The Berzerker

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The Berzerker
OriginMelbourne, VIC
GenresGrind, death metal
Years active1995 – 2009
LabelsEarache, Riot!
Associated actsMystic Insight, The Wolves, Alarum, Dreadnaught, Plague, Abramelin, Akercocke, Steel Affliction, Visceral Bleeding, Headkase, King Parrot, Werewolves, Shotgun Mistress, The Antichrist Imperium
Past membersLuke Kenny, Sam Bean, Jason V, Ed Lacey, Matt Wilcock, Todd Hansen, Damien Palmer, Tim Aldridge, Martin Bermheden, Dave Gray, Gary Thomas, Matt Racovalis, Mark Palfreyman

Band members

  • Final line-up
    • Luke Kenny (vocals, samples, programming)
    • Sam Bean (vocals, bass, guitar)
    • Matt Wilcock (guitar)
    • Ed Lacey (guitar, bass)
  • Former members
    • Jason V (guitar, bass)
    • Todd Hansen (drums)
    • Damien Palmer (bass)
    • Tim Aldridge (guitar)
    • Martin Bermheden (guitar)
    • Dave Gray (drums)
    • Gary Thomas (drums)
    • Matt Racovalis (drums)
    • Mark Palfreyman (bass)

Band information

The Berzerker was an extreme metal entity from Melbourne that played a noisy form of cyber-grind. The band was the brainchild of former Mystic Insight member Luke Kenny, a one-time metal and grind drummer who was forced to give up his instrument after sustaining near-fatal injuries in a motor vehicle accident. Under the name The Berzerker, Kenny began to produce music that was a cross between "gabba" techno and industrial grind. He issued a brace of vinyl EPs and worked on an album of remixed Morbid Angel material. In 1999 he began work on a full-length album of beats, soundscapes, industrial noise and death/grind, with some assistance from bassist, guitarist and vocalist Sam Bean. Later, Jason V and Ed Lacey of Melbourne thrash band The Wolves joined in the endeavour. The album was originally intended to be recorded at Devin Townsend's studio in Vancouver with a host of death and grind artists guesting (rumoured to include Dave Vincent, Kevin Sharp and Dan Lilker), but financial issues caused this to be abandoned and Kenny completed the album in Melbourne.

The Berzerker was released in 2000 by Earache Records and a complete band was pieced together for live performance, with individual identities (who, at this point, included Steel Affliction and Abramelin guitarist Matt Wilcock and Alarum drummer Matt Racovalis and bassist Mark Palfreyman) hidden by latex monster masks and signified only by their roles in the band, ie: The Singer, The Bassist, etc. The Berzerker toured the US with Skinless, Gorguts and Dying Fetus in mid-2001.

The second album was a band effort, this time with the drumming provided by Gary Thomas of Perth death metal band Plague. Thomas was reportedly the fastest drummer in the world at the time, apparently able to perform blastbeats at a speed of 190 beats per minute, per hand. While this claim was later dismissed as nothing but a rumour, it was played up by the band at the time. Dissimulate was a more conventional death/grind album that lacked The Berzerker's previous industrial and techno elements. The album was followed by an Australian tour in late 2002, then shows in the US with Vader and Immolation in November. A UK tour with Red Harvest followed before The Berzerker returned to the US in January 2003 for a massive tour with Nile, Napalm Death, Dark Tranquillity and Strapping Young Lad. The band's touring was rounded out by a European tour with Corporation 187. During the second US leg, Thomas was injured in a fight at a New York nightclub and the shows were completed with Kenny drumming and Tony Laureano from Nile also guesting.

In mid-2004, the band issued the Principles and Practices of Embalming DVD, a mammoth three-hour volume featuring live footage, interviews, backstage material and two documentaries.

The Berzerker's third album World of Lies was released in September 2005, once again featuring contributions from long-time member Sam Bean as well as Jason V and Ed Lacey. At this point The Berzerker also dispensed with the gimmicky aspects of masks and pseudonyms and the music became more defined.

More international touring followed before work began on a fourth album in mid-2006. Animosity was released in early 2007, recorded by Luke Kenny once again and curiously only featured Luke and Jason V. The Berzerker's live line-up however, now featured Kenny, Lacey, plus Wilcock and Gray from Akercocke. The band headlined the national Festival of the Dead tour in October 2007. After this, Lacey, Wilcock and Gray all departed. Ed Lacey then returned along with guitarist Martin Bermheden (ex-Visceral Bleeding), and Queensland-based musicians Todd Hansen (drums) (from Headkase) and Damien Palmer (bass).

The Berzerker split from Earache in 2008 and their fifth album came out on September 1, 2008 through the band's website exclusively. In November the group returned to the UK for shows with Napalm Death, Satyricon and Carcass. Ex-Abramelin guitarist Tim Alridge joined the band ahead of a full scale Australian tour with The Amenta through January - March 2009. In March 2009 The Berzerker signed to Riot!. Aldridge fell ill on the eve of a New Zealand tour and the band was forced to cancel. In early 2009, the band recorded a version of TaTu's "All the Things She Said" and posted a clip of it on YouTube that was quickly banned from the site.

In September 2009, The Berzerker toured through North America with Obituary, Krisiun, Goatwhore and Warbringer. Since this tour, The Berzerker has more or less ended. Luke Kenny has relocated to the Gold Coast and now works in publishing.



2000 The Berzerker Earache
2002 Dissimulate Earache
2006 World of Lies Earache
2007 Animosity Earache
2008 The Reawakening Berzerker Industries
2010 Live in London Earache


1996 No? self release
1998 Inextricable Zenith Speedcore


2004 The Principles and Practices of Embalming Earache