CD review APOCALYPTICA ‘Cell-0’

Cello-metallers Apocalyptica released ‘Plays Metallica by Four Cellos’ in 1996, a milestone moment that changed a lot for the three cello players. It was a starting point into a career with a constantly growing fanbase, large tours and festival appearances like at the legendary Wacken Open Air. Songs from eight longplayers have been the base for various setlists and now it’s time to add some new material to the total.

Apocalyptica returns with ‘Cell-0’ to their roots. Five years after ‘Shadowmaker’ appeared in daylight it is ‘Cell-0’ that takes you back into the earlier days of the Finnish cello passionistas.

The Finns experimented with singers and vocals, which certainly enriched their music, but it’s the puristic cello-sound being the key element of Apocalyptica and the focus point for the new longplayer.

‘Cell-0’ lasers in on the three cellos of Toppinen, Lötjönen and Kivilaakso, being the centerpiece of the new longplayer. After the subdued opener ‘Ashes of the Modern World’ introduces you to album number nine the title track that marks a first highlight. Musical filigree and the melancholic sound of three cellos are companions on a journey through sound that reflects Apocalyptica with a hundred percent.

With every song played, the album gains richness. ‘Rise’ is a touching song, kept in a slower pace and with emotional impact. ‘Call My Name’ is build on a similar pattern. It’s a lot of melancholia that resonates with these songs, darkness that fits perfectly to the long winter nights these days.

‘Fire Ice’ is another tune with a stately tempo, at least in the first half. The songs gains heaviness along the way, reflecting the mighty aspect of Apocalyptica. In this context I need to mention ‘En Route to Mayhem’, the hardest track on ‘Cell-0’. Pace and heaviness add a metallic shimmer to this track, a song that belongs with it’s thrash-like expression to the highlights of the album. A few more of these tracks would have been great and would have helped to the flow of the album. However, this is a minor detail since the album is for sure an impressive one.

Apocalyptica’s new longplayer paints sonic pictures. It’s the instruments that create the atmosphere and tell the story. There is no need for vocals since it’s the music itself that catches you. ‘Cell-0’ isn’t an easy-going album. It’s a record that demands time and attention before the record unveils the beauty and perfection that comes with each of the nine tracks.

Rating: 9 out of 10.


  1. Ashes of the Modern World
  2. Cell-0
  3. Rise
  4. En Route to Mayhem
  5. Call My Name
  6. Fire Ice
  7. Scream For the Silent
  8. Catharsis
  9. Beyond the Stars

Label: Silver Lining Music

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date EU: January 10th, 2020



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