Let’s be brutally honest: Does the world really need original compositions from cellists? Apocalyptica answers this question with their second cover album, where they take on the works of James Hetfield and company themselves. In this regard, the trio, supported for the last time by drummer Mikko Sirén, has done everything right – and not just with that. On their album “PLAYS METALLICA VOL. 2,” produced by Joe Barresi (known for working with Queens Of The Stone Age, Soundgarden, Nine Inch Nails, Tool), Eicca Toppinen, Perttu Kivilaakso, and Paavo Lötjönen don’t play the pieces note-for-note but instead infuse them with their own atmospheres. Towards the end of ‘St. Anger,’ for instance, the Finns introduce delicate divebombs. In ‘Holier Than Thou,’ they ultimately shift to ‘Enter Sandman’ (but why?).

Additionally, ‘One’ features an alternative, drawn-out intro and a breezy, percussive moment after the solo. The song selection is spot on: alongside obvious classics like ‘Ride The Lightning,’ ‘The Four Horsemen’ (with contributions from Robert Trujillo), ‘Blackened,’ and ‘The Call Of Ktulu,’ there’s the power ballad ‘The Unforgiven II’ and a deep cut with ‘To Live Is To Die.’ Thus, Apocalyptica’s tenth studio work comes across as a remarkably cohesive endeavor.

A Deeper Dive into Apocalyptica’s Musical Journey

Apocalyptica’s unique approach to music has always set them apart in the rock and metal scene. Their ability to reinterpret heavy metal classics using classical instruments is not just a gimmick but a testament to their versatility and profound musical understanding. With “PLAYS METALLICA VOL. 2,” the band continues to explore the intricate layers of Metallica’s compositions, adding their signature touch to each track.

One of the standout aspects of this album is the way Apocalyptica seamlessly blends classical music elements with heavy metal. This fusion creates a rich, textured sound that is both powerful and emotive. The cellos add a depth and resonance to Metallica’s songs that electric guitars can’t quite replicate. It’s a fresh perspective on familiar tracks, making them feel new and exciting again.

The Magic Behind the Production

Joe Barresi’s production work on the album deserves special mention. Known for his work with some of the biggest names in rock and metal, Barresi brings out the best in Apocalyptica. His ability to balance the raw energy of Metallica’s music with the refined sound of cellos is remarkable. Every track on the album is meticulously crafted, with each note and beat serving a purpose. The result is an album that is not just a tribute but a reimagining of Metallica’s music.

Exploring the Tracks

Each track on “PLAYS METALLICA VOL. 2” offers something unique. ‘Ride The Lightning’ is a high-energy opener that sets the tone for the album. The cellos bring a new intensity to the song, making it feel even more urgent and powerful. ‘The Four Horsemen,’ featuring Robert Trujillo, is another highlight. Trujillo’s bass lines complement the cellos perfectly, creating a rich, layered sound.

‘Blackened’ and ‘The Call Of Ktulu’ are also standout tracks. The former’s fast-paced, aggressive sound is amplified by the cellos, while the latter’s instrumental beauty is given new life. ‘The Unforgiven II’ and ‘To Live Is To Die’ provide a change of pace, showcasing Apocalyptica’s ability to handle both powerful ballads and deep cuts with equal skill.

Looking Ahead

As Apocalyptica continues to evolve, it’s exciting to think about what they will do next. Their willingness to experiment and push boundaries is what makes them so compelling. With “PLAYS METALLICA VOL. 2,” they have not only paid tribute to one of the greatest metal bands of all time but also cemented their place as one of the most innovative and creative forces in music today.

In conclusion, “PLAYS METALLICA VOL. 2” is a must-listen for both Apocalyptica and Metallica fans. It’s a powerful, emotional, and beautifully crafted album that showcases the best of both worlds. Whether you’re a fan of classical music, heavy metal, or just great music in general, this album is sure to impress.