“Berzerker Legions” was released in the beginning of the new millennium and the death metal scene was starting to change a bit”, guitarist Martin “Sigtyr” Thim says. “Or to put it another way; I remember it as the beginning of a period dominated by technical death metal and also the beginning of this modern nu metal wave. Our own take was, however, merely we had to increase the paste. Apart from this, you still had good albums from acts such as Incantation, Immolation, Nile, Entombed, Hate Eternal and the likes”.
Still, “Berzerker Legions” shone as the European answer to ultra-technical bands such as Hate Eternal or Morbid Angel. The record quickly called the attention of the specialised press and quickly the band was moving to Osmose Productions and, later, to Earache Records. “Berzerker Legions”, however, remains as the album that really started it all for Exmortem and put the band one gear up in the highway of the extreme metal scene.
“Berzerker Legions” will be released in vinyl (three different colours: icecold orange, grim yellow and black), digipack CD (limited to 500 copies) and digital, by Emanzipation Productions, on May 25th 2021. Pre-orders here.
Formed in Aarhus, in the center of Denmark, Exmortem spent two years as Mordor until 1994, and then the next four years – and the two first albums – honing their blades in the local scene, before they eventually became one of the few extreme metal bands in Denmark to sign to a foreign label at that point. The deed was done with “Berzerker Legions”, their third full-length, released by Hammerheart Records in 2001, and hailed as a masterpiece in Europe’s technical/brutal death metal.
The technicality, however, didn’t come easy for the band. “The thing I remember the best from the period around “Berzerker Legions” is the numerous rehearsals before the recording!”, vocalist Simon recalls. “Again and again we pounded the shit out of the tracks in our rehearsal room, where our drummer Reno Kiilerich had already spent the first 2-3 hours rehearsing alone. The songs had to be nailed when recorded. This kind of work mentality wasn’t something I was familiar with in my previous bands, so I had to work hard!”.
And the album production wasn’t easier, “The album was recorded during a couple of weeks in Starstruck Studio with Anders Lundemark (Konkhra) and Bo Lund behind the mixer. It was hard work from early morning to nightfall and afterwards Reno would continuing working on the drum tracks during the nights”.
Eventually, this working ethics would pay off, as Exmortem would release another three full-length records after “Berzerker Legions”, touring endlessly in Europe and getting the respect and high praise from fellow musicians and press alike. However, it was this album that defined Exmortem as a band able to go outside of Denmark and be at level with all the international acts.
Line-up (“Berzerker Legions”):
Sigtyr: guitars, bass