Genre/Influences: EBM, body-pop.
Background/Info: Apoptygma Berzerk was founded in 1989 by Stephan Groth and Jon Erik Martinsen. Stephan Groth remained the creative force behind the Norwegian band while Martinsen left the band and got involved in Sweep. The EP “The 2nd Manifesto” (1992) was my personal introduction to Apoptygma Berzerk and I directly noticed this band had something ‘different’. The debut full length “Soli Deo Gloria” released in 1993 on Tatra only confirmed the strong potential, which never stopped to grow. We last year celebrated the 25th anniversary of this phenomenal debut album. The album got remastered, bonus tracks were added and a new layout has been conceived.
Content: We have to go back in time and realize this work was originally released in 1993. The impact and influence of the 80s was still very present. Apoptygma Berzerk sounded like a project that came to break all codes and rules. The sound had something EBM-like, was pretty melodic, sometimes empowered by guitar parts and carried by the charismatic and naturally powerful vocals of Stephan Groth. The early hits “Bitch”, “Burnin’ Heretic”, “Stitch” and “Spiritual Reality” remain class tracks and are still 25 years later very efficient.
The bonus tracks mainly reveal alternative versions and two remixes.
+ + + : Apoptygma Berzerk created a very own style, which has always been different from other bands. It’s one of the very few early electro-underground formations, which you couldn’t compare to other formations, but Apoptygma Berzerk has been a great source of inspiration for copyists. This album hasn’t really lost its initial magic –especially the most famous cuts. It remains a powerful, well-crafted and danceable release. The passionate vocals of Stephan Groth did the rest!
– – – : The bonus disc is not exactly what I would call ‘successful’! I don’t know if that’s the reason why a new version of this ‘25th anniversary’ is planned early 2019 with remixes made by other band?!
Conclusion: Apoptygma Berzerk put Norway on the map of the electro-underground scene and this album definitely was the main instigator.
Best songs: “Bitch”, “Burnin’ Heretic – Album Version”, “Stitch”, “Spiritual Reality”, “Skyscraping – Schizophreniac”.