Formed in the early '90s the Goth-Metal band Apocalyptica chose an entirely individual path from day one. A few years earlier, while students at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, FINALND, these young virtuosos joined a cello band that specialised in playing music by everyone from J.S. Bach to Jimi Hendrix. However, Eicca Toppinen, Max Lilja, Antero Manninen and Paavo Lotjonen had something louder in mind. All fans of heavy music, they decided to form their own band, Toppinen wrote some unique arrangements of songs by Metallica, Slayer and other Metal bands and the group embarked on a series of shows at student parties.
Kari Hynninen of Zen Garden Records, who was so bowled over by the band's ingenious interpretations of Metal anthems that he instantly offered them a contract and the chance to release their 1996 debut album, "Plays Metallica By Four Cellos"; it sold over one million copies worldwide.
A sophomore effort entitled "Inquisition Symphony", followed two years later, a second batch of cover versions that this time included songs by Faith No More, Pantera, Sepultura and again Metallica. It also featured the band's first original material: three songs that revealed that there was far more to Apocalyptica than novelty.
In 1999 Manninen left the band, being replaced by Perttu Kivilaakso. By the time Apocalyptica reached their third studio record, 2000's "Cult", they had decided to move away from cover versions and produced nearly a whole album's worth of fresh material that set the band's wild and compellingly diverse blend of disparate genres in stone once and for all. Apocalyptica were determined to establish themselves as a powerful creative force and "Cult" charted in the German top 40.
Now reduced to a trio, Max Lilja left the fold in 2002, with their reputation soaring, the Finnish cello-Metal troop entered the new millennium with another major step forward when they collaborated with legendary Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo on their fourth studio album, "Reflections"; it was released in February 2003 peaking at #8 in Finland and #15 in Germany.
Realising that Lombardo's rhythmic muscle had given their sound a new lease of life and enabled them to veer off in numerous new directions, Apocalyptica enlisted their own full-time drummer, Mikko Sirén, for 2005's self-titled opus. Easily the strongest album of their careers, "Apocalyptica", saw the band strengthen their song writing skills and invite some guests into the studio, including HIM frontman Ville Valo, Lauri Ylönen of The Rasmus and again Dave Lombardo; the disc became a top 10 hit in multiple European territories.
Apocalyptica released their next album, "Worlds Collide", worldwide in September 2007; the 11-song set charted well in Europe and reached the #59 position on the American Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. The first single "I'm Not Jesus", featuring Stone Sour/Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor, peaked at #6 on The Hot Mainstream Rock chart and at #15 on The Hot Modern Rock Tracks. The album aslo included collaborations with Lacuna Coil's sublime Cristina Scabbia, "S.O.S. (Anything But Love)" and Three Days Grace vocalist Adam Gontier who performed on the massive smash "I Don't Care", this single rose to #1 on the Active Rock airplay chart and eventually enjoyed a 50-week chart run in the Hot Modern Rock Tracks, falling just one spot short of #1.
August 2010 saw the Finnish cello-Metal masters unleash a brand new album entitled "7th Symphony" which duplicated the Europe chart performance of "Worlds Collide" and quickly catapulted into the top 40 of The Billboard 200 with the first single, "End Of Me" featuring Gavin Rossdale, peaking at #16 on The Rock Songs chart. It was followed by "Broken Pieces", a minor hit which features Lacey Mosley of Flyeaf. In the fall, Apocalyptica was forced to pull the vocals of Shinedown frontman Brent Smith off the band's third single, "Not Strong Enough". The new version features vocals from Hoobastank's Doug Robb.