Berserk - _From the Celtiberian Woods_
(Oaken Shield / Adipocere, 2001)
by: David Rocher (2 out of 10)
Amidst the massively depleted ranks of defenders standing faithful to the "true black metal" genre, I have been graced to discover a number of worthy heirs of past masters such as Satyricon, Mayhem, Darkthrone, Emperor or such purveyors of misanthropic Scandinavian bleakness -- Sweden's Craft or France's Nehemah are references that instantly spring to the mind, owing to the ruthless accuracy with which they recapture and distil the cold, rabid feelings of anguish and hatred that pervade the classics in the black metal file. As opposed to this, Berserk are quite the example of a botched attempt at keeping the proverbial black flame alight; featuring more gross and cheesy stabs at Satyricon's _Dark Medieval Times_ per second than I would ever have dared to imagine, _From the Celtiberian Woods_ is a collection of second-rate symphonic black metal anthems, with insufficient musicianship and lame production to boot. The guitar riffs in here are as blatantly unoriginal as they are barely decent at the best of times, Berserk's keyboard player delivers little more than one-fingered synthetic "atmospheres", and the lyrics are but a risible inventory of worn-out sylvan topics, e.g. "The moon is dark, and the forest our hut where the elements and darkness join up" -- quite terrifying and mystical beyond belief, I suppose. In a rotten nutshell, I'm sorry to say that the tone-deaf requiem titled _From the Celtiberian Woods_ is about as convincing as the band's idea of inserting a road map of Spain featuring a comprehensive list of Celtiberian tribes on the back plate of this CD.

(article published 3/7/2002)

3/8/2005 D Rocher 2 Berserk - Return of the Ancient Laws
3/14/2004 P Azevedo 5 Berserk - Rites of Supremacy
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