You’re not crazy: Apocalyptica make metal music with cellos

You’re not crazy: Apocalyptica make metal music with cellos

Photo: Juha Arvid Helminen
Words by Anna Rose

A brand new take on a well-known sound.

Hear ye, hear ye! If you’ve not already done so, can you please just take a moment to appreciate the genius, the sheer awesomeness of Finnish outfit Apocalyptica? This isn’t your regular metal band. No. Oh sure it’s heavy metal, but it’s done with a mega-awesome spin.

Classically trained cellists, these Scandinavian bombshells grew up being influenced by the likes of Wagner and Elgar as much as they were Metallica and Iron Maiden. Indeed their very first album, Plays Metallica by Four Cellos, says it all. A wonderful collection of cello renditions of Metallica bangers shot the group into the spotlight. Suddenly, Apocalyptica was born.

Throw in a couple of effects pedals and pickups and the metal menu grew over the years. Contributions from Slipknot’s Corey Taylor, Flyleaf’s Lacey Sturm, and Slayer’s Dave Lombardo turning the creative dial up to 11 before Franky Perez joined as touring vocalist and featured on 2015’s Shadowmaker.

So what has that meant for heavy metal? Well, it means that for over two decades there’s been a band out there paving the way for experimentation, to stick it to the boys’ club and say, ‘But wait, there’s more!’

For young musicians who are learning music through the more traditional vein, who might reach their teens and discover rock‘n’roll – an occurrence I like to call turning to the right side – bands like Apocalyptica have made worlds collide with immeasurable success.

There’s room in Apocalyptica’s life, and yours if you want there to be, to be able to enjoy classical music alongside heavy metal. Next month, Apocalyptica will perform their seminal Four Cellos album in full at three prestigious concert halls on the east coast – Melbourne’s Hamer Hall among them on Saturday September 28.

As mellow as you might assume it to be, Apocalyptica are known for being able to generate incredibly emotive performances, even with a genre hybrid, so as to lift the curtain between classical music fans and metal-heads. You can be sure this event will be revolutionary – it will be different, it will push the envelope and it might even be a little confronting at first.

Apocalyptica come to Arts Centre Melbourne on Saturday September 28. Grab your ticks here.