in the midst of a post-apocalyptic wasteland, this is the album for you. Do your masochistic self a favor and experience the twisted fruit of The Berzerker’s loins.

Killing Songs :
All except Silence
Kayla quoted 90 / 100
Dee quoted 77 / 100
Other albums by The Berzerker that we have reviewed:
The Berzerker - The Reawakening reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
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