Apoptygma Berzerk is a music group that originally started with a dark gothic techno sound, but has slowly evolved into the area synthpop. As a result, many people have labeled the group as sellouts. I personally don't like their new music as much as their old music, and this review focuses on the album "7", which was one of the earliest from AB.
This album is very dark and sullen compared to the happy beats of AB's newer music, with lyrics about many interesting and disturbing subjects. It is easy to see why it was popular with the goth crowds who thrive on this sort of music.
The first song on the album is named "Love Never Dies (Part 1)" and opens with a pipe organ playing. It then shifts to a bass beat and the vocals that have made AB famous. This song features samples from "O Fortuna", which somehow fit in with the song perfectly. The song's lyrics talk about the longevity of love and passion.
"Mourn" is a pretty weird song with a strange melody and a lot of reverb effects. It ends up being a pretty fun song with a lighthearted theme and some great techno beats.
The third song on this album, "Non-Stop Violence", is a bizarre little tune. The song is a call for sanity and states that if violence is not stopped, it will be the fall of humanity.
"25 Cromwell St." is a bizarre song that starts out with some strange sound effects before a bass line and percussion kicks in. The vocals on this song are very gritty and distorted, but they seem to fit the instruments right. This song is not one of my favorites, but it is an interesting departure.
"Rebel" is an entirely instrumental song that features heavily flanged drums and a great organ melody. It is a pretty decent instrumental, although it is not my favorite track on this album.
"Deep Red" is a dark love song about love, with somewhat disturbing lyrics. It appears to detail a sadomasochistic relationship involving knives and blood, hence the name of the song. The song has a nice pulsing beat and would make a great club song.
"Nearer" begins with some panning phase effects and transitions to a slow ballad. This song is probably the best display of Apoptygma Berzerk's vocal talent and you have to credit him with being a talented singer. The song is pretty catchy and I still find myself humming it from time to time.
One of my favorite songs on this album is "Half Asleep", which has a great rhythm and bass line. This song has a dark tone about temptation and desire and has some great vocals.
"Mourn (Remix)" is a remix of the song heard earlier on the album. This version is much more electronic and fast-paced, obviously geared for the clubs. The song feels a bit too cheesy for my tastes, particularly the vocals towards the end.
"Electricity" is the most upbeat and happy song on this album. It feels a bit out of place, but it is still a very good song. The song is very energetic and fast-paced, with lyrics focusing on how energy is wasted.
The next song, "Love Never Dies (Part 2)", really surprised me. It is an acoustic song with vocals by an unknown female singer. Her vocals are very haunting and continue the theme of love never dying expressed in Part 1. Simply put, this is a beautiful song and definitely deserves a listen. After the initial 3 minutes, the track fades to silence for several minutes before transitioning to an unremarkable hidden song.
The final song on the album is "Untitled" and provides an upbeat ending to an otherwise dark album. It features mainly shifting synth sounds and percussion, but also contains some good vocals.
This album is a great collection of dark techno songs that won't appeal to everyone. Some people may be turned off by the somewhat older synth instruments used in the songs, but others will enjoy this album for what it is. I really enjoyed listening through this album and it has become a permanent fixture in my playlist. Although you are unlikely to find this album at your local store, you can still find copies online.