Apoptygma Berzerk

Apoptygma Berzerk

Welcome To Earth

Metropolis

Having been a dedicated fan of this Norwegian one man musical symphony, I eagerly awaited the release of Welcome To Earth like a child waiting for the doors of Disney World to open to the public. One listen to this expertly crafted album reassured me that my expectations had been surpassed once more. Themed after the mysterious alien visitations by UFOs, Welcome To Earth opens with the provoking “Everything We Know is Wrong,” a spoken, sample-based mini-piece that explores the possibilities of alien visitations on Earth dating back to the beginning of time. It does not take long to become engulfed in the musical assault of “Starsign,” and its space age precision. Perfectly designed pop melodies glimmer alongside the song’s powerful dance beats and beautifully synthesized sounds.

As if this amazing track were not enough, it is carefully intertwined with the massive “Eclipse,” the album’s supernova! Here is a global dance floor menace that builds slowly to deliver a sonic boom guaranteed to bring the masses to their feet. Electro pop music does not get any better than this.

The smooth “Kathy’s Song” is a mid-tempo masterpiece of emotion and technique. The vocals are so well produced and executed that the song almost seems to float on thin air. The real surprise of this album is the purely electronic cover of Metallica’s “Fade to Black.” This track is completely redesigned to APB standards, only keeping the lyrics in their original form. I wonder what the Metallica crew would think of a fully synthesizer-based version of their rock anthem! The stylish “Paranoia” is not too far down the line, displaying Berzerk’s relentless push for song writing stardome.

Just when you are trying to catch your breath over this spectacular album, “Soultaker” sneaks in towards the end to reinforce APB’s darker musical style. Brooding percussion and sinister analog textures combine with eye popping vocal effects to bring Welcome To Earth into a class by itself.

Don’t walk — run to your local music store and pick up what is sure to be one of the best synth pop releases for the new millennium.

Metropolis Records, P.O. Box 54307, Philadelphia, PA 19105; http://www.metropolis-records.com

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