Year of birth: 1996|
Views: 8029. Updated: 11 November, 2004 by Project Moderators
Biography of Band
Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lotjonen, Perttu Kivilaakso
rel. date: 10.02.2003
Pulling classical strings now and getting tough!
Their new album âReflectionsâ (release date: February 10, 2003) will catapult Apocalyptica, the heavy cello thunder from the darkest depths of Finland, straight out of their image of being the most unique cover-band in the world. Where once Metallica, Slayer, and Sepultura ruled the world of the classically-trained cellists Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, and Perttu Kivilakso, it is now their very own musical self.
âApocalyptica has always been very creative project definitely rooted in the here and nowâ, is how Perttu Kivilakso, at 24 the youngest of the now down to three riders of the apocalypse, explains the philosophy behind the new album. âOnce, creativity for us meant imitating the typical Heavy Metal guitar sound on our instruments. Now it means exploring our own musical vision. We simply wanted to employ our instruments on a much wider scale and also got interested in developing new techniques for the cello.â
Hundreds and hundreds of lonely hours were spent in the studio searching for their own sound. The result, plain and simple: âWe created a new musical style, cello-rock.â
On their predecessor âCultâ, Apocalyptica had first dissolved musical boundaries. Back home in Finland, the album was consequently reviewed by journalists from the classical terrain â âand whatâs wrong with that?â is all Paavo Lötjönen (at 32, the oldest member of the band) has for a comment. âWe are professionals, we are very serious about what we are doing and we approach our music with sincerity â so whereâs the problem?â
Well, there is none. Apocalyptica is simply in the front line of an indigeneous Finnish music culture where artists strive to mix and match the most varied of musical styles.
Rarely, though, is the resulting effort as seemlessly perfect as on âReflectionsâ.
Apocalypticaâs musical influences range from the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich to Heavy Metal and opera and are so multifarious that bridging them takes more than a simple balancing act. The mastery of such monumental sounds requires ability and exceptional flexibility. Eicca Toppinen, the groupâs main composer and at 27 still too young to be in any way affected by the Heavy Metal adage âIf itâs too loud youâre too oldâ proudly takes stock:
âFarawayâ, the the most important ballad on the album, ends with a baffling phat groove and throughout the song thoroughly finishes off any traces of the effete in cello-playing which the sound-heavy Finns find rearing its ugly head all over the place (except on their own album, that is). âCortègeâ is similarly complex: âWe combined classical orchestration with reminiscences of Dmitri Shostakovich and added some Slayer-styled really hard and dark metal on top.â Quite convenient, then, that Dave Lombardo, drummer of said trash legend Slayer, was the hired hand on four additional songs on âReflectionsâ as well,âPrologueâ, âNo Educationâ, âSomewhere Around Nothingâ and âResurrectionâ.
Perttu Kivilakso wrote three songs for the new album, âResurrectionâ, âPandemoniumâ, and âConclusionâ. "âConclusionâ was a wish come true for him and the other band-members: âA beautiful song as a showcase for classical cello at its best. We had been missing out on the pure classical beautiful cello sound on our previous albums â this time we wrote a song where we could play out that longing.â
Other longings were also given vent, because Apocalyptica does not just feed on Heavy Metal which, although, according to youngster Perttuâs credible assertions, it has accompanied them since cradle days. They mostly feed on the beauty of Finnish nature. âThe shockingly dark woods, the enormous space and beauty of Lapland, the breathtaking lakeviews â all of that is inspiration for us.â Evoked quite wonderfully in âCohkkaâ, a mountain named in the Samish language. Rather lively instead is âSomewhere Around Nothingâ. âThe best groove ever on an Apocalyptica albumâ, enthuses Perttu. âBig thanks should go to Mr. Lombardo!â
Eicca Toppinen also wrote the last song on the album which takes the band beyond their new philosophy: He wrote âEpilogue (Relief)â originally for the stage version of Fjodor Dostojevskyâs âCrime And Punishmentâ. âThe last act revolves around the redemption of Raskolnikov. The song found its place at the end of the album immediately. We had nothing more to say now...â
Members of Apocalyptica
| Current Members:|
Paavo Lotjonen. Role: cello
Eicca Toppinen. Role: cello
Perttu Kivilaakso. Role: cello
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