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Berserk (CD 2010)
Review by
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Title: The 2nd Release... And a Different Direction
Written by: oneyoudontknow, Apr. 27th 2011
Rating:
75/100

Language: English
From:
International

A 'user' review from 'The Metal Archives' - Encyclopaedia Metallum

Quotes from the Review:
“All is presented in a surprisingly well crafted – mainstream oriented – production, which reflects the background and skill of Muhannad Bursheh”

“To hear music of such a quality from a small country like Jordan, places the so-called underground scene in the Western hemisphere in a somewhat awkward position”

“this release is really recommended and should the band be able to spread more music of similar quality, then Bouq might be band to talk about in the future and about their impact on their scene”


Review:
Same year, new story … at least in certain boundaries. While some aspects of Bouq’s art have remained the same, a progression in style and concept can nevertheless be discovered. Compared with the first output, this one consists of more powerful music and the listener is able to grasp some of the intentions behind the concept.

Berserk gives the impression of a potpourri of ideas. You have death metal influenced tracks, some have a folky touch, while other follow a black metal formula. All is presented in a surprisingly well crafted – mainstream oriented – production, which reflects the background and skill of Muhannad Bursheh. To hear music of such a quality from a small country like Jordan, places the so-called underground scene in the Western hemisphere in a somewhat awkward position. From the current perspective already it might be interesting to know how this album will be perceived in a several years and whether the style and concept presented here could have a significant impact on the Jordanian heavy metal scene.

Again a certain emphasis had been put on the death metal – less black –, whose influences stretches from modern interpretations aka Nile to old-school ones in vein of Morbid Angel. Accordingly, the music breathes a mixture between oriental influences and aggressive/heavy riff structures, which adds up to a formula that has gained some prominence in the West already; through various projects and interpretations. Bouq attempts to balance everything out in neat and proper way; the long track Heathen is a good example for this. Even though it is opening rather slowly, the death metal soon takes over, while slower interludes keep up the Middle Eastern atmosphere – or to be more precise to remind the listener on them – and a calm ending closes the track.

This approach can be found in varying degree over the whole course of the album. Considerably heavy/powerful death metal on the one side and quite calm ambient influences on the other one, while somewhere in between lies the truth. The song-writing is generally really good and there is actually not much to criticize. A mixture of exceedingly catchy and aggressive moments was found by the Jordanian band, with the result that the listener is actually able to catch some breathe. Unlike other bands, here no barrage after barrage is being fired upon the person, who wants to enjoy this piece of art. Rather, a well crafted mixture can be found. Would the release have a bit more identity and real drums – maybe even some sick solos – then the quality would be even higher.

In some respect the name of this release is reflected through the music. To go berserk is to reach a trance-like state of mind in which a fighter becomes uncontrollable; according to historic sources drugs played a vital role in this respect. Bouq sound similar. The music meanders between various styles and even though the listener does not always get the impression that the band feels completely ‘at home’ in any of them, the performance is still as such as to fascinate in a certain degree. From the current perspective it sounds a bit too overloaded; not so much the tracks themselves, but how they are presented in the total. Moreover, a track like Nature’s Cult sounds a bit random and displaced, especially due to the rather short length as well as the abrupt ending. It is there, but fails to merge with the rest of the art.

Nevertheless, this release is really recommended and should the band be able to spread more music of similar quality, then Bouq might be band to talk about in the future and about their impact on their scene.

 


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