“7th Symphony” by Apocalyptica

Artist: Apocalyptica
Title: “7th Symphony”
Label: Jive Music
Release Date: 8/24/2010
Genre: Classical Metal
Rating: 4.25/5

Like a breath of fresh, cold Scandinavian air comes the latest release by Finland’s Apocalyptica. While I am thinking that you should know who they are by now, I will indulge the newcomer by saying that they are the band that made playing the cello not only cool but frigging awesome. Many of their original fans came to love them from their renditions of Metallica standards. With this in your memory banks we can now get down to business about their new album “7th Symphony”. The release is the bands seventh recording which makes the title rather kitsch and it follows suit with their previous album “World’s Collide” by making strong use of their instrumental fare and a number of well-known musical guests to provide vocals on the remaining tracks. I have to take a moment and revisit a minor issue that I felt with their “Worlds Apart” release and that was my initial worry about how the guest appearances seemed to take away from the magic that was Apocalyptica music and how I felt these tunes sounded more like the bands that the singers came from than they should have. Looking back on this I have to say that I was wrong because it really ended up working in the bands behalf and brought them to greater heights than had they not chosen to do so. Hearing Eicca, Perttu, Paavo and Mikko with new voices to their compositions was truly interesting from beginning to end. Here is the layout of this musical map.

We start our journey into the new album with the amazing “At The Gates Of Manala” which is of course an instrumental and showcases a very interesting side of the band. There are a number of different avenues taken by the guys but it is towards the middle section where it reaches Black Metal territory by offering a blazing riff often associated with that form and I loved it. “End Of Me” features Gavin Rossdale from Bush and they seem to be pushing this tune as the first single from the album. I guess its safe to say how this is the “7th Symphony” version of “I’m Not Jesus” which was a blockbuster for the band with the last album. While a good tune I wonder if this will be as popular as the offering by Brent Smith of Shinedown who sings “Not Strong Enough” based on the fact how that band is much more in the public eye than Bush has been in many years. Both are good songs and each has a nice drive to them. The band kicks the throttle into gear with the next instrumental as this features Dave Lombardo from Slayer on the drums and it is a solid tune that really shows off the percussionists abilities. It’s obviously a heavy offering and one that I think even the Slayer loyalists will take to. We get some vocals from Lacey of Flyleaf and while never a band I paid much attention to, felt did a nice job with the guys. “Bring Me To Light” was an interesting tune as it was half Thrash Metal and slightly Death Metal and also featured Joe Duplantier from Gojira on vocals. I had to say that this one did not remind me of the singers band at all and came off as a little easier to absorb as a tune of its own. Both “Beautiful” and “Sacra” are short and enticing instrumentals and the whole thing is tied up and closed with the bands epic “Rage Of Poseidon” which runs almost nine minutes in length. There is a lot of stuff going on in this one and might be a killer tune when done in the live sense. While long its not at all boring or tedious in pace based on how its slowly build and builds until its crescendo. Nice work and very musically thorough.

A booklet comes with the release and gives you a number of individual band member photos and the lyrics to all of the songs with words in them. This is the kind of booklet that is perfect for a fan meet and greet since every member has a page that can be signed if you participate in those kinds of things. The lyrics obviously help make these new offerings second nature to you. Please bear in mind that this review is of the standard edition release and not the deluxe version. The band has also released a premium edition of “7th Symphony” which includes a DVD. To be honest I think that they should have only released one version and had the DVD as a part of it. These days the consumers are avoiding purchases and doing something like that would have almost guaranteed an immediate grab. Oh well. It’s still a fine album that I enjoyed very much. The band is worth catching in concert because they don’t just sit down and play their cellos, they are everywhere your eye can be focused and entertain like few others.

Track Listing:
1. At The Gates Of Manala
2. End Of Me (Gavin Rossdale)
3. Not Strong Enough (Brent Smith)
4. 2010 (Dave Lombardo)
5. Beautiful
6. Broken Pieces (Lacey)
7. On The Rooftop With Quasimodo
8. Bring Them To Light (Joseph Duplantier)
9. Sacra
10. Rage Of Poseidon

Official Website: http://www.apocalyptica.com

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