The first day of Berserker stormed the historic Masonic Temple in DetroitÂ with a bevy of bands ready to rage.
The Masonic Temple in Detroit provided the perfect setting for the third year of Berserker music festival. The spacious location of the temple allowed for three stages to fill the third, fourth, and fifth floors.
The bands were staggered every fifteen minutes which kept festival goers alert, and never bored. Each of the varied stages offered a different artist, crowd, and scenery, and therefore a brand new experience each time.
The energetic hardcore of Rest In Shit got the party started in high gear with their uncompromising hard riffs and powerful vocals.Their rock solid rhythms created a foundation to pull in a descent crowd for the first band of the evening.
Climbing up to the fourth floor you got a dose of Mr. Bungle inspired rock from Cockhorse. The music is seriously fun and infectious with twisted songs about traffic and typewriters.
Heading up another floor into the bigger ballroom the ethereal sounds of Voyag3r surround the crowd. This band casts atmospheric compositions that lean toward Pink Floyd with meaty drums at the core.
There is just enough time for a beer at the third floor stage before all hell breaks loose as A Purple Cloud begin their set. This band is the Bruce Lee of Berserker with tunes that blaze like the kung fu masters fists of fury. Chaotic grind inspired music that pummels you with fast moving riffs saturated in a vocal roar.
Volunteer from Milwaukee crank out some thick sludgy rock reminiscent of early Soundgarden and Melvins. The bass is punchy and accent the guitar crunch and splashy drums. The crowd is thick and all eyes are riveted to the stage as the next group,Acid Witch, delivers a frantic set of metal. Their sound was speed metal fueledÂ by lysergic dreams and a massive quantities of smoke is what this band delivered, and the crowd loved it.
Heads are thrashing and bodies press close to the stage as Sauron wields their metal making tools in praise of the dark lord. Savage vocals and unrelenting music give the fans about all the blackened thrash they can endure.
Covered in blood and violence the Old Gods clawed at open wounds with frenetic noise rock. The crowd is riveted by the band as the lead vocalists stalks the stage and the band strangles music from their instruments.
Child Bite launched into a set of manic intensity upstairs and kept the crowd entertained. This band has a ton of energy and they throw itÂ all over the roomÂ for their fans to savor. A musical bomb of insane delight spreading cheerful mayhem.
The singer for Fistula has the menacing eyes of a killer as super saturated guitar tones simmered over a thumping rhythm. This is raw music that bleeds from the amplifiers to smoke your brain.
Fuzz fueled garage rock riffs set against a powerful beat is what Grizzlor unleashed uponÂ the crowd. The vocals fly on dark wings of sound. This band take the music to you and make sure you can feel it’s sharpness.
We all head up stairs in time to witness the progressive thrash majesty of Vektor. They play spellbinding riffs at light speed with the precision of an atomic clock. Announcing that they have a new album out, they then launch into “Ultimate Artificer” as the thrashing heads go wild.
Shit Life make the world a little brighter as they grind with incandescent wrath. There songs only last a few minutes, yet each one is played with blister gusto. A truly amazing wall of sound from just two guys playing guitar and drums.
Karmic Lava take the fourth floor stage by storm and melt minds with doom laden stoner riffs. The bass and kick drum thunder work to create a vital potion enablingÂ the guitars and vocals to soar. The dark lighting in this eerie room of the Masonic Temple along with the grooving riffs casts a haunting spell upon the audience.
The largest crowd of the night jam upÂ close to the stage as the masters of speed and thrash asVoiVodÂ begin to play. Â Snake urges the fans on as the music takes flight. Â They play a new tune off of Target Earth called “Kluskap O’Kom” which is well received. There is madness in the pit as VoiVod rips into “Post Society” and “Killing Technology”. The psychic wonderland of “Astronomy Domine” ends a mighty set of metal.
The battle tested and hearty metal warriors gather on the third floor for the final set of the night byÂ Black Fast. There is no shortage of enthusiasm from the band or their fans who have this great opportunity to thrash in close quarters. It is a seething sea of flying hair and breakneck head banging as Black Fast plays the brilliant “I, Conspire” and finishes with “Starve”. The first night of Berserker is a huge success.
This year the event also featured a new sections for vendors where you can pick up t-shirts, vinyl, and even some guitar picks with the ingenious name of “Dick Picks”.
National Rock Review photographers Josh Kahl and Chuck Marshall captured a wealth of imagery from the show.
A Purple Cloud
Rest In Shit