17 years after their last instrumental album “Reflections,” the Finnish symphonic metal act APOCALYPTICA returns to their roots with their a new album “Cell-0”, out on 10 January 2020 through Silver Line Music. In the meantime, the Finns have been experimenting a lot with their sound and inviting different guests to feature on plenty of their repertoire, along with the in 2015 released “Shadowmaker” which was featuring Frankie Perez on vocals. With “Cell-0,” the band goes back to the pure simplicity of an instrumental album.
With its complex and layered song structures, “Cell-0” is a different step into the career of APOCALYPTICA. The songs are more rooted in their past as classically trained musicians, and a little less in the mainstream world of music. The more progressive sound, at the same time, is combined with a sound that feels very familiar and is reminiscent of “Cult”. The album is crafted to smoothly transition from one track into another, making this an intriguing introspective journey through phenomenal soundscapes that often surprise you and cause chills.
From the start of “Ashes of the Modern World,” you feel a threatening atmosphere pulling you in an emotional masterpiece. As the cellists begin to quicken their pace throughout the song, you’re being thrown from one note to another with suspense and that typical APOCALYPTICA-shredding sound, until the track effortlessly progresses into the title track “Cell-0”. While “Cell-0” is continuing the same grim atmosphere, “Rise” sounds a bit more hopeful, giving the listener their first break from all the tension. “Rise” feels surprisingly relaxing and meditative. The rollercoaster continues with “En Route To Mayhem”, which has the most “Cult”-sound on the entire album, fueled by thrashy cello riffs, and pounding drums. The biggest surprise on the album to me was “Fire & Ice”, which for the first time, incorporated a certain folky atmosphere that I haven’t yet had heard in APOCALYPTICA‘s music. Each APOCALYPTICA album also contains a captivating emotional song, and if that’s you’re kind of thing then you will find what you are looking for in “Catharsis”. Like its title suggests, this song can easily assist you in providing relief from any repressed emotions you may have. The last track “Beyond The Stars” progresses really nicely, with twists and turns almost during its whole playtime, keeping you captivated until the bitter end.
Instrumental music is always a little bit harder to digest and often can be challenging for listeners to get into as without any lyrics it might be difficult to try and relate to the songs. In my case, instrumental music allows me to reflect on the world surrounding me, and somehow “Cell-0” makes me ponder on contemporary mishappenings around the world, and the sense of darkness that humankind has caused, especially with the ominous opening track “Ashes Of The Modern World,” making this album perhaps a very relevant beginning to 2020. On the other hand, APOCALYPTICA has almost made it their trademark to create a certain elegant beauty in melancholy, making them masters in creating soundscapes to accompany that Finnish melancholy everyone is always referring to. With “Cell-0,” APOCALYPTICA has perhaps made the most mesmerizing introspective journey through their music of the 21st century.
1. Ashes Of The Modern World
4. En Route To Mayhem
5. Call My Name
6. Fire & Ice
7. Scream For The Silent
9. Beyond The Stars
Eicca Toppinen – Cello
Perttu Kivilaakso – Cello
Paavo Lötjönen – Cello
Mikko Sirén – Drums
GALLERY: 15.05.2022 Hore, Redemptor, Inferno, Besatt, Diabolical, & Batushka @ Zaklete Rewiry, Wroclaw