[sic] Magazine

The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol – Berserkir Vol. 1

As impressive an album as Berserkir already is, it’s made even more impressive by the fact it’s four tracks were entirely improvised and recorded in one take with no overdub trickery applied afterwards. So will Volume 2 be when it comes later in the year and, if Volume 1 is anything to go by, it promises to be a doozy.

To their credit, the TBWNIAS six-piece are kosmiche jam specialists so Berserkir finds them in their element, the instrumental Ottawa band just as comfortable in freak-out and hard-psych as they are in drones and experimental ambience. Reverting back to lengthy statements when 2018’s Dronverdose preferred punchier morsels, there isn’t the scope here to deviate too far from a winning template either, Berserkir missing some of the variety of earlier releases but none of the impact.

The ten-minute, tripartite opener is a showcase in point, evolving from a free-form ripple of percussion, drifting brass and effects echoing out across the lonely gravitational waves of the cosmos to a groove that coalesces out of interstellar dust as the guitars start to wail, throaty bass adding its weighty thrum, the afterburners firing with 2 mins to go, the track going full-throttle space-rock with the turning circle of a red giant.

This unstoppable propulsion continues with the suitably heavy motorik of “From Dusseldorf To Cologne”, a steely-jawed stream of ever-intensifying whammy phasers and muscular drums engorged by a mesmeric rhythm. Picked over by vulturistic guitar parts, “With Respect To The Golden Rule” is a relatively patient hard-psych jammer in turn, while “Dilemma Of Un Fermier” has the Molotov-cocktail urgency of a gilet jaune, its loose swagger and serious weaponry the fearless combatant the album title demands, a knock-out groove gouging the landscape like a time-lapsed glacial flow. We’ll take Volume 2 right about now please.

~Berserkir Vol. 1 is released March 27th 2020 via the collaborative efforts of Cardinal Fuzz and Feeding Tube Records.~