When 1996 saw the release of "Apocalyptica Plays Metallica on Four Cellos", that was arguably the most innovate album of the year. Nobody seemed before to have taken the trouble to do an album of rock covers on classical instruments. Four crazy Finnish guys operating under the Apocalyptica monicker decided it would be a cool idea.

And a cool idea it was. Although I don't know anything about actual sales, I myself already know about a dozen people who bought that CD, making it as popular as, say, "...And Justice For All", Paradise Lost's "Icon" and Sepultura's "Arise".

That was 1996, and now 1998 sees the release of "Inquisition Symphony", again by the four crazy Finnish cello maniacs of Apocalyptica. Their sophomore effort sees not only Metallica covers ("For Whom the Bell Tolls", "Fade to Black", the beautiful "One" and the predictable "Nothing Else Matters"), but also songs originally by Sepultura ("Refuse/Resist" and the title track), Faith No More ("Out of Nowhere") and Pantera ("Domination"). This time around, however, Apocalyptica have also composed several songs themselves this time. Though not the best tracks - it's difficult to compete with well-known classics, of course - they are commendable efforts that, like the other songs, display the awesome heaviness that can be achieved by cellos.

An interesting album that, like its predecessor, may cause quite a few young people to pick up the cello. What with it offering relatively little new things, however, I doubt if it will reach sales similar to the previous one.



Written July 1998


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