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Review: Berserk - …From the Celtiberian Woods
Berserk
berserkers.cjb.net
…From the Celtiberian Woods

Label: Adipocere Records
Year released: 2001
Duration: 42:00
Tracks: 8
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: July 7, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
for:
…From the Celtiberian Woods

Rated 4.5/5 (90%) (2 Votes)
Review


Every time I go on the Dark Symphonies website, I end up getting more stuff I never heard of but looks interesting, and so far the ol’ metal detector hasn’t steered me wrong. This is the first CD by Spanish pagan black metallers Berserk, and it’s pretty cool.

Berserk play a keyboardy brand of black metal with some slight folky or medieval touches here and there. This is pretty standard stuff, but well-executed. Berserk have a good sense of melody and compose more complex tunes than most underground BM bands, they also don’t overdo the speedy parts. I like the midpaced riffing interspersed with the usual quick-strummed guitar rumble, and the cool keyboard harmonies layered over the double-bass attack. The production is pretty rough, but not bad for a production that was done on essentially no budget. The lower end is basically nonexistent, and the mix is very treble-ey. Vocals are more a death-metal midrange style, rather than the usual black metal shriek, and I like that. Vocals that are too raspy or screamy are usually a deal-breaker for me, so I dig these. All the songs here are pretty good, with "Funeral Pyre" standing out as especially good, also the cool instrumental "Votive Gift in Sacred Forest", a very atmospheric acoustic tune.

The CD package is very pro looking for an underground band. The cover art is very cool, and the interior design isn’t bad either. The band looks like Kiss at a Rennaisance Faire in the band photo, oh well. Someday a BM band will ditch the face paint and it will look revolutionary. The lyrics are all included, and considering the band’s spotty English skills aren’t too bad at all. The cool thing is their focus on Celtic/Pagan themes, with nary a Satan reference in sight, which makes for a refreshing change.

I like this CD a lot, and the only thing holding it back is the bargain-basement production. With a new album recorded in a real studio due out soon, I’ll be looking forward to good things from Berserk.


Track Listing:
  1. Through the Fog
  2. Forgotten Kingdoms
  3. The Great Celtiberia
  4. Funeral Pyre
  5. Votive Gift in Sacred Forest
  6. Raven’s Fly – Black Horizons
  7. Forest of Souls in the Wolf’s Land
  8. Imboic
Other related information on the site
Review: Cries of Blood and Hate (reviewed by Pagan Shadow)
Review: Cries of Blood and Hate (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Return of the Ancient Laws (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Rites of Supremacy (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with Lord Monk (bass) on September 14, 2003 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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