Who Needs A Guitar When You Have A Cello?
Aptly naming their latest album release 'Worlds Collide', Finnish rockers Apocalyptica are unlike many other metal bands out there. For starters they don't wield a guitar that is thrashed to within an inch of its life – oh no instead these guys use the trustworthy cello that in the hands of these guys does things you never knew a cello could. Forget any notion of classical music rearing its head Apocalyptica are very much about metal with extra emphasis on the heavy and now on their sixth album the band that started out as a cover act forcefully prove that metal and classical can go hand in fist clenched hand.
Six albums in and Apocalyptica are far from resting on their laurels. Having struck upon a very unique style it would have been easy for the four cello playing Finns to simply continue in the same vein, churning out metal covers until it becomes blasé and boring but luckily for us they have avoided such a pitfall. Roping in some big names from the metal circuit Apocalyptica has insured that 'Worlds Collide' is more than just a gimmick based album. Boasting the gruffly enticing vocals of Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor, lead single 'I'm Not Jesus' blows the album apart as the menacingly addictive roar of cello strings collide with Taylor's voice making for an extremely catchy song that grunts and growls in all the right places. Indeed it seems that guest vocals are essentially the highlight of Apocalyptica's latest offering with Three Day's Grace's Adam Gontier almost claiming 'I Don't Care' as his own. Slightly less aggressive than Taylor, Gontier's contribution when partnered with the unusual allure of the cellos transforms the track into a contagious slice of rock that instantly sets up camp in your brain and refuses to budge. And its not only the straightforward vocals contributions that make 'Worlds Collide' such an interesting album. Covering the Thin White Duke's 'Heroes' Apocalyptica have bagged the voice of Rammstein's Till Lindemann to transform the bitter sweet song into a dark and menacing slab of heaving metal. Sung entirely in German, 'Heldon' (to give the song its correct translation) takes on a whole new persona under the guidance of Apocalyptica, losing its gentility and trading it in for some rough aggression that still manages to pack a punch even without the trademark metal guitars, there's even a point when you are convinced the cello strings you hear are actually raging riffs. Confusing.
Of course though this is the original metal classics at work and whilst guest vocals are great in the end it is the instruments of the none human variety that are on show here. Bringing in some extra power and oomph to the proceedings curtsey of Slayer's Dave Lombardo, 'Last Hope' is as heavy as a cello act is ever going to get with a frenzy of pounding drums strapped to a whirl wind of cellos that screeches and seethes as good as any axe wielding metal head. And this is what Apocalyptica are all about. Sure, they may not quite reach the force of a guitar led band but they are able to make you forget that they are actually relying by and large on cellos and little else and when you consider the noise they can create with such an instrument, all you can really do in stand in awe.
Proving metal doesn't always have to come with guitars Apocalyptica show once more that metal and classical music can collide effecting. God help us though is air cello takes hold.