BERSERK REVOLT "Perception Kills"
Alongside one of my all-time favorite mixed martial artists, Igor Vovchanchyn, and a sure-fire trivia win in the form of ex-Boston Celtics center Vitaly Potapenko, I can now confidently admit that my knowledge of all things Ukrainian has reached a Holy Trinity. Lambasting their way into full-length territory, BERSERK REVOLT (is there any other kind?) is a Ukrainian Death Metal band fused with Modern influences and utter disdain for ‘the system.’ Succeeding seven years and four demos, their LP premiere is “Perception Kills,” an elevated excursion into elastic rhythms and a full quota of head-banging. Are they breaking the atom here? No, not by a long shot, but their harmless brand of polyrthymic Death, practically without blemish, harbors a peculiarly funky vibe that gives “Perception Kills” the air needed to rise above the doldrums. Before I go any further into the sound of “Perception Kills,” I wanted to give brief mention to the front cover: some dude in black jeans with bloody hands, a bloody chest, and a bloody nature trail surrounded by a bunch of spinal cord-propped televisions with curious human skulls emerging from their static screens like the chick from “Ringu.” While the above nine skulls stare at the man’s arched head, notice the bottom two skulls - yep, total crotch examination. To be honest, it’s all a little much; the graphics are poorly done, the Christ pose of the man is played-out, and the abundance of saw blade logos, yeah, so is that. For the sake of keeping it straight, the band’s website is quoted as stating that the album “is an illustration of the modern world weakened by urbanization, wars and mass media lies. The world where the manipulation of public opinion is thriving and the traditional human values are being ruined.” If this is their aim, why does the cover art look to have been diseased by the generic touch of mass market Metal? Is it meant to be ironic? Whatever the case, it’s a shame, but for God’s sake, let the music speak for itself already! “Perception Kills” is an amusing and consistent display of energetic Death Metal that harbors a number of cool arrangements and solos. The album’s seven songs flow neatly together, thankfully never over-staying their welcome, and while song distinction is a slight problem due to the perpetual roll of mid-tempo beating, each track is strong enough to warrant your attention. Seeing as no song really grabs you by the throat, the memorability factor is also another drawback, but again, it’s the overall consistency and uniformity of “Perception Kills” that keeps it afloat. The vocals are your standard muffled growl, and the guitar work is melodic and for the most part rather well-done, but it’s the tandem of the bass and drums that really give the album life. Audible standouts across all seven tracks, the combination of slick bass-slapping and intricate double-bass kicking adds an eye-opening, Jazz-fueled bounce to notable album highlights like the opener “FKP” and the grooving “Collapsed Land.” Whether you’re sold on the concept or not, “Perception Kills” is a solid debut that features enough brutal jamming to please most head-bangers. While not entirely original or daring, this funky fusion of Death and quasi-Industrial styles may appeal to the less discriminating Metalhead.
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