Our top 10 Apocalyptica songs introduce us to a band famed for its neoclassical metal style. Apocalyptica was formed by a cello quartet from Finland back in 1993 and has since become one of the notable global influences in heavy metal, neoclassical metal, and symphonic metal. After its formation at Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, Apocalyptica released its debut album in 1996. Titled Plays Metallica by Four Cellos, the album featured eight Metallica covers. Thanks to the band’s raving metal sound, their music received attention from metal fans and other musicians alike. Waltari would feature Apocalyptica in their 1997 album Space Avenue helping the band establish itself deeper in the heavy metal roots.
While the cello quartet might have started as a classical-style Metallica tribute band, Apocalyptica evolved to neoclassical metal eventually. Notably, their new neoclassical metal style is quite unique, having the band use no conventional bass and guitar. With each of the band’s album releases, Apocalyptica became a bigger name in the music industry, gaining fame outside Finland. By 2008, the band had toured Europe and United States, performing in hundreds of shows, selling over four million albums to date. The band has now released nine studio albums, with their most recent being Cell-0 (2020). Here are the top 10 Apocalyptica songs that help establish the band as icons in neoclassical metal.
# 10 – I’m Not Jesus
Ushering us to the top 10 Apocalyptica songs is “I’m Not Jesus,” from the band’s album Worlds Collide. The band collaborated with Slipknot and Stone Sour vocalist Corey Taylor in releasing this grooving symphonic metal ballad. “I’m Not Jesus” had its lyrics co-written by former Filter guitarist Geno and vocalist Johnny Andrews. The lyrics allude to child abuse by clerics, an evil that happens unsuspected by many. Corey Taylor graces the stage, singing from the standpoint of a gut who was sexually abused by a clergyman at a young age. The song charted in Finland and Germany, where it peaked on the two nations’ singles chart at number fifteen and twenty-five, respectively.
# 9 – Seemann
“Seemann” is a German word that refers to a sailor or seaman. Apocalyptica released the cover ballad “Seemann” for their album Reflections. Initially, the song was released by the German band Rammstein for the album Herzeleid. Apocalyptica took on the heavy metal ballad’s lyrics as written by Rammstein, redoing the song in 2003 featuring Nina Hagen, a German singer. You will probably need some German skills or translations to understand the song since it’s written in German.
# 8 – Path Vol. 2
“Path Vol. 2” is one of the best Apocalyptica songs featuring Guano Apes vocalist Sandra Nasić. Initially, the band released the first version of the song for their 2000 album Cult. Unlike “Path Vol. 2,” the first version is an instrumental by the cello masters. “Path Vol. 2” features lyrics written by Sandra Nasić and Eicca Toppinen. Apocalyptica proves to be masters of the cello with this ferocious yet sublime metal ballad. Sandra Nasić gives her best in this song, helping Apocalyptica make a mark in neoclassical metal.
# 7 – The Unforgiven
It is by no surprise that one of the best Apocalyptica songs is a cover of the metal band Metallica. Some critically analyzed Apocalyptica’s version wishing that chance would allow us to have Metallica perform alongside this band. Originally, the song was written by Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield, and Lars Ulrich for Metallica’s fifth eponymous album. The song’s lyrics allude to the struggles of an individual against the efforts of others who would subdue him. Apocalyptica featured this song in their debut album Plays Metallica by Four Cellos.
# 6 – Farewell
“Farewell” is by far a genius masterpiece composition by the symphonic metal band Apocalyptica. The exquisite song is an instrumental featured on the band’s eponymous album. “Farewell” is delivered in a somber mood evoking deep emotions for almost every listener. The song’s sublime sound of reluctance offers more chills than most lyrics songs might ever give.
# 5 – Broken Pieces
Number five on our top 10 Apocalyptica songs is the ballad “Broken Pieces” from the band’s album 7th Symphony. “Broken Pieces” is an original composition by Eicca Toppinen, Fiora Cutler, and Guy Sigsworth. The song was inspired by the time Apocalyptica began working with Howard Benson, a longtime producer to the band Flyleaf. Benson suggested the collaboration between Apocalyptica and former Flyleaf lead vocalist Lacey Sturm. Lacey Sturm’s vocals are so sublime, having them complement Apocalyptica’s cello instrumental, making “Broken Pieces” an almost perfect metal song.
#4- I Don’t Care
Released in the band’s sixth album Worlds Collide, “I Don’t Care,” is a superb song whose sublime lyrics are a collaborative effort of Eicca Toppinen, Max Martin, and Adam Gontier. After several propositions by the band’s label, Apocalyptica was impressed by Three Days Grace vocalist Adam Gontier with whom they released the song “I Don’t Care.” The song’s lyrics allude to fantasy, making it one of the Apocalyptica high-spirited songs. “I Don’t Care” was so magnificent that it toppled “Rock ‘N Roll Train” by AC/DC off the top of the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart. The song also reached a peak position of number seventy-eight on the Billboard Hot 100.s
# 3 – Nothing Else Matters
You might never have thought about yourself headbanging to a cello until you meet “Nothing Else Matters.” The song was released in 1996 on the band’s album Plays Metallica by Four Cellos. “Nothing Else Matters” was originally a song by Metallica with its lyrics credited to Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield. The cover song is so sublime that it might have you explore the extremes of your emotions when listened with the passion to the Apocalyptica cello perfection.
# 2 – Bittersweet
Apocalyptica collaborated with Lauri Ylönen of The Rasmus and Ville Valo of HIM in coming up with the awe-inspiring song “Bittersweet.” The song’s lyrics were written by Ville, having him join hands with Lauri in coming up with the vocals for the song. “Bittersweet” has its lyrics allude to a love triangle in which parties seem to be loving people who don’t love them back while giving away love that they receive from other people. The single was so thrilling that it peaked at number one on the Finnish Singles Chart.
# 1 – Not Strong Enough
Number one on our top 10 Apocalyptica songs list is the ballad “Not Strong Enough.” The song is featured on the band’s album 7th Symphony, having it feature Shinedown vocalist Brent Smith. Written by Dianne Warren, the song brings true metal vibes that make Apocalyptica legends of the cello. Credit to Mikko Sirén for his sublime drumming skills that make the song quite a powerful metal ballad. Another version of the song was recorded for release in the US, featuring Hoobastank vocalist Doug Robb. However, it is the original version of “Not Strong Enough” that makes the song Apocalyptica’s best release, thanks to Brent Smith’s sublime vocals.
Feature Photo: Photo: WanderingTrad, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Top 10 Apocalyptica Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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