Produced by Apocalyptica. Recorded and mixed by T-T Oksala. Recorded at Finnvox and Crystal Sound Studios. Mastered by Mika Jussila at Finnvox. All songs by Eicca Toppinen or Perttu Kivilaakso.
Two years on from Cult and album number four shows an incredible maturity in Apocalyptica’s song writing. Whereas passages from the previous album felt confused and as though they hadn’t quite found their voice, they hadn’t quite found that balance between metal and… well, wood.
This album, however, is tremendous. I have played it almost non-stop all week: in the car, at work, at home, in bed. As soon as it ended I would start it again. There is an integrity to this album that does justice to both cello and heavy music. I’m glad because it seems clear that the band members have drawn on their classical training, and have acknowledged that it’s okay to draw out some of this rich heritage and weave it into these heavier songs. It’s a much richer album for it. There’s a simplicity too to many of these tracks. This is like Apocalyptica’s black album, shorter, more melodic, simpler songs.
Stand out tracks for me include “Faraway” (especially the version with vocals, which I’ve played over and over again), “Somewhere around nothing” (which has a tremendous drive and a catchy melody), “Heat” (which has my head nodding along to the groove every time), and the album closer proper “Epilogue (Relief)” which is lamentful and quite beautiful.
There follows a number of album extras that along with the DVD adds “Revised” to the album title, including the two songs with added vocals: “Seemann (feat. Nina Hagen)” and “Faraway Volume 2 (feat. Linda)”.
I’ve been rather blown away by this album, particularly after the mild disappointment that Cult was last week. The song writing is tremendous, the album is varied enough and the vocalised versions add something extra, that obviously Apocalyptica develop further on their next album… but for that we’ll have to wait until next week!
This has been one of my favourite albums of this project. And I’m not going to quibble over a couple of percentage points here or there. I’m going to be generous and give it a mighty 10/10.
Review score: 100%