118: APOCALYPTICA

Apocalyptica started out by performing classical covers of Metallica, a simple yet unique concept, with the only instrumentation being four cellos (and later a drum kit).

The band quickly grew beyond this idea, expanding first to covering bands other than Metallica, then moving into original songs, eventually even adding vocalists.

With their original music, Apocalyptica somehow manage to create an undeniably heavy metal atmosphere – without a guitar in sight. Their compositions are complex and progressive, shifting through multiple passages and sections, never once sounding repetitive or uninspired.

The addition of a vocalist (with duties fulfilled by a revolving door of sensation voices, including Till Lindemann and Corey Taylor) adds a whole new layer. With a singer in the mix, Apocalypticaโ€™s music shifts from progressive, symphonic, musical pieces to straight up rock music – and this is where the cellos really shine.

The stark contrast between Apocalyptica and a stock standard rock band is really put on display in this format. The unsuspecting listener, no doubt anticipating a distorted guitar, instead gets the cellos. Deep, powerful, and just really fucking heavy.

With their most recent album, Apocalyptica have returned to the original format – 4 cellos and a drum kit performing original, amazing, instrumental pieces that demonstrates the incredible versatility and innate heaviness of the cello.

With incredible musicianship and songwriting, performed in a vastly different way than their peers, Apocalyptica are a unique and welcome sound amongst the heavy metal landscape.