APOCALYPTICA - "CULT" (MERCURY)
A couple of years ago, the four Finns of Apocalyptica surprised the world by their cello-based renditions of Metallica classics on "Apocalyptica Plays Metallica by Four Cellos". The follow-up, "Inquisition Symphony", featured covers of other bands as well, with several added compositions made by themselves. With "Cult", the transition is complete: It is an album comprised largely of their own compositions (10), with three added covers.
Their own compositions have matured, both with regard to quality and, importantly, variety. "Cult" is, of their three albums, the most interesting to listen to in one setting, right from "Path" through the powerful almost movie-score-like "Romance" to the live recording "Coma". Instrumentally, they have added percussion here and there, such as in "Hope", where it is used to good effect. Their final own composition, "Coma", is also the weakest - it starts slowly but then continues at the same pace when you're badly in need of some sort of crescendo.
Cover-wise, this time we're treated to covers of Savatage ("Hall of the Mountain King"'s "Prelude to Madness") and, obviously, Metallica ("Until it Sleeps and the rather cool "Fight Fire with Fire"). "Cult", all in all, is pretty cool.
(No, I am not half a shallow as you think, and the thing about the Savatage cover was a joke of course, to irritate lovers of Edvard Grieg :-)
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Written October 2000
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