I remember strolling the CD aisles of Nobody Beats The Wiz at the local mall in high school like it was yesterday. Every Saturday I would stop to pick up Apocalyptica Plays Metallica By Four Cellos. First I would chuckle, mumble “uh that’s interesting,” then put it back on the rack to only repeat the same process the next week. This is why I find it so interesting that Apocalyptica has become such a legitimate and well-respected international heavy metal act. Now on their seventh studio album, aptly titled 7th Symphony, the band continues to show that they are much more than a one-disc folly.
The Finnish wizards of the cello have certainly evolved since their Metallica tribute, enlisting the aid of some of rocks most relevant frontmen: Corey Taylor of Slipknot, Cristinia Scabbia of Lacuna Coil, and Till Lindemann of Rammstein. And let’s not forget the invincible drumming by Dave Lombardo of Slayer.
7th Symphony plays much the same way as the band’s recent records by offering vocals by four more prominent vocalists including Joe Duplantier of Gojira, Gavin Rossdale of Bush, Lacey Mosley of Flyleaf, and Brent Smith of Shinedown. Almost needless to say, Duplantier is the clear victorious destroyer of the bunch; however, Rossdale’s vocal performance on “End of Me” is also pretty sick.
“Broken Pieces” featuring Mosley could pass for any of the Flyleaf singles that have been released in the past.
The rest of the songs are instrumental performances. The opening “At The Gates of Manala” is a harrowing journey through the Finnish underworld or realm of the dead. Agonizing string work dons the seven-minute trek over a fiery river of death.
“Rage of Poseidon” is a jittery thrash frenzy lasting nearly nine minutes while “On The Rooftop With Quasimodo” gushes with progressive melody. Lombardo delivers a thunderous onslaught of his own on “2010,” with his rapid footwork.
For those that download the disc from iTunes, the band offers a really chill cover of Black Sabbath’s “Spiral Architect” which is iPod worthy.
7th Symphony is another metal victory for the cellists of doom. It is the perfect mix of mainstream rock diligence and progressive competence to engage all heavy listeners.
Apocalyptica is Perttu Kivilaakso (Cello/Additional Vocals), Paavo Lötjönen (Cello/Additional Vocals), Mikko Sirén (Drums/Additional vocals, & Eicca Toppinen (Cello/Additional Vocals).
- “At The Gates of Manala”
- “End of Me”
- “Not Strong Enough”
- “Broken Pieces”
- “On The Rooftop with Quasimodo”
- “Bring Them To Life”
- “Rage of Poseidon”