Screen Reviews
The Harmonizer

Apoptygma Berzerk

The Harmonizer DVD


While creating a visual exhibition that truly captures the essence of a live performance can be challenging, “Apoptygma Berzerk” excel with The Harmonizer DVD. Much more than a typical live recording, viewers are taken on a visual and aural journey that is simply brilliant. Here Stephan Groth and company show off their mastery of the senses with stunning visuals and superb sound production. The show begins with the ground shaking “Suffer in Silence,” preparing the crowd for a moving experience. While Germans tend to portray a typically reserved nature, they let loose here with cheers galore. “Spindizzy” follows with heavy analog bass booming through the venue, causing utter mayhem. Stephan and his colleagues appear comfortable on stage and sound tight. A huge projection screen behind the band shows scenes from their 2000 DVD release APBL2000 as a bridge to the second half of the performance.

“Kathy’s Song” enters smoothly with a more subdued approach. The mid-tempo “Pikachu” sneaks in complete with PC sound bites. Raising the mercury levels, “Unicorn” kicks in next with an infectious vibe. As the first single from the Harmonizer album, this track is a testament of APB’ songwriting forte. Special scenes shot in the Nevada desert document the tedious process of music video production. The New York City segment is equally engaging. The climax of the documentary comes with the band’s trip to Tel Aviv, Israel. Ignoring the advice of their tour manager and foreign affairs office, APB venture into a dangerous and equally satisfying trip to the holy land, delivering a vibrant show for the masses. Bringing tears of joy to fans seeing them for the first time, the Tel Aviv performance proves to be the band’s most gratifying moment.

While the second bonus CD offers a slew of “Unicorn” remixes and one new track, it is merely icing on the cake. Disc one carries enough weight to please most skeptics. With so many mediocre DVD releases being pushed down our throats by the few major players left standing, The Harmonizer DVD is a refreshing reminder that artistic freedom reigns.

Metropolis Records:

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