August 15, 2022
Apocalyptica Puts Out A Masterpiece With Cell-O

By Allyson Kingsley

After the craziness and chaos of the holidays, it was nice to take a break and check out the latest album Cell-O from the infamous Finnish symphonic metal band Apocalyptica. If you haven’t heard of them by now, I strongly encourage you to delve into their discography as they formed in the 90s and have made a huge dent in the symphonic metal realm.
Since the Finnish band’s inception, creativity at the heart of the multi-platinum Apocalyptica (“cello metal” ) is no longer as shocking as it was back in 1993. The musicians, cellists Eicca Toppinen, Perttu Kivilaakso, and Paavo Lötjönen, along with Drummer Mikko Sirén—have won the hearts of metalheads across the world and have issued eight full-length studio releases (including their genre-breaking 1996 debut, Apocalyptica Plays Metallica by Four Cellos), and performed alongside such greats as Metallica and Rammstein.

Cell-O is self-produced by the quartet and mixed by Andrew Scheps (Black Sabbath, Red Hot Chili Peppers), and returns Apocalyptica to their cello metal roots. A cinematic and purely instrumental masterpiece, the album features keyboard work from exceptionally talented Finnish musician Lasse Piirainen, as well as bass performed by Joonas Parkkonen (guitarist,Santa Cruz).

“Ashes of the Modern World” begins our journey that seems to mourn as it reflects sorrowfully on the self-destruction of mankind. This leads to an explosion of percussion from Finnish producer, engineer and drummer Tommi Vainikainen.

“Cell-O” goes for an even more melancholic perspective as the cellists dive deeper for an emotion that glides and treads equally between the light and the dark. Before you fall too deep into a darkness, the elegance of “Rise” turns the mood toward something lighter, pulling listeners upwards again. An atmospheric number, it promises that there is still beauty worth embracing.

“En Route to Mayhem” rocks out while specifically highlighting the drumming talents of Sirén. This paves the way for the buoyancy of “Call My Name,” My choice on this album is “Fire & Ice” that captures these two extremities of life perfectly with an added bonus of Uilleann pipes courtesy of Nightwish’s Troy Donockley. “Fire and Ice” could perhaps be played during certain scenes from Dante’s Inferno or Milton’s Paradise Lost as it spirals into the netherworld for some insidious madness, before once again lulling you into the quiet cool of a spring afternoon. “Scream for the Silent,” is smooth and caressing and flows with bold deeper cadences and an ear for the electric.

Cellos mournfully beguile you with the opening notes of “Catharsis” and captivate you as it progresses. Finally Cell-O closes with the epic “Beyond the Stars” with guest narrative vocals from Tom Furey. It sails upwards to the heavens and deep into the dark veils, tasting what is light and thrusting you headlong into the inky night.
Apocalyptica have, again,crafted mesmerizing sounds that leave you breathless.

Apocalyptica have, again,crafted mesmerizing sounds that leave you breathless.


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