On May 10, 1996 Finnish rockers APOCALYPTICA released their epic debut, "Plays Metallica By Four Cellos". The instrumental cello-driven rock opus changed the landscape of heavy music for years to come. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the album, the group re-released a remastered version with three bonus tracks on July 22, 2016. Containing never-before-released instrumental recordings of "Battery", "Nothing Else Matters" and "Seek & Destroy", the updated version gave fans a chance to revisit the novel take on this classic metal band.
Upon its release, "Plays Metallica By Four Cellos" was a new approach to the hits of the biggest metal band the world has seen. Even more, APOCALYPTICA created their very own genre and laid the foundation to a career that has lasted for 20 years so far with millions of records sold and sold out shows around the world.
But the beauty and mastery of APOCALYPTICA undoubtedly lies within the live arena, where the furious thrashing of four cellists skillfully recreating metal masterpieces offers a truly unique concert experience. After ending 2016 with shows in USA, Europe, Australia and Latin America, in 2017 the band has returned with special anniversary shows to celebrate the 20th anniversary of "Plays Metallica By Four Cellos", including a February 9 appearance at Vienna, Austria's Konzerthaus, fan-filmed video footage of which can be seen in the YouTube playlist below.
APOCALYPTICA joined METALLICA on stage at the Fillmore in San Francisco as part of the week-long celebration of the latter band's 30th anniversary in December 2011. APOCALYPTICA's Perttu Kivilaakso told Austria's Mulatschag about the experience: "Of course we felt very privileged being included amongst all those amazing artists. And after the thing, what we have done during our career, it has been pleasant to realize and notice that, actually, the METALLICA guys, who are the reason for us to start to do something like this, that they do respect us at least that much that they wanted us to be a part of this big celebration of their career. Of course, it was crazy. I remember that when we started to play 'One', I'm starting this song and James Hetfield is just next to me, and I'm thinking, when I was 13 years old, he was my biggest idol and now we are playing together. So it's absurd, but just natural and logical in other terms."
Added APOCALYPTICA's Paavo Lötjönen: "You know, the connection to METALLICA has been really super great all these years. We played first time as a support to them already in '96. It was actually our fifth show for a proper rock and roll audience, and we were supporting METALLICA, so it was quite crazy. And since that, we have played many times with them at same festivals and… Let me say that the connection with METALLICA is really cool and really nice."
Continued Perttu: "We just were [on tour last] spring [in the U.S.] and Lars [Ulrich, METALLICA drummer] came to watch our show in San Francisco. And yeah, usually we try to hang out whenever it's possible."
APOCALYPTICA's latest album, "Shadowmaker", was released in April 2015 via Eleven Seven Music Group's Better Noise imprint. The Finnish musicians — accompanied by their American lead singer Franky Perez — recorded the CD with Grammy Award-winning producer Nick Raskulinecz (FOO FIGHTERS, DEFTONES, MASTODON).