Apocalyptica – Shadowmaker
Shadowmaker is the 8th studio album from the metal band Apocalyptica. For those of you not familiar with the band, they were formed in 1993 in Helsinki, Finland and originally started out as a Metallica tribute band. They are currently made up of three classically trained cellists (what the what?), a drummer and possible official new member, singer Franky Perez.
Musically, Apocalyptica is absolutely amazing. Listening, they make you feel like went to a classical music event and a head-banging metal show broke out. I mean, can you imagine a mosh pit full of formal gowns and tuxedos?
I found Shadowmaker to be a tale of two albums. The first song is a cool, haunting short instrumental intro but then the album breaks out in to above average new metal songs that stand out because of the excellent music. Franky Perez has a strong voice but on songs like “Cold Blood” and “Slow Burn” it almost overpowers the music. The aforementioned songs are good but seem too status metal quo for such an extraordinary band like Apocalyptica.
Shadowmaker really takes off, however, with the amazing instrumental songs “Riot Lights” and“Till Death Do Us Part.” Cellos and all, they represent exactly what a great metal song should be and you might actually find yourself buttoning up that tuxedo shirt and then ripping it off and thrashing it in the same motion. And if you don’t have a tuxedo shirt, buy one before you listen to this album (or at least a tuxedo t-shirt)!
The two best songs on this album (both musically and vocally) are “Sea Song (You Waded Out)” and “Dead Man’s Eyes.” These are both beautiful songs that do everything right. Perez’s voice is toned down so perfectly to accompany the music rather than work against it and the music is powerful and unique and every bit as metal as anything you’ve heard.
Apocalyptica might be the only band that can make you bang your head and feel sophisticated for doing it.