Apoptygma Berzerk

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Harmonizer Review

by Rick Anderson

Apoptygma Berzerk (aka Stephan Groth) has been exerting his influence on the EBM (electronic body music) scene from his home base in Norway since the beginning of the 1990s. Harmonizer finds him refining more fully his pop hookcraft while still hewing close to the electro/industrial/goth mainstream. The chilly synthesizer textures and jackboot dance beats are all in place, so fans of labelmate bands like Juno Reactor and Haujobb will be comfortable, but the sweet, almost melancholy melodicism of songs like "Suffer in Silence" and "Unicorn" may make those same fans just a bit edgy. Luckily, there are aggressive instrumental interludes (like the very fine "Detroit Tickets" and the slightly Kraftwerk-ish "Rollergirl") to keep everything in proper industrial perspective. Ten minutes into the final track is a long bonus segment, which is basically an uninspiring string of sonic scraps that will be of interest only to die-hard fans. Overall, though, this is a very fine album by one of industrial music's more interesting artists.

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