Apocalyptica - Shadowmaker

Apocalyptica Shadowmaker
Better Noise/Eleven Seven Music
Jee, I had sort of forgotten about these guys that have somehow, progressed into making a career out of their long past, Metallica tributing days of their debut. In fact they’ve now added drums and a permanent vocalist turning themselves in a modernist pop/rock/metal hybrid, with lots of cello, instead of traditional instrumentation. In all honesty, they’re not original, as The Inchtavoctables (who later had their bassist join Rammstein) had a no guitars – only violins, (with both pluck and bow) ages ago, so in reality they are not pioneers, but they are the band that managed to popularize themselves with this gimmick and thus enjoy the fruits of that.
The songs, are in all honesty, not that original but enjoyable pop-alt-rockers, “Coldblood”, “Shadowmaker” and “House of Chains”, some interesting instrumentals, like “Reign of Fear”, or “Riot Lights”, which is more aggressive and intense or even occasionally eerily atmospheric like the rather long winded “Till Death Do Us Part”, which clocks at nearly eight minutes. There’s also a fairly decent track called “Dead Man’s Eyes” that closes the album that clocks at almost ten minutes, but half of that is either ambient noise or silence so…. I dunno.
All in all, if you like modern rock and don’t mind the cellos, which to be quite honest apart from a few times, are so “produced” that you cannot really tell they are “cellos” but sound more like some keyboard preset of cellos that has been wildly experimented on, this newest Apocalyptica album might be a good choice. On the other hand, I think of them as a band without a strong sense of identity, musically, mostly getting noticed, because of their gimmick, rather than their original songwriting, so I stand rather unimpressed.