Asenblut Berzerker Cover 2016 Vikings. They’ve overtaken motorcycle gangs, sparkly vampires, and variations of the zombie as the Big Thing of the Now in America, if our television shows and Faceborg timelines are correct. Thing is, Vikings have been a trend for a long-ass time in the realm of heavy metal. Hell, Yngwie FOOKING Malmsteen was a Viking long before Amon Amarth first sailed their ships into stormy waters. He even proclaimed so himself! But that’s not gonna stop the new crop of metal bands from brandishing their axes, donning their horned helmets, and sailing away to uncharted lands. Germany’s Asenblut toss their shields into the pagan circle with their third album, Berzerker.

“Berzerkerzorn” leads the fray with a twin guitar melody lifted from Dethklok. There are, of course, far worse bands to lift from, and I like the band and cartoon. Once the song properly kicks in, we are in Full Amon Amarth Mode, with furious double-bass drums, tight riffing, and of course the barked vocals of Tetzel. In fact, I kept checking to see if Johan Hegg picked up a copy of Rosetta Stone – German and decided to form a not-too-dissimilar band. About midway into the song, we’re treated with a twin guitar melody eerily reminiscent of Iron Maiden‘s “Aces High,” before Claus Cleinkrieg lets loose an absolute monster of a solo. While derivative as all hell, “Berzerkerzorn” (and its English language twin, “Berzerker Rage,” which closes the album proper) is an energetic, blackened, and enjoyable romp through well-worn terrain.

And for the first couple of songs that follow, Berzerker keeps up the pace somewhat. “Offenbarung 23” opens up with a “Laser Cannon Deth Sentence”-esque riff that bleeds into a sick bass flourish by Deimos. “Titanenerbe” barrels forth with blastbeats, tight tremolo riffing, and yet another amazing lead by Cleinkrieg. In fact, Cleinkrieg’s incredibly blazing fretwork and the band’s blackened energy are what gives Asenblut a major upper hand against their Swedish older sibling. They’ll need both because, in all honesty, the album gets repetitive as it progresses, and loses its initial power. Truth be told, once things wind down, I’ve already forgotten about most of it save for the aforementioned three songs. At over 58 minutes of run time, that’s never a good thing.

Asenblut Band 2016
What also doesn’t help the band is the Sebastian Levermann production which, while powerful and guitar-heavy, is overly loud and dynamically squashed to an inch of its life. The only time I heard the bass is during the aforementioned flourish in “Offenbarung 23.” But the bigger concern here is the lack of anything that makes Asenblut stand out as its own entity. As a fan of Amon Amarth‘s earlier output, I should be frothing at the mouth for this, but it’s just too close to the source material to be considered different. Besides, most of us already have The Avenger and Twilight of the Thunder God. However, there’s no denying the energy or skill here, especially in Cleinkrieg’s eye-opening solo work. The potential to grow and evolve exists.

I wanted to like Berzerker more than I eventually did, and it’s not in want of trying. They possess what it takes to become a legit horde to fear. In order to do so, however, they need to find that magic mix of influence and originality. Otherwise, they’ll be known as “that German Amon Amarth,” and they’re capable of so much more.


Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: AFM Records
Websites: asenblut.de | facebook.com/asenblutband
Releases Worldwide: August 19th, 2016

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  • Kalsten

    “Ey guys, we are Amon Amarth. We wrote too many songs for the last album. Would you like to take the scraps and make a band with it? There you go.”

    That is how imagine that all these Amon Amarth clones work.

    • GardensTale

      “Okay guys, this is the last of the scrap. Who should we give it to? I want one with a proper metal name.”
      “This one is German, I think it means Ass Blood.”
      “Good enough.”

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    What really needs clarifying here is, how an album with a cover featuring a Barbarian with an axe on a mountain in a lighting storm wasn’t reviewed by Steel Druhm?

    What have you done to him!!?!?

    • I’m trying to share the barbarian wrath.

      • [not a Dr]

        The best Berzerker themed song was Love Among Freak’s Berserker.

      • madhare

        Sharing is caring.

    • Kalsten

      The cover is like a high definition image of a ManOwaR album cover.

  • GardensTale

    It’s never a very good sign when you namedrop two other bands more often than the one you’re reviewing. Not for originality anyway.

    And can German speakers clarify whether the band name does or does not mean Ass Blood?

    • It does, but it’s the name of a violent race of Nordic gods. It just also happens to be the word for donkey. Since Germans don’t refer to their butts as donkeys, the hilarity isn’t there.

      • GardensTale

        Germans and humour, am I right? It’s funny because you can be racist about developed western countries.

        • Alex Benedict

          And I think the world gets a few free shots at Germany anyway

      • flaming_froghurt

        What? “Asen” means neither arse nor donkey in German. Only the nordic gods.

    • Tetzel

      It means Blood of the Aesir ;) Northern Gods .. :)
      I feel he refers to two bands that whole review but also quite often points out the solos/guitarwork, which is absolutely different.. and then he says there is no uniqueness.. weird. Solos on Dethklok? Rarely. In AA? C’mon.. ^^

  • Otherwise, they’ll be known as “that German Amon Amarth,” and they’re capable of so much more.

    Like, the German Dethklok?

  • Alexandre Barata

    Does the world need one more Amon Amarth?? In this case it might, as the lead guitar sounds pretty cool. Just a shame they’re trying to emulate the wrong Viking Metal band

  • Ass and butt

    • Grymm

      Ass *und* butt.

  • Fuzzybunny

    Am I the only twat that likes AA?

    • Thatguy

      Everyone likes AA

      • Fuzzybunny

        Ok :) strange not the impression I got…

        • Thatguy

          It’s deep trolling. So subtle as to not be seen..

          • Fuzzybunny

            Ah….

    • Adjudant

      What are you doing here?!

      • Fuzzybunny

        Reading reviews and reviews of reviews and trying to not spend next month’s money on new music! You?

        • Adjudant

          Getting unnaturally excited at seeing you at a place like this

          • Fuzzybunny

            Rabbits get into everything! ? nice seeing you here too!

          • Adjudant

            Don’t they ever, except my sister’s, they got out of everything…got eaten in the end by a fox

          • Fuzzybunny

            O Foks… :D Yep, not the brightest of species!

  • ricin_beans

    My love is like a speeding truck BERSERKER!/ Do you want to make some fuck? BERSERKER!

    • [not a Dr]

      The berserker is just so obscene,
      Likes evil people, you know what I mean!
      He’ll take your soul and then he’ll rip it apart,
      He’ll steal your heart!

  • OzanCan

    this shit is gettin’ old..kinda shaping in that way :/

  • Johan

    Asenblut Beserkerson Is one hell of a name.

  • RobbinBri

    I’ll stick with Enslaved. :P

  • Chris ruiz

    Check out ne obliviscaris…..from Australia…..