What happens when you take four classically trained cellists who have a love for heavy metal? You get the group Apocalyptica. This group crosses the metal sounds of Metallica, Faith No More, Sepultura, and Pantera with the classical sounds of strings. I’ve always believed strings would make a good addition to a heavy metal group, and Apocalyptica did just that running their four cellos through distortion. The amazing thing about “Inquisition Symphony” is that there are no other instruments. The full, heavy and thundering sound is just four cellos. The ability to take true head-banger music and play it on the cello without losing any intensity is truly incredible. Eicca Toppinen, Antero Mannienen, Paavo Lotjonen, and Max Lilja are great musicians. There is a great sampling of heavy metal on this album that is more than just a tribute to the heavy metal bands. The classic Metallica “Fade to Black” is so well played. The haunting melody carried on the undistorted strings of a single cello before the others join in bringing the weight of the song. This proves that Metallica does belong in a symphony hall. Another good example is “One”. The song almost sounds like a classical piece until the crescendo of distorted strings mimic the staccato bursts of lyrics. But this album is just more than covers as Toppinen takes his hand at penning three songs here. There opening track, “Harmageddon” shows that Toppinen can head-band with the best of `em. Opening with an airy beginning, he turns up the volume with a heavy rhythm and a clean melody playing over it. The two make a startling counterpoint. Later, “M.B.” is another heavy song, which slows down in the middle for a slow, haunting movement as it slowly picks up speed back to heavy metal land. Add in the great “Toreador” and you would be hard pressed to realize that any of these songs were not written by a great heavy metal band. This is always a great album, half classical and half heavy metal. I love to introduce it to people, and everyone who hears it finds they love it enough to buy. The idea is unique and may have started the orchestral arrangements for other groups, like Pink Floyd’s “Us and Them: Symphonic Pink Floyd”. If you like heavy metal and classical, this album is a must have.