Apocalyptica is a truly unique musical experience: perhaps the world’s first all-cello hard-rock/heavy metal band. Does that sound absurd? Well, according to an academic study performed in 2008 with over 36,000 music fans from around the world it was found that fans of metal and classical actually have practically everything in common as far as personality goes. The fusion of classical strings with rock phrasing makes more sense than we would think, and why shouldn’t a band shake up the guitar driven foundation of rock music? Apocalyptica has taken this musical experiment and turned it into a full-fledged world phenomenon, and expanded the visibility of the cello to a new audience.
Apocalyptica was formed in 1993 in Helsinki, Finland, by classically trained cellists Eicca Toppinen, Max Lilja, Antero Manninen, and Paavo Lotjonen. Initially they were a pure cello quartet that covered the music of Metallica. Their first critically acclaimed album was Apocalyptica Plays Metallica by Four Cellos, which was a straightforward crossover of classical instruments performing music by the biggest heavy metal band of all time. The quartet followed it up with Inquisition Symphony in 1998, which followed the same formula but expanded to include music by other bands such as Pantera and Sepultura, including some originals. In this phase the group was more of a chamber quartet playing rock so ngs than a full-fledged rock band, but for their 2001 release Cult they added double base and percussion and focused more on original compositions in order to make the transition to being a rock band centered on the sound of the cello. The group has regularly been releasing albums and inviting world renowned guest vocalists such as Gavin Rossale, Corey Taylor of Slipknot, Till Lindemann of Rammstein, and Nina Hagen.
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