Review Summary: If you can make entertaining songs, who needs variety?
Coming out of Australia, The Berzerker call their sound “industrial death grind”, it’s a mix of death metal and grindcore with some industrial touches. Founder and vocalist Luke Kenny decided upon the band’s inception that in order to maintain the focus on the music and not on the individuals, every band member should wear a mask. Wearing these hideous masks, the members were only known by their instrument ie: “the guitarist”, “the bassist”, “the drummer” and “the vocalist”.
On The Berzerker’s self-titled debut, the band used a drum machine but for this their sophomore album, they use an actual drummer. Not that you would be able to tell the difference, because not only is the drumming inhumanly fast but the drum sounds are highly processed, giving it an electronic sound; but rest assured, there is a person behind this sound and he’s hitting something.
To go along with the incredibly fast drumming is the equally fast guitar riffing which is surprisingly creative given the rigid confines of this style of music, the only soloing coming on the Carcass cover ‘Corporal Jigsore Quandary’. The dual vocals give Dissimulate
an interesting touch, there are deep death metal-esque vocals and higher pitched vocals providing contrast.
Monotony and the grindcore genre seem to go hand in hand and there is not a whole lot of variety on Dissimulate.
Album opener ‘Disregard’ (which seems to encourage cannibalism, I read
the lyrics since the vocals are completely indecipherable) sets a blistering pace which continues for the approximately 35 minute duration of the album. After ‘Disregard’, all the tracks seem to blend together, broken up by random soundbytes of what seem to be documentaries (perhaps the discovery channel?), although they don’t really serve any purpose, they sound rather fascinating, such as the intro to ‘Compromise’: “Due to their remarkable power to withstand mutilation, the heart of this one, although cut in two, continues to pump blood to keep the animal conscious.”
Sometimes there are soundbytes during
songs but mostly the serve as intros. ‘Last Mistake’ surprisingly starts off slow but that quickly ends when the drums come blasting through at break neck speeds, speeds which are the status quo on Dissimulate
and rarely let up. The guitarwork is truly what makes this album interesting and keeps it from being completely
As far as the production on Dissimulate,
the relentless drumwork is front and center and at times seems to overpower everything else. The drumming is not that special, it’s like one constant, static-y (because of the electronic drum pads) blastbeat, of course it’s fast, very
fast but there isn’t a whole lot of creativity going on.
Thanks to the creative guitar riffing, Dissimulate
is an entertaining listen and with song lengths between one and three minutes, no song is long enough to get boring, but of course when it’s over, the next one sounds just like it! Variety may not be Dissimulate’s
strong suit but the plus side of an album this monotonous is that you can form your opinion of the entire
album based on the first track which is just over one minute long.