Cellos Shouldn’t Sound Like This

It’s a long way since the inaugural Download. That year was the first time Apocalyptica appeared on the festival bill • but they never quite managed to perform a full set, it was all a rouse. Apocalyptica ended up on the main stage sandwiched in the set change time between two other bands whilst the real Metallica turned up and played Apocalyptica’s second stage slot. Since then the band have grown significantly, working on collaborations with other bands, supporting Rammstein on tour and releasing their own material as well as covers. Everything since then appears to have worked because the crowd they’ve drawn is absolutely massive with everyone standing and cheering for a band that once drew only a handful of people.

Opening with a cover of Sepultura’s “Refused Resist”, the thrashing cello sounds really do make you think. A cello was never intended to sound like this • but it works and, somehow, everyone loves it as well. As they move through their new tack “Raise” it is apparent that the band have subtly shifted themselves away from covers in to their own material. The biggest problem with this is that they lack a vocalist. Just as I’m thinking this Lacuna Coil’s Christina Scabbia is introduced and walks out on stage to perform “S.O.S. (Anything But Love)”.

The female Tarja Turunen-style operatic and powerful vocals fit wonderfully over thrashing metal cellos and it really is the direction that the band need to take if they’re going to focus on their own material and build themselves into something much larger than a well-loved novelty band. This is evident with the huge cheer that they get from the song.

After the band finish “Last Hope” they play their first Metallica cover with “Seek & Destroy” which results in the crowd themselves adding in Chorus Lyrics followed by “Inquisition Symphony” and their final song which is known in the UK as the Alton Towers Music (also known as “Hall of the Mountain King”) which has never sounded so fast and has, unlikely, ever been played on a cello in this manner before.

Apocalyptica really have come a long way in the past few years and are, without a shadow of doubt, a band that every self-respecting metal fan should have on their must-see list. It will be very interesting to see, five years from now, whether Apocalyptica are still playing the Download circuit • and if so whether or not they’ve added their own vocalist.