Release date: 10-06-2022 Label: Dark Descent Records
Berator hail from Chicago and are one of the newer bands on the illustrious Dark Descent Records roster. Their newly released ‘Elysian Inferno’ EP is my first introduction to the band. Prior to this EP, Berator put out a two song demo titled ‘R.A.I.D.S’ and those songs are also featured on ‘Elysian Inferno’. At first glance of the logo and album cover, I get strong vibes of black/death metal. But that’s me judging a book by its cover. What further cemented my suspicions were the band members’ partial involvement with acts like Profanatica and The Chasm as per Metal Archives.
‘Elysian Inferno’ clocks in at slightly over 22 minutes and the six tracks went about in dizzyingly quick manner. After multiple listens, I can confidently say that my initial suspicions were not too far. I’d describe Berator as a black/death metal band with strong thrashy moments. If you dig bands like Archgoat, Order from Chaos and Destroyer 666 then Berator would be a shoo-in for you.
The first track, ‘Sultans of Incest’ has a build up which then hits you hard in a frenzied chaotic manner. Midway the song hammers down the riffs hard. It’s definitely a promising start to the EP. ‘Onslaught to Absolution’ carries on this tempo of punishing black/death metal. ‘Dead Rats’ is a track that gets more interesting in the second half. The track explodes into hard hitting riffs, a black/thrashy section and then whammy bar guitar solos. ‘War Lust’ is heavy and creates a wall of sound but at this time for me, it feels a bit repetitive. I can commend the guitar solo and the barrage of riffs immediately after that which make it enjoyable. ‘Final crucifixion’ has a slower opening and pounds away in a very Archgoat like manner. Crushing mid-paced caveman riffs. The song does switch it up a bit with blastbeats in between. ‘Swine Cult’ is the last track on the EP. The guitars sound more buzzsaw-y than usual. It cuts right through. Out of the six tracks, I felt some were not as memorable but ‘Swine Cult’, ‘Sultans of Incest’ and ‘Final Crucifixion’ were definitely my highlights.
Right off the bat, when someone utters black/death and a band which is on a roster like Dark Descent’s, you’d imagine a muddled cavernous production. Berator’s production is somewhere between “medium rare” and “well done”. It’s perfect for my taste wherein the various instruments and vocals are equally audible. The vocals, although a tad “distant” and echo-y, it doesn’t get buried in the mix. The guitars are crisp yet raw. The rhythm section of drums and bass are tight.
To sum up, I enjoyed ‘Elysian Inferno’. It’s a band true to their style and influences. They’re neither original nor do they seek to be original. So in that sense, the EP won’t blow you out of the water but the band’s efforts to create a slab of music which is hard hitting and honest to their influences is something worthy of checking out.
- Richard Olsen – Guitars, Vocals
- Tim Pearson – Bass, Vocals
- Pat Clancy – Guitars, Vocals
- Dave Cleck – Drums
- Sultans of Incest
- Onslaught to Absolution
- Dead Rats
- Final Crucifixion
- Swine Cult