Berserker V: Five Bands You Need to See

Berserker Music Fest will return for its fifth year two weeks from today to invade Michigan with a curated lineup (headlined by Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals) of underground metal bands. With fourteen bands over three stages, a killer pre-fest show and beer-centric ticket options, there’s a lot to enjoy at Berserker this year. Decibel picked a few of our favorites to watch.

If you’re in the Midwest and you don’t have tickets yet, what are you waiting on? Grab them here.

Midnight (Pre-fest)

The hooded kings of sleazy metal/punk are guaranteed to get the blood pumping when they headline PREserker, the official pre-party. The Decibel-approved outfit have spent plenty of time slaying crowds (and smashing guitars) on the Decibel Magazine Tour and Decibel Metal & Beer Fest pre-show; Midnight are worth the cost of PREserker admission alone.


Tombs will serve as a representative for Brooklyn’s thriving black metal scene as headliners on the Pike Room stage. The black/post- metal crew nabbed the number one spot on Decibel‘s year-end list in 2011 for Path of Totality and have continued their trend of pushing the genre forward. Their sound isn’t exactly comparable to the other bands on the lineup, which makes them a good choice to catch at the end of the night.


Crossover/hardcore outfit Homewrecker will probably decimate the stage with their intensity. Over the years, they’ve turned the art of combining metal and hardcore into a science, jamming tremolo riffs and death metal vocals in between gnarly breakdowns. Come ready to mosh. Added bonus: Homewrecker play directly before Tombs, so you don’t have to move stages to catch them both.

Shed the Skin 

When drummer Kyle Severn isn’t busy manning the kit for death metal titans Incantation, he can be found with Cleveland death metal outfit Shed the Skin unleashing more primitive death metal. While the serpentine guitar playing sometimes recalls Incantation, Shed the Skin are their own unique beast who will represent the same hometown as Midnight at the pre-fest.

King Parrot

Did someone ask for some comedy with their grindcore? King Parrot‘s sense of humor seeps into everything they do, from their music videos to their song titles and lyrics. With all the touring they do, these Australians should deliver a certified ripper. Don’t confuse this flock with Hatebeak, though. Vocalist Youngy is, as far as we know, a human.