Propeller Recordings, 2016


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


If you put Apothek (pronounced Apo-Tek) in jagged, spiked Death Metal Font, it would appear that this Oslo duo could play alongside Carcass or Cradle of Filth. Not so likely, though, as Morten Myklebust and Nils Martin Larsen are a cautious pair, who pay the utmost attention to intricate details, using both synthetic and organic sounds to their advantage, and birth a very crisp version of electronica and indie-rock. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Roaring” is the wise lead track, where glassy smooth synth, gorgeous layers and a mesmerizing atmosphere build into an electro-pop masterpiece that will likely pique anyone's interest. “Waiting For Thunder” follows and is a darker tune, with a cinematic quality where soft vocals and fluttering synth run in the background, providing a contrast between busy and gentle that works well. “Family” brings to mind Radiohead on prozac, as it alternates between light and dark textures and playful, bright sounds, and “Inheritance,” the longest song here, relies primarily on keys before turning into a lush, electronic anthem.

The second half of the album steers more clearly into mainstream territory with the upbeat and fuller “Reunion,” the multi-faceted and emotive pop of  “Departure,” and, most notably, the club friendly “Invited,” which would appeal to fans of Imagine Dragons, The Postal Service or The Shins. The album exits on the dreamy and dance friendly “Leave,” and the tense, dramatic, and cathartic collision of busy melody with “The Pulse,” a fitting end to this accomplished LP.

By paying attention to even the most minor moments of each song, Myklebust and Larsen have created a listen where each song is equally important and luminous. There's a quality to the song craft that is so often void in similar outfits, and the mysterious, introspective and atypical melodies make this a captivating listen that warrants repeated plays.

Rating: A-

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© 2017 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Propeller Recordings, and is used for informational purposes only.