Friday, September 03, 2010

Apocalyptica: 7th Symphony (2010)


As I mentioned recently, I've been a fan of Apocalyptica for over a decade. I was a bit shocked a couple years ago to hear them on the radio--I never thought they were radio material before. But on their last album, they definitely started to shift toward a more radio-friendly sound, at least on some tracks.

7th Symphony continues that trend, resulting in another schizophrenic album of half Apocalyptica as they were and half Radiopocalyptica.

A few of the instrumentals are strong examples of their old sound, notably opener "At the Gates of Manala" and the best track on the album: another collaboration with drummer Dave Lombardo, simply titled "2010". Some of the other instrumentals are much weaker, and instead of "reinventing the cello" seem to be "this is regular cello" (see "Beautiful"). Even so, that's not such a bad thing in context.

The other half of the album is songs with guest vocalists. These tracks tend to be weaker on this album than the last--the guests have much weaker voices, especially Gavin Rossdale. Brent Smith (Shinedown) and Lacey Mosley (Flyleaf--I have never heard of this band) are slightly better. These vocalists are definitely a step down from Corey Taylor, Till Lindemann, and Cristina Scabbia.

The only vocalist who doesn't get lost in the cello assault (or force the cellos to go soft so you can hear him) is Gojira's Joe Duplantier. "Bring Them to Light" actually manages to be a highlight of the album.

The Verdict: The album is schizophrenic, like Worlds Collide. It's also extremely hit-and-miss, with some really great tracks and some really boring tracks, but not much in between. Still, the good parts are worth hearing, and I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

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