released August 24th, 2010
from the album - End Of Me
from all music
The Helsinki, Finland quartet Apocalyptica were initially comprised of classically trained cellists Eicca Toppinen, Max Lilja, Antero Manninen, and Paavo Lotjonen; formed in 1993, the group made waves internationally in 1996 with Plays Metallica by Four Cellos, which combined their formal background with their love of heavy metal. The album found favor with both classical buffs and metalheads alike, and two years later Apocalyptica resurfaced with Inquisition Symphony, which featured covers of material by Faith No More and Pantera. Manninen soon left the band and was replaced by Perttu Kivilaanso. They added double bass and percussion to the mix for 2001's Cult, a collection of all-original material, and again on 2003's Reflections, which featured guest drummer Dave Lombardo from Slayer. Max Lilja had left the band and Mikko Sirén joined as the band's permanent drummer. After Reflections was reissued as Reflections Revised, featuring a bonus track with new wave diva Nina Hagen, 2005 saw the release of the eponymous Apocalyptica, followed in 2006 by the collection Amplified: A Decade of Reinventing the Cello. The band returned to the studio the following year for Worlds Collide. Rammstein vocalist Till Lindemann appeared on the album performing a German-language version of David Bowie's "Helden." Apocalyptica issued their obligatory Live album in 2008, and followed it with the adventurous 7th Symphony in 2010.
Apocalyptica was a cool concept to begin with; four classical cellists playing arrangements of Metallica songs. But that was their first EP, and that was a long time ago. Now they play instrumental hard rock and bring in guest vocalists, and the returns have diminished quite a bit. "End of Me" features former Bush vocalist Gavin Rossdale, and based on the song's crunching Active Rock radio-friendly riff and the rhythmic verses, he's only there because Disturbed frontman David Draiman couldn't or wouldn't do it. Brent Smith of Shinedown shows up for a power ballad, "Not Strong Enough," that sounds like a performance from a televised country music awards show. When the cellos are fed through pedals, the sound can be quite impressive, like a guitar but five times more room-filling and powerful. And the members of Apocalyptica do use many different effects on their instruments, occasionally creating sounds not unlike those you might hear on a Sunn O))) album. The best track on 7th Symphony is "2010," which features a guest performance by Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo, who drives the music ferociously, a speeding train straight into hell. But too often, using cellos to play metal riffs (as on "Bring Them to Light," which features vocalist Joseph Duplantier of French avant-metallers Gojira) just winds up making the album sound like "A String Tribute To [Insert Metal Band Here]," and not in the cool, rethinking-the-material way that first Apocalyptica release did.
1 At the Gates of Manala Kivilaakso, Lotjonen, Siren ... 7:03
2 End of Me Andrews, Rossdale, Toppinen 3:28
3 Not Strong Enough Warren 3:36
4 2010 Kivilaakso, Lombardo ... 4:33
5 Beautiful Kivilaakso 2:19
6 Broken Pieces Cutler, Sigsworth, Toppinen 3:54
7 On the Rooftop With Quasimodo Siren 4:59
8 Bring Them To Light Joseph Duplantier, Siren ... 4:44
9 Sacra Siren, Toppinen 4:22
10 Rage of Poseidon Kivilaakso, Lotjonen, Siren ... 8:49