Album review: APOCALYPTICA – Plays Metallica By Four Cellos (20th Anniversary Edition)

APOCALYPTICA - Plays Metallica By Four Cellos (20th Anniversary Edition)

Odyssey Music Network [Release date 22.07.16]

Metallica played by a string quartet?  Keen-eared readers will know that this isn’t such a wayward proposition.  Back in 1999 Hetfield’s Heroes recorded a live album with the San Francisco Symphony demonstrating the tunes benefit from a classically based treatment.

Three years earlier,  the Finnish band Apocalyptica made a significant debut with their own twist on the Metallica canon.  Five of the original eight tracks come from the ‘Black’ album.

Whilst stirring and clever in equal parts this reimagining of Metallica classics made me recall lone violinist Ed Alleyne-Johnson and his similar forays.  But, similarly, whilst technically impressive and musically faultless the novelty can wear a bit thin.

Following that debut Apocalyptica gradually moved away from the inevitable cover versions starting with their self-titled album in 2005.  But for those wanting to return to the band’s roots and to relive some spirited classical renditions ‘Plays Metallica by Four Cellos’ – now expanded with versions of ‘Battery’, ‘Nothing Else Matters’ and ‘Seek And Destroy’ – is  a worthy reissue.   ***1/2

Review by David Randall

David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.

Apocalyptica play three dates in the UK in early-2017

27 February – Manchester, Bridgewater Hall
28 February – Edinburgh, Queens Hall
1 March – London, Royal Festival Hall


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 2 August 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 4 August 2020.


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