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Yes, this is a very strange little project. A metal cover band (at least for the time being) that covers brutal songs from bands such as Metallica, Pantera, and Sepultura with string instruments. This is very similar to the infamous String Quartet group that does those shitty tribute albums to Linkin Park and U2. But this is metal. You would at first thought think this sucks. Well actually it’s quite good and in certain cases these covers are more enjoyable than the originals. For instance, you wouldn’t think listening to One, one more goddamn time, would be interesting. Well replace the guitars, drums, and Hetfield’s dumbass with cellos and you have yourself a trip. The album is overall good but it has its ups and downs.
On the previous album it was nothing but Metallica covers. Starting with this album they began to write more and more original material and straying away from covers. But like everything they had to start off small, with just 3 originals. Harmageddon begins very softly and then busts into some cool cello “riff” interplay with a third melody played over it. Many disagree with the fact that Apocalyptica rules at writing originals but yes. They do. This song is very badass and goes through several stages and time changes. The music really makes it seem as if you’re listening to a metal song, which I’m sure is what they were going for. It starts to slow down 3 minutes into it but comes back with a “chorus” like part that’s pretty emotive giving you a dense atmosphere. It definitely fits its name. M.B. is the second best track on the album. I don’t know what the name means but oh well it kicks ass. Like I said, these guys can fucking write riffs. Like in Harmageddon they have the duel riffing cellos with a cool melody/solo cello belting out leads. Listen to that middle section; you can almost taste the atmosphere. Toreador however is a very boring track. Skippable at best.
They still have 4 Metallica covers but they throw some weirder shit in like a Faith No More cover, some Sepultura covers, and a Pantera cover. Not being a fan of Faith No More, their cover is the only song I’m not familiar with but it sounds kind of dull when Apocalyptica does it. The gems of album are the Sepultura covers. Refuse/Resist sounds just as fucking heavy as the real song. The way they mimic Max’s vocal pattern is musical gold really. I have to give the soloist a hand. This is the only song that they don’t tack off a couple minutes off of as well. Inquisition Symphony, the title track, was the best track on Schizophrenia and they cover it beautifully. I was amazed the first time I heard them shredding like that on cellos. Highlight of the album. The Pantera cover another track you can skip on the album. Pantera and cellos is something that should never be mixed… ever. Domination is a wonderful song but you can’t reinvent the aggression of Phil’s vocals or Dimebag’s leads. Also the “drums” get very annoying.
We’ve all heard these Metallica songs so there isn’t much to comment on except a few highlights. You think Fade to Black was full of emotion? Well Apocalyptica has it in spades and put it to good use in both this, One, AND Nothing Else Matters. I guess they figured it’s easier to use cellos with more emotional music than groove metal.
The covers are good but Apocalyptica, probably realizing it was time to become a real band, starting putting out the excellent stuff after this album. If you like this, definitely check out Cult or Reflections. Or if you only liked the Metallica covers you can always take a step back with the debut.