REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

Apocalyptica Launch Eighth Album 'Shadowmaker' Before Human Skeletons

Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

Even for a cellist metal band, there’s the challenge of keeping things interesting.


The novelty of having three classically trained musicians create heavy rock music with instruments designed for performing Mozart is a fascinating concept, but after 22 years together and ahead of the release of the group’s eighth studio album it’s not something they can rely on to sell records. Instead, it’s Apocalyptica’s constant strive for something new and original that has maintained not just their popularity, but also their longevity.

Ahead of 'Shadowmaker’s' release, the Helsinki rockers gave its debut airing in the fantastically bizarre setting of Farringdon’s St. Bartholomew’s Pathology Museum. Surrounded by vials containing severed hands, three headed mice and the occasional human skeleton, the four-piece performed a stripped back set before an audience comprised of lucky competition winners.

'Shadowmaker’s' twist comes in the form of Franky Perez, the American singer who joins the band as guest vocalist on not just the album but also the subsequent tour. Possessing the same harsh grunginess to Chris Cornell, Perez’s vocals are the perfect fitting for Apocalyptica’s sound. They’re raw, they’re loud, and – perhaps most importantly – they don’t overshadow the music. The album is a group effort and never feels like a solo project of Perez, as can so easily happen with the featuring of guest vocalists.

Comprised of twelve tracks, 'Shadowmaker' is the embodiment of the band’s versatility between instrumental harmonies and downright rock-and-roll is in perfect flow. The title track, and fittingly the album’s opener, is arguably the strongest of the bunch, and Perez’s vocals are simply outstanding on the intense, bass-heavy ‘Cold Blood’. Latest single ‘Slow Burn’ shows the breadth of music that the band can produce as a more mellow number – the strings are the forefront of attention, and it’s this that gives Apocalyptica a different sound to other acts within the metal genre.

The first release on the newly launched Better Noise label – an offshoot of Eleven Seven Music Group – 'Shadowmaker' is a reflection of how far Apocalyptica have come since their creation as a Metallica tribute act all those years ago.

To find out more about Apocalyptica
click here. To visit the Apocalytica Facebook page
click here. Words by Luke Forshaw