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Apocalyptica is a band from Helsinki, Finland, formed in 1993. The band is composed of classically trained cellists Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, and Perttu Kivilaakso (all three of whom are graduates of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki) and drummer Mikko Sirén.
Originally a Metallica tribute band, their music borrows elements from
many genres including classical music, neo-classical metal,
post-grunge, progressive metal, thrash metal, and symphonic metal. They
have sold over four million albums to date.
Apocalyptica was formed in 1993 when four cellists, Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, Max Lilja, and Antero Manninen gathered to play Metallica covers at Sibelius Academy. In 1996, Apocalyptica released their debut studio album, Plays Metallica by Four Cellos, which consisted solely of Metallica covers played on cellos. They were later featured on two songs on the Waltari album Space Avenue in 1997. In 1998, Apocalyptica released their second studio album, Inquisition Symphony, which was produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa. Inquisition Symphony once again contained covers of Metallica, but also contained covers of Faith No More, Sepultura, and Pantera. For this album the band also decided to include three original songs written by Eicca Toppinen.
In 1999, Antero Manninen left the group, and was replaced by Perttu Kivilaakso who had appeared in the line-up already in 1995. In 2000, Apocalyptica released their third studio album, Cult, which featured 10 original songs, and 3 covers. Soon after the recording of Cult, the first Apocalyptica track featuring vocals was released, "Path Vol. 2". In 2002, Max Lilja left the group and joined Hevein, leaving Apocalyptica with only three members.
In 2003, Apocalyptica released their fourth studio album, Reflections, which consisted for the first time of all original songs. Reflections featured a more experimental sound, instead of the previous acoustic style arrangements found on Inquisition Symphony and Cult. Dave Lombardo from Slayer played drums on five songs from Reflections, with session drummer Sami Kuoppamäki playing on the rest of the songs. As Lombardo was unable to join the band on stage on the following tour, the band hired Mikko Sirén, who would stay with the band for future tours as well as the recording of the next album.
In 2005, Apocalyptica released their fifth studio album, Apocalyptica. This album featured a number of guest musicians including Ville Valo of HIM, Lauri Ylönen of The Rasmus, and once again Dave Lombardo. They also recorded the Intro for Bullet For My Valentine's album The Poison. In December 2005 Mikko Sirén was announced as an official band member after having played around 200 shows with the band.
Apocalyptica released their sixth studio album, Worlds Collide, on 17 September 2007. It was produced by Jacob Hellner. To the surprise of many, the album includes a cover of the German version of David Bowie's song "Heroes". Till Lindemann of Rammstein, for whom they opened on the Reise, Reise tour, was the guest vocalist on the track "Helden". Worlds Collide was released on April 15, 2008 in the United States. The first single "I'm Not Jesus" featuring Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour from the "Worlds Collide" album cracked the top 10 of both the Active rock and Alternative rock charts. To end 2007, the band toured Europe successfully, selling out many of the venues they played. In 2008 the tour continued in US and included numerous festivals in Europe.
In June 2008, during the Rock in Rio concert in Lisbon, Apocalyptica
joined the Greenpeace "energy [r]evolution campaign" and played the
Beethoven 5th symphony from the stage. The band also appeared on Last
Call with Carson Daly on October 31, 2008. Here they made their
American television debut with a performance of "I Don't Care" with
Toryn Green. In November 2008, Apocalyptica featuring Adam Gontier of
Three Days Grace hit first at the BDS and Mediabase Active Rock radio
charts with the single "I Don't Care". Later that month, the band
ranked 3rd at Billboard's Hot Modern Rock Track chart and 2nd at
Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart just after AC/DC, and just
ahead of Metallica, an ironic twist, due to their origins performing
Metallica covers. Recently, it reached No. 1 on the Billboard rock
chart, making Apocalyptica the first Finnish band to top the US charts.
The song "I Don't Care" was also featured in the 16th episode of season
8 of the TV series Smallville, which aired on March 19, 2009.
The seventh Apocalyptica studio album entitled 7th Symphony, produced by Joe Barresi and Howard Benson (on two tracks), was released on August 23, 2010 in Europe (Germany on August 20, 2010), and August 24 in the U.S. The first single hit the radio on June 29, 2010. The album features eight instrumentals plus four tracks with guest vocals. The first single, "End of Me", features Gavin Rossdale, best known as the vocalist of the British alternative rock band Bush, who had previously collaborated with the band. Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo plays on "2010", "Bring Them to Light" features Joseph Duplantier, singer and guitarist of the French death metal band Gojira, "Broken Pieces" is a cooperation with Flyleaf singer Lacey Mosley, and "Not Strong Enough" is sung by Brent Smith (Shinedown).
"Broken Pieces" and "Not Strong Enough" were released as the second and third singles from the album. Due to distribution rights on Smith's vocals, "Not Strong Enough" was re-recorded with Doug Robb of Hoobastank before being released to US radio on January 18, 2011.
|A l b u m s|
Inquisition Symphony (Mercury Records, 1998)
Cult (Mercury Records, 2000)
Reflections (Universal Records, 2003)
Apocalyptica (Universal Records, 2005)
7th Symphony (Jive/Sony Music, 2010)