Finland’s biggest, & one of Europe’s grandest music universities, the Sibelius Academy, was the site of formation of Apocalyptica. Four modest budding cellists got together to form Apocalyptica in 1993, spurred on by their common adoration of Metallica to play their covers. Eicca Toppinen, unable to find an apartment in Helsinki, started jamming with Paavo Lotjonen, who belonged to an illustrious musical family, & fellow students Antero Manninen & Max Lilja while at the Academy. Toppinen was the founding member of the Academy’s Cellosextet, & he performed with the band members at the city’s Teatro Heavy Metal Club. A week later, Zen Garden Records’ Kari Hynninen contacted the quartet, eager to work on an album. Apocalyptica released Plays Metallica by Four Cellos in 1996 as their debut studio album. The effort got tongues wagging as many warmed to the band’s novel style.
While being further featured on a Waltari album, Apocalyptica returned two years later with Inquisition Symphony, expanding their repertoire to include covers of various other metal acts. It was a superlative performance to catch attention on the global stage, & Apocalyptica had stamped some individuality on the album’s content with three original songs by Toppinen. Manninen left amicably (& has since returned to help with the music often), replaced by Kivilaakso, who had appeared with Apocalyptica in 1995. The change of personnel did not stem the momentum, as the act ran riot with 2000’s surreal Cult. Again, more adventurism with distortion characterized Apocalyptica’s musical direction prior to Lilja’s departure, before Reflections caused a complete overhaul of musical arrangement.
Sami Kuoppamaki & Slayer’s Dave Lombardo shared drumming duties in the band’s new sound, & Lombardo’s unavailability on tour prompted the recruitment of Mikko Siren, a move made permanent in 2005. Prior to that, the eponymous fifth album did well with much artistic collaboration. With Worlds Collide quite literally ushering in a new linguistic direction with more English songs, Apocalyptica has targeted a more global audience. 7th Symphony looks to have carried on the formidable momentum with its June 2010 release.
Plays Metallica by Four Cellos featured eight Metallica covers, including "Enter Sandman". Although the record was not original, it won plaudits for the novel arrangements. The cellists were on song in Inquisition Symphony, opening up to global audiences with the eternal "Nothing Else Matters" cover. With the dire need to bring an individualistic approach, Toppinen took over songwriting duties. Lyrics were sung by Matthias Sayer & Sandra Nasic in "Path Vol.2", their first song with lyrics, in Cult. The group’s fifth eponymous album featured songs by Kivilaakso in addition to Toppinen’s contributions on hits like "Bittersweet". Worlds Collide (peak #7 on Billboard Top Rock Albums) featured Adam Gontier of Three Days Grace on the #1 rock hit "I Don’t Care" & Slipknot’s Corey Taylor on the Finnish #15 hit "I’m Not Jesus".
Live concerts featuring Apocalyptica make for a supremely majestic experience. The clamor for cheap Apocalyptica tickets is wholly justified seeing their breathtaking musical mastery. The fluidity of the trio’s distorted cello riffs, augmented by Siren’s pulsating drumming, make for an experience parallel with the greatest traditional rock concerts. The band has played approximately 850-1000 concerts during their career in about 50 countries, including a 2008 world tour. Porto, Lisbon & Madrid await next. Labels with global appeal like Sony & Mercury are responsible for their worldwide fame. The rising demand for Apocalyptica tickets indicates that the efforts bear fruit, as fans welcome the amazing innovation with open arms.