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Apocalyptica at the With Full Force Summer Open Air 2018 in Ferropolis, Germany
Apocalyptica at the With Full Force Summer Open Air 2018 in Ferropolis, Germany
General information
Genre (s) "Cello Rock"
founding 1993
Website http://www.apocalyptica.com/
Founding members
Eicca toppins
Paavo Lötjönen
Max Lilja (until 2002)
Antero Manninen (until 1999, live cello: since 2002)
Current occupation
Eicca toppins
Paavo Lötjönen
Perttu Kivilaakso (live cello: 1995–1996, cello: since 1999)
Mikko Sirén (live drums: 2003–2005, drums: since December 2005)
Live support and session musicians
Johnny Andrews (Live vocals: 2008)
Adam Gontier (live vocals: 2008)
Tony Kakko (Live vocals: 2008)
Cristina Scabbia (Live vocals: 2008)
Toryn Green (live vocals: 2008)
Tipe Johnson (Live vocals: 2009)
Kyo (live vocals: 2010)
Sami Kuoppamäki (studio drums: 2003)
Dave Lombardo (studio drums: 2003)
Franky Perez (2014-2016; live singing: 2021)
Eicca Toppinen 2018, With Full Force
Paavo Lötjönen 2018, With Full Force
Perttu Kivilaakso 2018, With Full Force
Antero Manninen 2018, With Full Force
Mikko Sirén 2005, Metalmania Festival

Apocalyptica is a Finnish music group that plays well-known metal pieces on the violoncello in addition to their own pieces . The band called their genre even as cello rock .

Band history

The founding members Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, Max Lilja and Antero Manninen met at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and decided to play the music of their favorite band Metallica on the classical musical instrument cello . As an exam at the academy, they selected four pieces. On this basis, the album Apocalyptica plays Metallica by four Cellos was created in 1996 , which made the four very well known in the scene at one stroke. The name "Apocalyptica" is made up of the Greek word apocalypse and the end of the name of Metallica .

On their subsequent albums they also covered titles by Slayer , Sepultura , Faith No More and Rammstein . They also increasingly composed their own pieces. In 1998 Apocalyptica was the opening act for Metallica in Helsinki. In 1999 there was the first line-up when Antero Manninen left the band in favor of Sinfonia Lahti . Perttu Kivilaakso then joined the group. He had already made a few appearances with the band in 1996, but did not become a permanent member at that time. Since he was only 17 in 1996, Eicca Toppinen thought he was too young. Kivilaakso also wanted to finish his studies at the Sibelius Academy. In 2001 they recorded the single Path Vol. 2 together with the singer of the Guano Apes , Sandra Nasić , with which they reached number 8 in the Finnish charts and number 41 in Germany. This was followed by other collaborations with Matthias Sayer ( Farmer Boys ) and Nina Hagen , among others , with whom they produced a cover version of the Rammstein song Seemann . Apocalyptica also covered the song Bataillon D'Amour by the GDR band Silly , which had entered the German charts a few years earlier through Joachim Witt .

On their third album Cult , Apocalyptica used percussion elements for the first time to support their pieces. On the Reflections album , they added drums to accompany them. In the studio this played, among others, Dave Lombardo from Slayer. When performing live, it is usually played by Mikko Sirén, who has been a full member of the group since December 2005.

In 2002 Max Lilja left the band and joined the Finnish music groups Hevein and Tekijä Tuntematon. When Apocalyptica performs live, his part is now often taken over by founding member Antero Manninen.

In 2005 they took part in the Bundesvision Song Contest with Marta Jandová , the singer of Die Happy . They represented the federal state of Baden-Württemberg with the title Wie Weit , which is the German version of the originally instrumental piece Quutamo . They finished fifth with 77 points. Marta Jandová also sang the English version How Far . The French version En Vie was sung by Emmanuelle Monet , singer of the French band Dolly .

Quutamo is also part of the album Apocalyptica , which was released in 2005. The commercial success of this album caused the breakthrough in Germany for the three musicians , after they had already had a top 10 hit with Ville Valo ( HIM ) and Lauri Ylönen ( The Rasmus ) with the single Bittersweet . For the first time they entered the top 10 of the album charts in Germany, Austria and Switzerland with this album.

On May 12, 2007 Apocalyptica took over the appearance during the break during the counting of the votes at the Eurovision Song Contest in Helsinki. Their setlist included a track from their new album, Worlds Collide , as well as the instrumental versions of Faraway and Life Burns! .

They released their sixth studio album Worlds Collide on September 14, 2007 in Germany. On August 31, 2007, the single I'm not Jesus , which was created together with Corey Taylor , including video was released. A little later the tracks Worlds Collide , Peace and SOS (with Cristina Scabbia from Lacuna Coil as the singer) appeared on her Myspace page. Among other things, they worked on their new album with the Rammstein singer Till Lindemann , whose bandmates Richard Kruspe (vocals and guitar parts in the play Helden - German cover version of David Bowie's Heroes ), Tomoyasu Hotei ( Grace ), Dave Lombardo (drums part in the play Last Hope ) and Adam Gontier ( I Don't Care ) together.

After the publication, the label Gun Records of the Finnish band had to answer to the Berlin district court for the violation of name and trademark rights and pay 45,000 euros in damages to Rammstein in the course of a settlement; the label had advertised the “Worlds Collide” album on a large scale with the addition “featuring Rammstein”, although the band was not officially involved.

In 2007, Eicca Toppinen also designed the soundtrack for the film Black Ice .

The band released their seventh studio album 7th Symphony in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on August 20, 2010.

In December 2011, Apocalyptica performed in San Francisco with Metallica when they celebrated their 30th anniversary with four concerts in the music club "The Fillmore": On the first evening they accompanied James Hetfield on the songs No Leaf Clover and One .

On July 5, 2013, they performed as part of the MDR Music Summer, on the occasion of the Richard Wagner Festival Year 2013 with the MDR Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Gregor Seyffert and Kristjan Järvi in the Arena Leipzig . This gig was released in November 2013 on CD and vinyl in stores. Further appearances followed in June and July 2014.

Together with the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra they went on a European tour in March 2014 and performed at the Wacken Open Air in the summer .

On April 17, 2015, the band released the album Shadowmaker . In contrast to previous albums, in which individual guest singers appeared for certain songs, the singer Franky Perez was engaged for Shadowmaker and the following live tours . This change also means that there are more pieces with vocals on the album (only three of the ten songs are purely instrumental) than was the case in previous productions.

For the 20th anniversary of their debut album Apocalyptica Plays Metallica by Four Cellos , the band released a remastered version with the two previously unreleased bonus titles Seek and Destroy and Battery , as well as a newly recorded version of Nothing Else Matters . In February 2017, Apocalyptica started a big anniversary tour. Due to the high demand, the tour was extended several times. Cellist Lauri Kankkunen from the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra stepped in for Antero Manninen for the last part of the tour . By 2019 the band played over 200 concerts on this tour in 40 countries in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia. Live recordings of two concerts in Finland were released on CD, LP and DVD in December 2018.

In 2019 the band was signed by the record label Silver Lining Records .

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the band Sabaton , Apocalyptica released their song Fields of Verdun on May 1, 2019 in advance of the release of the album The Great War . The two bands released a joint version of the 2010 Sabaton song Angels Calling as a single on November 21 . In addition, Apocalyptica accompanied the Great War tour together with Amaranthe . With the Sabaton singer Joakim Brodén , Apocalyptica released the single Live or Die on March 3, 2020

On January 10th, 2020 the album Cell-0 ("Cell-Zero") was released. The main theme is the destruction of the environment by humans. This is the first complete instrumental album since the 2003 release of Reflections . Bandleader Eicca Toppinen explained that working with different singers on an album had often posed problems for the band with planning, release date and rights. Therefore, it is preferred to publish collaborations with singers as individual singles independent of regular studio albums.

Franky Perez, with whom the album Shadowmaker was recorded, will again accompany the band on their USA tour for Cell-0 in 2021 as a singer.


Studio albums

Live albums

  • 2013: Wagner Reloaded - Live in Leipzig
  • 2018: Plays Metallica by Four Cellos - A Live Performance


  1. heavyhardes.de: Review of Worlds Collide , accessed on April 14, 2017
  2. laut.de: Rammstein collect Apocalyptica , January 10, 2011, accessed on October 19, 2017
  3. ^ Announcement on the official website on May 5, 2010 ( Memento of June 1, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  4. ^ Wagner Reloaded - Apocalyptica meets Wagner
  5. Apocalyptica 5 Stars Wagner Reloaded - Live In Leipzig
  6. Web site Kamariorkesteri Avanti!
  7. List of the bands at Wacken Open Air
  8. https://www.metal-hammer.de/reviews/apocalyptica-shadowmaker/
  9. https://www.metal.de/reviews/apocalyptica-plays-metallica-by-four-cellos-re-release-186623/
  10. http://www.ontourmonthly.com/2016/06/29788/
  11. http://www.apocalyptica.com/news/apmb4c-tour-continues-into-2018---36-.html
  12. https://www.forbes.com/sites/quentinsinger/2019/11/25/eicca-toppinen-talks-new-apocalyptica-album-cell-0-and-its-environmental-concept/
  13. http://www.apocalyptica.com/news/new-live-album-plays-metallica-by-fo---41-.html
  14. http://www.apocalyptica.com/news/apocalyptica-joining-sabaton-on-tour---43-.html
  15. https://www.sabaton.net/news/music/here-is-fields-of-verdun-by-apocalyptica/
  16. https://www.sabaton.net/news/music/sabaton-apocalyptica-release-single-angels-calling/
  17. http://www.apocalyptica.com/news/apocalyptica-joining-sabaton-on-tour---43-.html
  18. https://rockatnight.com/2020/03/apocalyptica-release-their-brand-new-track-and-music-video-live-or-die-featuring-joakim-broden/
  19. https://www.forbes.com/sites/quentinsinger/2019/11/25/eicca-toppinen-talks-new-apocalyptica-album-cell-0-and-its-environmental-concept/
  20. http://www.apocalyptica.com/news/us-tour-2020-postponed-to-2021---45-.html

Web links

Commons : Apocalyptica  - collection of images, videos and audio files