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!