Following the band’s outstanding live DVD release APBL2000, Stephan Groth and company are back with a new album that catapults Apoptygma Berzerk into electro stardom. Harmonizer showcases the band’s songwriting and production skills, paving the way for mass consumption. Following a brief intro piece, the album kicks off with “Suffer In Silence,” a dance floor commando loaded with high energy rhythms and pop flare. I nearly placed my CD player on repeat mode, but then I reached the next gem on this disc. “Unicorn,” probably the best track on the album, works wonders due to its stunning duet with former Propaganda lead vocalist Claudia Brucken. Hearing her unique voice again reminded me of why I got into this genre of music to begin with. “Unicorn” is on track to becoming a huge radio and club hit with its catchy hooks and melodies. Just when I was starting to catch my breath, I was treated to another aural orgasm.
“Until the End of the World” comes on strong with space age precision and infectious beats. Insane attention to every digital detail and vocal treatment make this a gold medal contender. Stephan shows greater vocal power and emotion than ever, fitting in perfectly with his musical ensemble. Another surprise can be found on the brooding “OK Amp — Let Me Out;” with the band showing a more instrumentally stripped down approach. Amazingly, these basics work well, and full-out dance floor mayhem can be expected. The track can also be considered a prime candidate for live club remixing. The tempo is slowed down on “Pikachu,” leading the way for the next earth-shattering piece. “Spindizzy” kicks into high gear with distorted samples and robotic voices, followed by a sinister groove that could wake up the dead. Any fans living near a cemetery should head the warning!
Overall, Harmonizer is a mature and captivating release that will bring well deserved international acclaim to this Norwegian outfit.
Metropolis Records: http://www.metropolis-records.com