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Plays Metallica by Four Cellos

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(106 Reviews)

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Take four cellos, mix with a quartet of Finnish classical-music students who possess a note-for-note knowledge of metal giants Metallica, and beat gently. Viola! You have a truly stirring album that provides tangible evidence of the dramatic passages and intricate arrangements that classical music and heavy metal share. On ”Enter Sandman” and ”Creeping Death,” the exquisite playing of the cellists intensifies the darkness and emotion of Metallica. In the process the strength and versatility of the group’s songwriting is given more credence. Perhaps the most remarkable element of the album is the faithfulness that’s shown to the original songs, right down to faultlessly following the vocal melodies. With Plays Metallica by Four Cellos, Apocalyptica have proved that the universal language of good music is unbound by genre. Here is a clever concept brilliantly realized. –Steffan Chirazi

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  • This is one of the most unique albums floating around out there. Four cello players from Scandinavia put together this debut album of Metallica songs. The performance is strictly acoustic, although the intensity of the playing almost makes it sound like electric guitars.

    These four cellos represent the two guitars, bass, and the melody of the vocals, respectively. These guys also play all the guitar solos note for note. On this debut release, there are some classics like ‘Creeping Death,’ ‘Master of Puppets,’ and ‘Welcome Home (Sanitarium)’. The rest of the tracks are mostly material from their Black Album, such as ‘Enter Sandman,’ ‘Sad But True,’ and ‘The Unforgiven’.

    Typically, I prefer the older Metllica songs, but on this record, the later material fits the best when performed on the cello. The older songs get monotonous, but tracks like ‘The Unforgiven’ sound beautiful here. This is probably because they have a little more melody and less power chords and palm muting, as opposed to Cliff Burton-era Metallica. These guys are masters of their instruments and the performance is extremely professional, especially in their use of vibrato. If you’re a Metallica fan, you will love this album. I also hear their other material is great, although I do not own it.

    Posted on November 27, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • The only reason I would have to take away a star from this GREAT cd is that I’ve heard their two more recent releases, Inquisition Symphony and Cult where they have a more evolved and heavier sound plus original songs. But except for that this is a wonderful cd. I play cello and like Metallica as well, but when I heard about Plays Metallica By Four Cellos I was a bit confused at first and didn’t think such a combination was possible until I listened to some of the songs. All I can say is that I was amazed!! WOW never have I heard anything so great!My favorites on this cd are Welcome Home (Sanitarium) and The Unforgiven because both of these fit the cello soooo perfectly!But I also have to recommend their other two cd’s as well which I think are even better than this one, which is their first release. But it is still totally a great cd and I would recommend it to anyone who just plain enjoys music!

    Posted on November 27, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • In my opinion, a great album should do one of two things: 1) it should introduce you to something new, and 2) it should stand up to repeated listening. A phenomenal album does both. That’s exactly the label I’d give to “Plays Metallica by Four Cellos.”

    I was not much of a Metallica fan when I was introduced to Apocalyptica. I thought it would be interesting for the novelty, so I took it home and gave it a few spins. By the fifth listen, I started to catch all the nuances and craftsmanship in the music, and by the tenth I realized that this was a truly groundbreaking sound.

    String Quartet Tributes are starting to pop up all over the place; Apocalyptica distinguishes itself from those out-for-a-quick-buck releases by demonstrating, through each of the 8 tracks, a genuine love for Metallica. The music is faithfully reproduced, right down to the vocals, in cello form. In the process, the songs are lovingly elevated from ‘just’ metal into incredibly artistic compositions.

    This album made me a diehard fan, not of just Apocalyptica, but of Metallica as well. After hearing these versions, I was able to go back to the originals and experience much more of the depth and layering. From there, I began to enjoy songs that Apocalyptica didn’t cover, and a fan was born.

    This album has stood the test of time for over 5 years now. I wholeheartedly recommend it to fans of Metallica or people looking to try something new. It may surprise you.

    Incidentally, Apocalyptica puts on an amazing live show. See them if you can!

    Posted on November 27, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Take the music of Metallica. Definitely something to be impressed by in the first place, Metallica has created some of the best songs ever made. Now take four cello players from Finland who play Metallica’s music. Does it sound like it’ll end up cheesy? Yes. Is it? Definitely not.From the opening track, “Enter Sandman,” to the closing, “Welcome Home (Sanitarium),” “Plays Metallica by Four Cellos” is an excellent album. The best song on the album is “The Unforgiven,” which sounds so good on the cello, it’s hard to believe. These guys seem to have a guitarish quality while playing their cellos. The cellos actually do sound like guitars at some points. No matter what the critics say, “Master of Puppets” will also be another one of my favorites on this album, just because it sounded so close to the original and because the ending is so damn cool, you can’t help but say this, “These guys rock.”Apocalyptica is a group of four very talented cello players. One listen and you’ll become hooked. This sounds even darker than Metallica’s own music with the absence of percussion on some of the songs. This is an amazing album that’s quite worth the money.

    Posted on November 26, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Being a cellist and a Metallica fan, this album was a perfect match when I was introduced to it by a friend. Many of my friends (and even my parents!) have listened to it and enjoyed it. I haven’t heard a bad thing about it from anybody who’s listened to the album. “The Unforgiven” and “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” are probably the best songs on the album, but the whole disc is great! The cello is a very versitile instrument, and the guys from Apocalyptica (who are classically trained musicians, and big Metallica fans) give a stellar perfomance. They show the HUGE range of the cello (and their talent), and still keep the spirit of Metallica alive in the music. My die-hard Metallica fan friends love this stuff as well as my non-metal liking friends. This is an all-in-all GREAT album that, in my experience, can really be appreciated by almost anybody. Check out their second album, Inquisition Symphony, as well!

    Posted on November 26, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now