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4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Plays Metallica By Four Cellos
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 10 July 2017
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on 12 December 2015
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on 11 November 2014
The CD by Apocalyptica entitled "Plays Metallica by Four Cellos" has actually been around since 1996 - so it has taken me eighteen years to get around to hearing it. The CD features eight songs by Metallica but all performed by the Finnish quartet using cellos only.

If you are a Metallica fan, and I think it helps to fully appreciate the CD, the result is really interesting; the music is competently played and a clever and decidedly alternative take on the original thrash metal.

The track list contains some complex, multi movement pieces; the fact that these tracks could be reduced to a single instrument and still work, is tribute to the quality of the original song writing. If you, like me, are unfamiliar with the cello, you'll be impressed by the range of sound that one (well four) is able to accommodate.

To be frank, the lack of vocals, electric bass and twin bass drums do affect the drama of the music but it is still Metallica. In terms of an experience; in my head I liken it to the difference between a decent shower and a full on thunderstorm.

Metallica has experimented with classical music before, the S&M album features the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and is just brilliant. It proved that heavy metal and orchestral music could be combined to great effect.

I didn't however assume that Metallica's repertoire could be transferred to classical instrumental and still work - Apocalyptica's interpretations suggest that it can.

For those days when banging heavy metal is not conducive to one's mood/wellbeing (occasional though they are), there is a mentally soothing alternative.
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on 27 February 2003
What can i say, before i actually purchased this cd,I had the pleasure of witnessing this Quartet firsthand, in a field in Holland! Dynamo Festival 1999 and Apocalyptica were special guests to their heroes.... Metallica!! Having not heard of them before myself and most of the 50,000+ crowd were totally blown away by the sheer magnitude and depth of sound produced by four cellists playing "Heavy Metal".
To the album... For the "balls" to transcribe Metallica songs and play them on basically the instruments that were the forebearers of the electric guitar,Apocalyptica have not only done a good job but have excelled in the production and musicianship departments. All the tracks are played with such precission, you can now understand why Metallica eventually decided to play a gig with the San Francisco Orchestra!!! Check out S&M by Metallica and you'll fully understand.
To sum up,if you're a classical music fan and want something thats maybe not of the normal i.e Strauss etc then this may be of your liking, and if you're a metalhead (like me!!) and want something a little different but still Metal based then you will not be disappointed either.
This album fuses both genres together and some!!!!
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on 17 June 2005
Before thinking about buying this... Ask Yourself a question... is it possible to play Metallica Covers using only 4 Chellos and a Drum Kit?
You would think its not possible and would not work. Well I saw these guys at Download 05 and caught the live version of Master Of Puppets and a version of Seek And Destroy (Not on this Album)both left me speechless.
So to answer my Question Yes it does work.
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on 4 September 2009
I really like the later output from this band, but this early effort is horribly produced and the sound is very rough on the ears.

It would be easy to write them off as a cross over novelty covers act on the basis of this disc alone, but listen to their later albums like "Worlds Collide" and the self titled "Apocalyptica" and you will realise this is a proper metal band that happens to use cellos (as in real ones, not electric).

All said this is cleverly arranged stuff by a bunch of insanely talented cellists, but the sound quality on this particular one makes it unappealing to the casual listener. I'm not that keen on Metallica anyway, I'd like to hear them covering Dream Theater instead ! Each to their own though. Maybe I'll start my own prog metal cello quartet.

I'd love to get hold of the arrangements though. The arrangements to their own compositions are available from their web site to buy, but not the Metallica ones, presumably due to copyright issues. Shame.
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on 10 March 2005
Apocalyptica's debut was pretty much recorded as a novelty after they were spotted playing Metallica covers on what they thought would be a brief stint rather than a full career.
Plays Metallica is relaxing and fairly pleasant, but not a patch on what would follow as the band recorded a number of high quality albums, developing their sound and talents considerably and writing their own pieces. Play Metallica pretty much is nothing more than Metallica songs played on cellos - for true cello metal, take a listen to Cult, Reflections or their new self-titled album!
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on 24 May 2008
Predating Metallica's S&M Classical mash-up by 3 years, this is an excellent Chamber Music take on Metallica's pre 1996 catalogue.
Fair play though, all the nuances, vocal lines, solos etc are faithfully reproduced through the cello arrangements! It's good stuff, although at times it feels a little sparse.
Standout Track: Sad But True - Really dark, urgent & a cool take on of Hammett's solo!

I'd also recommend the similiar, but fully orchestral, Scorched Earth Orchestra Tribute To Master Of Puppets - It's fantastic (see my review).
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on 23 February 2012
I first heard of Apocalyptica from a young colleague at work who is heavily into what I would call extreme metal.
Personally I've always liked the use of orchestral sounds with rock music.(Renaissance, The Enid, Led Zeppelin, Dream Theater and Rick Wakeman to name but a few.) The idea of using cellos instead of guitars was a stoke of genius, better still, it works. It's like listening to Heavy metal chamber music.
So if like me, you like listening to anything from Mozart to Metallica, give this album a go. You wont regret it.
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on 31 March 2009
I first heard these guys by accident and found this stuff amazing, the sound of the cello is so cool. I would give five stars but this first album doesn't have such great production. I find the slower songs my favourite.

I struggle with the reviews that complain about a lack of drums and vocals, the later albums do have drums and for me its not as good. I also struggle with people moaning about the musicianship, I really wonder how well those people who complain would manage this music.
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