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Album Reviews : Apocalyptica – Shadowmaker

By on June 23, 2015

apocalyptica_shadowmakerApocalyptica might still be mostly known for their early years Metallica covers, especially in this part of the world. The fact is though that their catalogue is so extensive and diverse that ­­I really urge people to not just scratch the surface when it comes to this band. You will be rewarded with really clever metal played by four Finns that possess some insane talent.

Apocalyptica has now released their eight studio album, after having premiered some of the new songs on their recent Soundwave tour here in Australia. The most obvious and game changing difference this time around is that the former instrumental band + guest musicians now has a permanent vocalist.

I must admit that the first time I heard about this addition was just a few weeks prior to Apocalyptica’s sidewave show with Marilyn Manson in Sydney. I wasn’t quite sure what to think of this. I hadn’t heard Franky Perez perform, but I have always enjoyed Apocalyptica’s instrumental tracks the most.

It turns out that I did not have to worry too much though. Perez’ vocals are truly outstanding. They fit the mood of this album like a glove. However, the lyrics are quite miserable throughout the entire record, and it gets a bit tiresome after a while. It would’ve been very interesting if Apocalyptica had released an instrumental version of the album as well, in the long run I think that I would’ve preferred that. Not because Franky is doing a bad job at all, but more because I really think that the cello should be in the spotlight most of the time. The instrumental parts on the album are next level stuff, that’s when Apocalyptica truly shines.

This isn’t quite the music that made me fall in love with Apocalyptica 10 years ago, but the quality is still undeniable. Great musicianship as expected, the production of this record is fantastic as well. It feels a bit more rock than metal, and while I personally don’t like the direction, the album is still far from bad. There are some obvious highlights (“Cold Blood”, “Shadowmaker”, “Sea Song” and “Till Death Do Us Part)” but they are not as many as I’m used to when it comes to Apocalyptica.

Overall, this is the same superb quality that at least I expect from the Finns nowadays. I might not like every second of it personally, but the sheer amount of musical brilliance that these guys produce time after time is quite astounding.


Martin is an aspiring music photographer/videographer. He is originally from the southern parts of Sweden and now he's living in Sydney, Australia. Thanks to his older sister, he got into Rammstein at the age of 9, and since then he's been into all types of metal/rock. He loves to combine photography and music, but also filming concerts and produce live material. Follow him on Twitter and check out his website.