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Berserk (CD 2010)
Review by
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Title: Overtaking Control? Impressive Album!
Written by: UnCommonColdTea, May. 15th 2011
Rating:
95/100

Language: English
From:
International

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

Quotes from the Review:
“It is safe to say, however, that after listening to this album I was completely shocked and very impressed”

“The composing shows well developed musicianship and sense of understanding”

“What also impressed me is the excellent sound production which sounds powerful, clear, and full, which is another thing unexpected from an underground band, especially coming from that area”


Review:
When I first received this album from the band itself I was relatively unsure what to expect. At the same time I was curious to see what this band can offer. Why is that? Bouq comes from Jordan, a small country in the Middle East, an area not so well known for having big and developed metal scenes. Although I do hear of interesting bands from there from time to time, you can never be sure what to expect when asked for a review. It is safe to say, however, that after listening to this album I was completely shocked and very impressed.

First off, as a side bonus, the packaging of the album is very professional and looks awesome, something you wouldn't expect from such an underground band. It has a booklet with lyrics, credits, info, even a statement from the "band" - here I'm using quotations, because the band is actually made of one man, Muhannad Bursheh, who does everything including the engineering and the production for the record.

Bouq is a black/death band with themes about mythology and ancient history. Generally, the album, which is the 2nd full-length in the band's career, sounds very solid, intense, and dynamic, and although mostly closer to partly raw sounding extreme metal, it is not short of epic and melodic elements including the use of synths in several tracks. There is an apparent use of some extra instruments like tribal percussion and flute in some parts to nourish the overall sound. The guitar work is really great and excellently performed as well as the vocals, which are very diverse and professional. The composing shows well developed musicianship and sense of understanding. What also impressed me is the excellent sound production which sounds powerful, clear, and full, which is another thing unexpected from an underground band, especially coming from that area.

Without warning or a gradual intro, the first thing you hear is a fast-paced, black metal-rich, unforgiving song, "Berserk - The Grand Raven Feast". The song is generally fast all over with some dynamic shifts and a lot of use of tribal percussion. "Desrever Alumrof Ecnetsixe" follows, starting with a weird but very cool intro of sound effects and keyboards accompanied by groovy drumming, then suddenly metal descends with fast whipping guitars and blast beats, this track is very dynamic and "beaty" and varies from quick parts with blast beats to moderate tempo parts with slow 'thrashy' grooves. The third track, "Jormungander", also begins with an authentic intro, using a whammy-bar for rhythm guitar with nicely-done keyboards in the background. This track introduces a death metal element along side the still evident black touches, and also it has a nicely-done acoustic guitar part which leads to a catchy ending with a very impressive oriental- sounding guitar solo. A short track called "Nature's Cult" follows, full of ambient sounds that doesn't really add much to the album, but still an interesting listen and does not put the album down in anyway. Track 5 is "Eidolon", probably the heaviest track on the album, adding yet a more prominent death metal element which presides here. It is a very fast and very groovy track with interesting arrangements and even progressive elements. The track "Heathen" follows, starting off with an epic and eerie introduction using keyboards, then a war-like connection comes in using tribal drums, female choirs, and war horns. This leads to an astonishing entrance to the metal part with slow tremolo, huge guitars, and double bass, and the track keeps going, changing from part to part. Very impressive stuff. The track is followed by "Wrath of A Warrior's Soul", one of the more experimental tracks on the record with its haunting, cleanly sung choirs and operatic clean vocals at some parts. An excellent track. The final track, "Of Ragnarok", is also very dynamic with an epic intro, working as a great ending for the album.

I thoroughly enjoyed every track on this record and I have to say I am very impressed. I recommend this album to any extreme metal fan.

Highlights: Deserver Alumrof Ecnetsixe, Jormungander, Heathen, Wrath of a Warrior's Soul

 


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