Album: 7th Symphony | Artist: Apocalyptica | Disc: 1 · Tracks: 10
7th Symphony is the 2010 album by Apocalyptica, a four piece band (three cellists and a drummer) from Finland. The album is composed of instrumentals and songs with guest vocals by Lacey Mosley-Sturm from Flyleaf and Joseph Duplantier of Gojira, among others.
Click read more below to view more photos of the album and for the full review.
7th Symphony started with a 7-minute track titled At The Gates of Manala. Manala, in Finnish mythology, is the realm of the dead or the underworld. The track is an instrumental comprising of cello wah-wahs, sustains in slow-pounding percussions, tremolos drowned with fast beats — and everything else for a dramatic introduction.
Followed by End of Me featuring Gavin Rossdale (Bush). The song has a music video (see below) and is also the single from this album. This is one tragic love song, but not your typical as it features both the overpowering sound of the electric cello and Rossdale’s voice – who sounds like he’s been through a lot. This is one of my top 3 picks from this album.
At the third track is Not Strong Enough featuring Brent Smith (Shinedown) on the vocals. The slow-paced song opened with a sad yet beautiful acoustic cello tune and pizzicati, followed by distortions, a cello solo, and back to the acoustic tune. Smith’s voice can be aligned with Rossdale’s because they both sound old school – like those type of vocals from the 1980s rock bands. Nonetheless, the solo brought the power back to the song which is, again, a tragic love song. “So hard to choose between the pleasure and the pain [of loving]“sums it up.
Next on track is a collab with Slayer‘s drummer, Dave Lombardo, which has contributed to Apocalyptica’s music since 2003. 2010 is the title of the energetic 4:28 track featuring fast tremolos, deafening sustains, and heavy percussions.
Then it is followed by Beautiful, a softly played 2-minute piece neutralizing the heaviness from the previous track.
Up next was Broken Pieces featuring Flyleaf‘s Lacey Mosley-Sturm, who’s the only female vocals contributor for this record. This is the second track from my top 3 picks from this album (not in order). This song is also featured in their music video below. What can I say? This title of the song made it sounds like it’s a depressing song, but Lacey’s voice made it one beautiful piece. “A thousand shards of glass you pushed beneath my skin and left me lying here to bleed” should sound tragic, but the way she put it made it sound lovely. Besides, the supposedly impression you get from the title is entirely the opposite of the meaning of the song. “Oh I’ve gotta save my blood from all that you’ve broken and pack up these pieces of me.” You always need to move on is what it says. Or perhaps, you really need to move on or you’ll run out of blood, or life itself.
The next track is another instrumental which is titled On the Rooftop with Quasimodo. It started with poppy beats together with seemingly screaming high string notes, followed by distorted cello playing on heavy percussions, back to slow, then progressed again.
Then came the sudden blast of fast percussion, and Gojira‘s Joe Duplantier hoarse yet powerful singing on Bring Them To Light, the third from my top 3 picks (in no order). The heavy instrumentals matched the lyrics very well — “No one can help me know it’s under my heart. I’ll come to know the living, my demons are inside, I’ll bring them all to light.” I especially liked the part “Leave me be. Set me free.” and “You know me, you fear me.” The song ended in another beautiful acoustic cello tune.
Sacra, the ninth track, is another beautiful softly-played instrumental, with tambourine-playing, sudden short-blasts of percussions, and low-tuned acoustic cello parts compared to the previous instrumentals which used mostly the 1st and 2nd strings on cello solos.
The tenth track, Rage of Poseidon, is a masterpiece 9-minute track which uses some techniques I can’t figure out, and the first time I heard the heavy distorted bowing I’ve heard from their previous records. Thinking that I’ve already heard everything to the 9th track is a wrong idea. As the title suggests, it’s the rage of a god. What will you expect? Some softly-played tunes? Na-ah.
Regarding the inlet, there was some lyrics that are either missing or wrongly typed. Nonetheless, the cover art is as dark and lovely as the whole record. There are also photos of Eicca, Perttu, Paavo, and Mikko inside as you see on the photos above. I don’t have to say it but if you’re a fan of them you should probably grab this piece of beautifully crafted record. Whether you are into symphonic metal, neo-classical, or simply alternative rock, this has bits of them you’ll love listening to.