The truth is that Apocalyptica are taking more time to release new albums the past decade. Their fans had to wait five years since “7th Symphony” (2010) to listen to “Shadowmaker” and another five years for their ninth full-length release, “Cell-0”. In this one we listen to a band influenced by the tours for the anniversary of “Plays Metallica By Four Cellos” and I’m gonna explain that.
“Shadowmaker” was the first after many albums that didn’t feature any guest musicians. It was just the three cello players, Paavo Lötjönen, Eicca Toppinen and Perttu Kivilaakso, the drummer Mikko Siren and the singer Franky Perez. Something similar is going on here, but without the vocals, as “Cell-0” is a purely instrumental album, something that they did last time on “Reflections” (2003). This happened due to the tour, as it inspired them to somehow return to their roots and make it as simple as it could be.
In here we listen only to cello, drums, double bass and keyboards that altogether make a very nice album. Sometimes more aggressive, sometimes more melodic, sometimes more atmospheric. One thing is for certain, you won’t get bored by listening to it. Take for example the opener “Ashes Of The Modern World” that starts very atmospheric, turns to a Metallica-like outburst and ends just like it begun. Or the self-titled “Cell-0”, with a duration of ten minutes with many twists and turns where the musicians are raging in an almost prog composition. Another excellent one is “Rise” with the enchanting melody and atmosphere, while “En Route To Mayhem” has clearly a thrash metal approach.
The next ones “Call My Name”, “Fire & Ice” and “Scream For The Silent” are in a more laid-back style with some great melodies and their prog character appears once again in the last track for this album, “Beyond The Stars”. In general, it’s not easy to create an instrumental record that will keep you interested until the end, especially if it has more than fifty minutes duration like this one. But the guys from Finland have proven that they are experts in this area. An album full of emotion, electricity, atmosphere, melodies and of course terrific musicianship from one of the most special bands in heavy music.