Apocalyptica: Shadowmaker review

In today’s metal world, fans are always looking for something fresh and different and Finnish cello-rockers Apocalyptica have always given them exactly that.

Beginning their career by recording covers of Metallica, Pantera and other iconic metal bands, Apocalyptica have always been a fun listen. After awhile, the band decided to switch it up and start recording and writing their own music and enlisted the services of some of the most well-known vocalist in all of rock and metal.

For years, it wouldn’t be uncommon to hear Corey Taylor, Cristina Scabbia, Brent Smith, Adam Gontier, Gavin Rossdale, Lacey Sturm and others singing on Apocalyptica’s songs, making for almost immediate hit songs.

Enter 2015 and the band has reinvented themselves yet again with Shadowmaker. This album marks their eighth studio record and their first with a full-time singer in Franky Perez, formerly of Scars On Broadway fame.

The record opens with \”I-III-V Seed of Chaos,” a dark, haunting instrumental track that fits Apocalyptica very well. It soon blasts into opening song “Cold Blood,” which should be a quick hit for the band. Title track “Shadowmaker” follows it up with “Slow Burn” not far behind.
“Slow Burn” is Apocalyptica at their best, with dark, emotional lyrics that resonate with the listener on another level. “Hole In My Soul” trails shortly behind in the form of another dramatic instrumental that only Apocalyptica can do justice.

“House Of Chains” is one of the heaviest songs on the record and, if played live, is guaranteed to be a fun one while “Sea Song” is one of the lone soft tracks on the record and shows the beauty of Perez’ voice up close and personal.

When it’s all said and done, Apocalyptica have found a way to continually reinvent themselves while keeping the essence of what’s made them so popular and such a powerhouse over the last few decades. While guest vocalists are great, it makes the songs hard to appreciate when played live. With Perez at the helm, fans know exactly what they’re getting.

They’ve been touring with Perez for a year or two so the chemistry and cohesiveness is already there and it shows on the songwriting in Shadowmaker. In the end, this could very well be one of the band’s strongest and most emotional albums of their career and was well-worth the wait.

Rating: 9/10

-Reggie Edwards