Apocalyptica - Reflections

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Universal
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 48:54:00

The oddest addition to the metal scene would have to be Finland's Apocalyptica. The term "Heavy Cello Thunder" is being touted as the way to describe them and really, that fits them perfectly.

Where once they graced their albums with (metal) covers of classic Metallica, Slayer, and Sepultura tunes, Apocalytpica now adorn their albums with originals. And for what originally started out as a lot of fun has turned into something that allows exploration and recognition of music that goes unheard by many; a band that mixes heavy music and the classical instrument, the rather large and cumbersome cello.

Reflections sees many-a-change from the enthralling escapism of Cult. Firstly, the band are now a three-piece (although live they will be four) - Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lotjonen, and Perttu Kivilakso. It is Eicca who writes the majority of these creative pieces but Reflections is more than just metal because there are influences from pop ("Faraway"), opera ("Epilogue (Relief)") and of course classical composers ("Conclusion"). The latter track is beautiful beyond description. "Resurrection" has as much impact as a certain Metal God's resurrection of a couple of years ago, too. Still, no matter whether the band are playing up the metal sounds or digressing slightly - the mix of instruments is amazing.

Take the track "Somewhere Around Nothing," which reminds me summarily of their previous heavy metal covers. Each song is an amalgam of complexities and tapestries, especially the monstrous "Cortege," which has many Slayer-like elements. Speaking of Slayer - ex-skinsman Dave Lombardo features on five of the tracks here and (along with drummer Sami Juoppamaki) have added a depth and musical vision that was left out of Cult. Seeing a band develop and grow and change - all the while remaining the same - is astounding. Reflections is also less dark then previous albums, although the cello in itself gives a dark, morose, impending doom type sound, but Reflections seems a lot more upbeat.

Apocalyptica have added everything from pianos and violins to trumpets and double bass with a bit of programming in there as well. Unlike Metallica, Scorpions, and Kiss whose symphony albums have never really captured the essence of an orchestra, here we have musicians who live and breathe classical music as well as metal. Reflections is a classic(al).

[In November, Apocalyptica released Reflections Revisited, which features a further 5 tracks plus a DVD - PW ed.]

[This review originally appeared March 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Prologue (Apprehension) / No Education / Faraway / Somewhere Around Nothing / Drive / Cohkka / Conclusion / Resurrection / Heat / Cortège / Pandemonium / Toreador II / Epilogue (Relief) / Seemann (album version)* / Faraway Vol. 2 (extended version)* / Delusion* / Perdition* / Leave Me Alone*

DVD*: Faraway Live 2003 / Enter Sandman Live 2003 / Inquisition Symphony Live 2003 / Nothing Else Matters Live 2003 / Somewhere Around Nothing Live 2003 / Somewhere Around Nothing Video / Faraway Vol. 2 Video / Seemann Video / Faraway Vol. 2 EPK / Reflections EPK / Seemann EPK

Total Time is for original version

Eicca Toppinen - cello
Paavo Lotjonen - cello
Perttu Kivilakso - cello
Dave Lombardo - drums
Sami Juoppamaki - drums

'Apocalyptica' (single) (1996)
Plays Metallica By Four Cellos (1996)
Inquisition Symphony (1998)
Cult (2000)
Live (2001)
Cult - Special Edition (2001)
Best Of Apocalyptica (2002)
Reflections (2003)
Reflections Revised (2003) (includes bonus DVD with live perf.)
Apocalyptica (2005)
Amplified - A Decade Of Reinventing The Cello (2006)
Worlds Collide (2007)

The Life Burns Tour (DVD) (2006)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin FI

Added: December 8th 2004
Reviewer: Peter Fundeis
Artist website: www.apocalyptica.com
Hits: 1191
Language: english


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