Apocalyptica 'Inquisition Symphony': If This Is Torture, Never Let It End

Aug 4, 2012 (Updated Aug 4, 2012)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Stunning cover versions, Toreador.

Cons:No Perttu, some covers are a little on the harsh side.

The Bottom Line: An interesting mix of metal and classical styles that's sure to satisfy your headbanging needs.

If I told you that there's a Finnish quarter of cellists that can rock just as hard as any metal group, what would you think? If you answered Apocalyptica then chances are you are grinning. Their Inquisition Symphony release is a nice mix of a refined sound paired up with some of their harder and deeper cutting tracks. Not everyone is going to get in to this kind of music but if you are looking for something a little different I can almost guarantee that you'll find at least a couple of their songs that you'll completely fall in love with. I do have to say that I love their classical and original pieces; their covers are astounding but they are a little tarnished because you can never really pull yourself away from the original version. If you never heard the cover versions of the Metallica, Faith No More or Sepultura songs on this CD then chances are you will have a little more appreciation for them in this form. Then again, you might not be able to fully understand the crossover and how much they did with the original versions.

The Apocalyptica line up for 'Inquisition Symphony' includes Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, Max Lilja and Antero Manninen. I thought that Perttu Kivilaakso was on this one but he did not officially join the band until later.

By far one of my favorite songs from the group is "Toreador"; if you have seen them play this live then you know that they have a lot of fun with the song. There are a lot of tempo and sound changes to it but it is something that sounds incredible. You are only getting the original version of the track, there is a second part, aptly named "Toreador II" [on the Reflections CD] that has hints of the original but comes off as a little smoother and polished. There is a huge difference between the feel of both songs and even though some people argue that they are nothing alike, if you listen to them both you can definitely hear the influence of the first crossing over to the second. If you like their heavier sound, "Harmageddon" is worth checking out. You will swear that there are guitar pieces to it but it's all cello. The dramatic qualities of it are what make it such an endearing piece. This is one of the rare Apocalyptica songs where I prefer the studio version to most of the live performances. "Metal Boogie" might sound a little strange as a song title but the music is 100% power. I didn't warm up to this until I heard it a couple times; it is a little faster paced than their darker tracks but it is an incredible piece.

There are several Metallica covers to get through; while I detest the band and what they have become I can appreciate why Apocalyptica loves to play some of their songs. The covers you get on this release are "For Whom The Bell Tolls", "Nothing Else Matters", "One" and "Fade To Black". You really have to listen to each of them before you pick out one that sounds 'the best' and even that is impossible. If you are going in to the listening experience thinking that you are going to get something that sounds exactly like Metallica then you are going to be disappointed. This is a four piece cello set up; what you are hearing is on a different plain than a metal or rock cover. To me the songs are all a little darker when played by Apocalyptica; the depth of "One" is more intense and gripping than anything I have ever heard from Metallica. "Fade To Black" has a beautiful intro that really accents the tone of the songs original formatting. You really have to give the song a chance because there are some harsh and strong notes about two minutes into it. "Nothing Else Matters" is a striking piece that has a smooth flow to it and clings to a more classical approach; when the song starts to unfold it's simply beautiful on every level. I'd say that I almost cried the first time I heard the studio version but I know certain people would only make fun of me for admitting that I have a soft side.

If you ever wondered how hard cellists could rock-out with their cock-out, then you need to listen to their cover version of Pantera's "Domination". This completely deviates from a classical sound when it starts and if you haven't heard the original version from Pantera more than a couple of times you might find it a little hard to follow the music of the song. This runs in line with the intensity of the title track "Inquisition Symphony"; in a way it is a reverse of "Domination" that opens with a hard gripping sound. While I am not a huge fan of Sepultura I know that this [Inquisition Symphony] is an outstanding homage to the group. They also do a massive adaptation of "Refuse/Resist"; if you have never heard the Apocalyptica version of this song but love the raw gritty sound of Sepultura then you need to check this out. It is a little rough sounding but if they played it any other way it wouldn't be as impacting or riveting. For me it's hard to get in to the harder pieces like this; I completely appreciate them and the amazing talent they have but I have to be in a certain mood to really want to head bang to something like this. "From Out of Nowhere" is one of the most impressive tracks on this release; there are so many layers to the song that you really need to listen to it a couple of times to hear all of the majestic highs and striking lows.

^V^ © Freak369 - 2012 ^V^

Apocalyptica - Worlds Collide
Apocalyptica - Life Burns

Opeth: Morningrise and My Arms, Your Hearse
Orff: Carmina Burana / Tilson Thomas, Blegen, Riegel
Sepulchral Feast: A Tribute To Sepultura
Metallica: St. Anger and Master of Puppets

Recommend this product?

Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!