Apocalyptica - Cell-0

Apocalyptica - Cell-0

(CD, Silver Lining Music, 2020)

It is an amazing thing to realize that APOCALYPTICA started their cell-journey upon Metal territories, almost three decades ago... That’s right; what started as an extremely cool project with a bunch of METALLICA covers, has transformed into a unique musical expression that although resides in the Metal universe, it’s completely free to roam around. From the get-go, I loved the concept of approaching something from an alien (to me) angle, and this is why I got hooked, especially after experiencing how it feels headbanging under the sounds of cellos. The evolution came in the form of adding a drummer and vocals... Well, the latter kind of felt ‘going mainstream’ because it is a well-known fact that some people shy away from instrumental music. Maybe it is too much work to absorb music without vocals, but that’s the beauty here. And with that in mind, I was extremely excited to discover that “Cell-0” is a powerful return to the band’s roots.

There are no lyrics here, no ‘fancy’ guest singers and, in fact, nothing to distract you from getting lost into the APOCALYPTICA plane of existence. Oh my, the sad melodies of “Ashes Of The Modern World” creep in an almost funeral pace with the drums being the noise of I feel represents the distractions of the modern world. Too much? Maybe, but this is how instrumental music works, opening your ‘third eye’, while letting you create the imaginary lyrics and paint pictures with the colors you like. And in this instance, you will be using dark, faded colors to express the terror and the sadness of the world that has lost its bearing and is running around. APOCALYPTICA have added lots of effects and electronic sound to create a powerful track that as I said touches upon everything dark this modern age has brought upon us. Once more, I am impressed by the cello solos that even though mimic electric guitars, carry an eerie sound built upon its lower tuning. The title track dives deeper into the darkness but only for the first two minutes until the tempo picks up to headbanging bpms setting a strong candidacy for concert setlists despite being the longest track of the record. The slow break with the plucking playing will get under your skins or at least give you the chills.

It is interesting that APOCALYPTICA chose to open the album with two rather ‘difficult’ and long tracks, but on the other hand, this may be their way of (re)setting their sound. Yes, this is ode to their roots but at the same time has a lot to unpack and ‘digest’, so this will not be a “couple of listens” album. You need to invest the time and in some cases the energy to see what this quartet has put together. You will love the modern sounds of “Call My Name” and how the meet the classic sound of the cellos and will see you jaw drop with the flute melodies of the fantasy-inspiring and epic “Fire & Ice” (are there some Irish melodies hidden here). Brace yourself because the latter one has a nice galloping part, so get your headbanging mode ready. Being a sucker for (good) Sci-Fi movies, I was drawn towards the album closer titled “Beyond The Stars” curious to see where the APOCALYTICA spaceship will take me and I was not disappointed. Space is dark, cold and rather empty if you consider the vast distances one has to travel to meet matter in any shape or form. Of course, I have no idea what is the destination and honestly I do not care because with every listening, something new pops up in my mind, giving meaning to the saying “the journey matter more than the destination”. There is a spoken part during the end but I need more listening time to see what the music ties with what is being said.

Reading my own words made me realize how powerful this album is and really I cannot wait to uncover more and more. There is beauty in instrumental music if you commit yourself and let your mind go wherever the tracks will take you. Now, I want to see how APOCALYPTICA have adjusted their stage presence to match what they have done with “Cell-0”.





01. Ashes Of The Modern World
02. Cell-0
03. Rise
04. En Route To Mayhem
05. Call My Name
06. Fire & Ice
07. Scream For The Silent
08. Catharsis
09. Beyond The Stars


Eicca Toppinen - Cello 
Perttu Kivilaakso - Cello 
Paavo Lötjönen - Cello 
Mikko Sirén - Drums