I love all these hardcore undertones in the melodic sound of the strings. Beautiful arrangements.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
oops. I saw Apocalyptica live in D.C. with their drummer and I rescind all previous comments about percussion being a bad idea.
Yes, I like Reflections. Yes, I love Apocalyptica, and this album is good and I’m happy that someone had the sense to release it in the States. But here’s the thing. Part of Apocalyptica’s appeal was the fact that their music was exclusively created by cellos. On “Inquisition Symphony” they even boasted about this. On “Cult”, Path Vol. 2 (when they brought in a vocalist) was really f’in cool. Yes, I’m glad that they want to experiment and “expand their sound” and I want the group to feel free creatively, but the addition of percussive elements on some tracks on this album seems to take away from their unique, original butt-kickin’ nature, the feeling of “Oh my god, they made all this crazy noise with just /cellos/?!” So, Apocalytpica is still doing well, but I fear with the addition of other instruments they have become just another orchestral metal band.
After Apocalyptica released Cult, the band went through some issues together. The returned to the studio to record Reflections, this time with only 3 members (2 from the original lineup) and included more percussion (which they barely touched on Cult). This album features no metal covers at all, which takes away from what made them so addicting in the first place, however they bring in legendary drummer Dave Lombardo (Slayer, Grip Inc., Etc.) to play drums on tracks 1,2,4,8 and 10. The results are devastating especially with his Drum solo on somewhere around nothing. The rest of the songs feature other drummers, but for the most part the drumming is simple. As for the cello playing throughout the CD; its top notch. I still feel that inquisition Symphony is their best album because the covers were so amazing and the three original songs were awesome as well. Reflections contains both the Metal Cello songs and original classic material that should appeal to everyone, new fans and old.
If you are already a big Apocalyptica fan, I suggest you hunt down the re-released import edition titled Reflections Revised. It contains five bonus tracks (Seemann (Rammstein Cover) featuring Nina Hagen, Faraway Vol. 2 (featuring Linda, who honestly kills the original song), Delusion, Perdition and Leave Me Alone.) There is also a second disc, a DVD featuring live videos from two concerts with them playing Nothing Else Matters, Somewhere Around Nothing, Faraway, Enter Sandman and Inquisition Symphony. We also get the music videos for Faraway Vol. 2 and Seemann as well as the making of the music videos and the members of Apocalyptica talking about the making of the album Reflections. Mine features different artwork as well and is actually a darkened night version of the original picture.
So there you have it. Try and hunt down Reflections Revised with eBay or something. The bonus content is worth it. Even if you don’t get the revised edition, you’re still going to get an amazing CD. Its well worth the money, had this CD had even a handful of metal covers, it would easily been their best CD and topped Inquisition Symphony. Hoped this helped.
This is the third Apocalyptica album that I have bought, the others being “Cult” and “Inquisition Symphony”. Apocalyptica has delivered another album that appeals to those who like their music somber and dark, but want more musical harmony than what conventional metal has to offer. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to broaden their horizons or experience more of Apocalyptica’s musical talents. They can make royalties off me any time.
The idea of a Metal band having a cellist is odd enough but when you add two more you are left with the wondrous creation that is the group Apocalyptica. This band clearly have taken traditional barriers and shattered the accepted with something completely out of left field. Mixing classical instruments with heavy music is not something that has never been done before (see the Metallica S&M as well as KISS Symphony releases for examples of that). Now while those were appealing in their own unique ways, the Apocalyptica music is new creations entirely. As I listened to this skillful blending of classical instrumentation along with rock solid riffing I was wondering if I was listening to Metal at all. Instead I wondered if perhaps a new breed of Progressive Music was upon us. At fear I would leave something out, I decided to settle on this being a little bit of both. In any case it is a welcome addition to the fold. With Progressive music there are often many classical inferences, what better way to showcase them than with actually classically trained musicians who also are lovers of Metal and things heavy.
The three main figures in Apocalyptica are Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lotjonen, and Perttu Kivilaakso who all are very adept at the cello and as you listen you find yourself quickly swept up into a unique array of musical colors as you listen to the piece. In addition to the studio musicians who encompass the rest of the recorded piece, Dave Lombardo (most noted for his work in Slayer) appears on a number of tracks as drummer and percussionist.
I enjoyed most of this CD, and had so many interesting takes as Listened. The song “Faraway” had an almost movie soundtrack feel to it. It was a warm and sincere piece, while “Prologue Apprehension” which starts the CD kicks you into a decent gear. In “Somewhere Around Nothing” there are some technical chops that one only generally would find in stuff like Dream Theater or Yes. It is a recommended piece for those who choose to experiment a little more often than others, or for those seeking a different level of musical satisfaction. There are 18 tracks on the CD, a large number of bonus tracks and a video. It is certainly a good amount of value for the money. Of all the tracks, there is two vocal songs, and one is sung by Nina Hagen.