Apocalyptica is a 4 piece band from Finland. The initial members were Eicca Toppinen, PaavoLötjönen, Max Lilja, and Antero Manninen, the latter two leaving the band over time. They started off covering Metallica songs on their cellos. Their first album “Plays Metallica by 4 Cellos” was a cover of 8 popular Metallica songs ranging from “Wherever I May Roam” to “Master of Puppets”.
I stumbled upon this album as I youtubed (if that is a word) my way around some fairly interesting covers of different Metallica songs a few years back. To date, I don’t know why I was looking through one cover after another, but thank God I did! I first heard their “Creeping Death” cover, which won me over. I’ve always been a fan of the cello, even though I can’t take classical music more than 10 minutes at a time. It is awesome how someone can take songs fairly reliant on drums and vocals, remove them, and still make them sound so good on their basic melody lines. I was hooked on to these instrumentals for days, almost as intensely as when I first heard Metallica.
When I went for the Metallica concert last year (just saying, dream come true) I couldn’t help but notice again how metal as a genre of music still holds the power of melody, highly contrary to the age old “metal is just noise” theory thrown around, mostly by uncles and aunts. And the odd Justin Bieber fan I know. I remembered the album and how these four cellists managed to pull off a beautiful rendition of these songs, without all the distortion I might add. The album, Inquisition Symphony, is a good combination of covers and originals. The title track is a beauty. They’ve also covered bands like Pantera and have opened for heavyweights like Rammstein and such. Must-hear indeed.