BERSERK INC. is a German one man project from Saarbrücken, Gregor Theado is the gentlemen behind it, which offers us its first CD creation with "The Great Alliance". To try to guess at the style from the name is in many cases an undoubtedly dangerous thing, if you'd feel the need to do so in the case of BERSERK INC., then at least vocally you are not completely off, because here we stand knee deep in Death Metal.
Vocally yes, and musically? Well, there the gentleman is surfing a bit other spheres as well, at least a bit more variable, because in the Death Metal we also get some other elements such as keyboard effects, melodies and the likes. As one might expect from a one man project, Master Theado could enlist the world famous drummer plastic box for his project to complete the sound.
And that one is without a doubt one of the problems on "The Great Alliance", because in most parts the drums sound pretty synthetic, which in this case should not be viewed as a compliment. Also the fact that the vocals hardly show any variation whatsoever unfortunately has to be held against BERSERK INC.
But on to the still existing positive sides of "The Great Alliance". So Gregor tries not to sound one dimensional, but here we get a melancholic lead guitar in style of middle-era PARADISE LOST ("Entering Hyperspace", really good track), there the keyboards receive some more extensive attention, but without unrolling the carpet too much. "Trapped In A Wormhole" then can convince with its strong melodies and also "Final Clash" has got something, but after that the whole thing turns into a whole and the borders between songs start to blur.
When I had first listened to the CD in my car, after I while I thought after each song "ok, that's it", but then another came and another and yet another and that started after a little more than half the songs, so not a good sign, eh? 14 songs in this case are just too much, if you look at the fact that many of the songs sound pretty similar and therefore the whole thing gets rather tiring pretty quickly.
Somehow the production also lacks power, I don't know, if it had been Gregor's goal to bring some of the Death Metal typical power into the songs, but if so, then he missed the target, next time maybe a little more aim, hm? Lyrically "The Great Alliance" seems to be a concept album in space (see also title, song titles and cover), even more me, who normally does not like Sci-Fi quite interesting.
As first step "The Great Alliance" is not bad, but leaves a lot of room for improvement. Three important steps would be to find a real drummer, to stop growling in the same pitch all the time and finally to bring some more variation into the song structure to avoid that the whole thing gets too repetitive. So if you can work on that, the second effort should be a good bit better. (Online December 10, 2003)