"Worlds Collide" (Jive; 2008)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Apocalyptica is a unique metal band that features four cellos (yes, cellos!) and they play an interesting style of rock that is as strange as it is fun. 

The name fo the CD couldn't be better. "Worlds Collide" does just that as it combines its raucous mixture of classical music and heavy metal. The band rose to fame with their "Plays Metallica" album and their ability to fuse classical and metal together make this band very enjoyable. 

Surprisingly, their signature sound isn't really that much different than many other metal outfits, but some of the tunes on "World Collide" are so out there, they could not have come from traditional rock'n'roll instruments. And the album's guest list sounds like a Who's Who of modern music: Adam Gontier from Three Days Grace, Corey Taylor from Slipknot, Christina Scabbia from Lacuna Coil, Dave Lombardo drummer for Testament, Slayer and Voodoo Cult (just to name a few), Hotei Tomoyasu (a popular Chinese rock performer) and Till Lindemann from Rammstein (who of course sings a song in German).

Cellos in metal! Who would have thought it possible?

For more information, check out at http://www.apocalyptica.com for a taste of this talented band. 

"Cult" (Spitfire; 2000)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Apocalyptica consists of four classically trained cellists. They combine their love of heavy metal with their love of cellos. This is not chocolate mixed with peanut butter; this is odd stuff, but interesting music still. After the first listen I found myself leaning in for a closer observation. There are heavy metal guitars, running drums ... and cellos. I have always had the vision of a woman playing the cello, the instrument is tucked tightly between her legs, as close as she can have it, and her hair is swaying with the intensity of the music she is producing. A cello is even shaped like a woman. There is something sensual about that.

Now enter four guys who, with all intent and purpose, can’t possibly replace the aforementioned images but can produce the same intense music. They are masters at their craft and, although we initially crinkled our noses at heavy metal using keyboards, we overcame our short-sightedness to embrace a new sound. I’m not saying we should abandon the axe for the bow but sometimes you have to expand your music library past its self-chosen borders.

"Cult" is good music. We all started with classical music anyway. Why not just transport yourself back a couple of centuries? Apocalyptica is from Holland and, I have to warn you, if you are not familiar with this kind of music it could put you in a dream state. But there are enough riffs to hold your interest.

The band's first CD was just Metallica tunes played with the cello. This CD pays homage to two more songs, “Until It Sleeps” and “Fight Fire With Fire.” Like Mark Wood's “Voodoo Violence,” (Wood played a violin and shredded with the speed of Steve Vai and The Satch), Apocalyptica introduce a new sound to those who are willing to give it a listen.

"Path Vol. 2" is the only song here that has vocals, contributed by Sandra Nasic. She has an eerie and haunting voice and this track sounds more like a standard rock song than the others. The CD also includes a video for this song.

Apocalyptica: Eicca Toppinen; Perttu Kivilaakso; Paavo Lotjonen; Max Lilja.

For more information, check out www.apocalyptica.com.

"Plays Metallica by Four Cellos" (Mercury; 1996)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This was Apocalyptica’s debut CD. They cover Metallica tunes via the cello. I remember when Metallica went “symphony” on all of us and I’ll admit I was skeptical when they did it. But when someone else covers their material they'd better offer up a new sound to keep listeners from blogging you to death.

Unlike 2000's “Cult,” this CD is solid cellos. It's not quite Muzak, but it does have an odd sound. I will say that they parlay the sound of Metallica across painstakingly. The solos sound the same, the pick slides and driving rhythms are all here. It’s quite amazing how different it sounds even though it's really all the same. This CD demands your attention to listen and recall what the original sounded like. “The Unforgiven” sounds almost like the original since they basically use the same type of instruments.

I like a music challenge and this one offered up an evening of listening that almost wanted me to take up the cello. But then I picked up my guitar and found a new appreciation for the talent it takes to create music.

I usually don’t list the song titles on a CD but knowing which Metallica songs are covered here may interest you:

Enter Sandman
Master Of Puppets
Harvester Of Sorrow
The Unforgiven
Sad But True
Creeping Death
Wherever I May Roam
Welcome Home (Sanitarium)

Apocalyptica: Max Lilja, Antero Manninen, Paavo Lotjonen and Eicca Toppinen.

For more information, check out www.apocalyptica.com.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Revised: 07 Aug 2023 21:18:43 -0400 .