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Exmortem – Berzerker Legions (Reissue)

Berzerker Legions (Reissue)
by Quinten Serna at 25 May 2021, 8:23 AM

20 years from inception and release the reach of Berzerker Legions is still just as boundless as it first came to be two decades prior; and, while nothing new has been added, rendered, or otherwise edited in reference to re-mastery or any other such attention the Reissue allows us, the listener, to gather a moment in reflection on a timeless entity and bang our heads to a distant sound—or perhaps, allow the introduction to new audiences to the band that once was: EXMORTEM.

The album opens with the incredibly short introductory number “Icecold Ugliness (Part 1)” which manages almost a minute of dissonant ambience with its discord of an outro managing to instill the sensations of unease and distension. The title track, “Berzerker Legions,” is the first track to truly commence the track listing as a full song beginning with a bang and the relentless guitars before the entirety of the band follows ensues seamlessly then blending in transition to the verse; the whole of the song is a singular force of rage channeled into an onslaught of Death Metal. “Bonfire Of The Insanities” begins with the drums rolling the song in as they provide an anchorage between the silence of the beginning and the throes of the band. “Deeds Of Hatred” feels as a pulse, a living force constructed of jarring disdain culminating into a spiral of hate which ends with great fervor. The last track on the album and longest by total track length, “The Revolutionary Soul,” moves in and out of standard progressions and half-time feels to create a sense of unbalance in a heavy laden track that only increases in intensity until the outro which fades on a distancing march.

It’s clear cut to any listener that this album is based in a time preceding our own now with the tones of the instruments being rooted somewhere between modern and classic. The bass is dirty and deep having its focus more in line with a force and presence and drive rather than a clarity or distinction. The guitars are balanced amongst one another such that they blend when they need to but otherwise separate in sound completed with a medium drive. The drums contain a stereophonic sound to them which is itself quite odd as one comes to realize it was a practice more common in antiquity than today—many of the songs have a “marching” kind of attribute to them such that every track feels like it’s moving you forward, another striking attribute that doesn’t come up too often in Death Metal. Lastly, the vocals are quite profound in delivery being a jarring tenor that cuts through with ease rather than getting lost in the mix, and yet don’t come in too high or too low.

Berzerker Legions” is as just as bold as its first release years ago offering in its stead nothing new and yet serving as a reminder of the band that once was—if you were unable to get a copy the first time round or perhaps wanted something to serve as reminder to your awe for EXMORTEM this reissue is right up your alley.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Icecold Ugliness (Part 1)
2. Berzerker Legions
3. Sovereignity
4. Bonfire Of The Insanities
5. The Grim Wrecker
6.  The Conqueror
7. Deeds Of Hatred
8. Terror Mundi
9. Into The Realm Of Legend
10. Dawn Of Revelation
11. The Revolutionary Soul
Martin Rosendahl – Bass (Tracks 2-3 & 8-10)
Sigtyr – Bass and Guitars (Tracks 4-7 & 11)
Reno – Drums
Kolle – Guitars
Simon – Vocals
Record Label: Emanzipation Productions


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Edited 06 October 2022

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