Apocalyptica - 7th Symphony (2010) - A big loss of identity - 61% (06/10/10)
The phenomenon of Apocalyptica is dead. What has been original and unique one decade ago when the band began to reinvent well known metal songs into a classical and symphonical style or when the band made their first entirely acoustic albums which were really intense and profound, has now become a mainstream band which repeats itself. At least, the last albums had still a few very interesting collaborations but that isn't the case on this album.
All the songs with guest singers, a part of "Bring them to light" which is a positive exception but has already been recorded several years ago, sound very commercial and faceless. The worst one is really the pop rock song "Broken pieces" which could be on a "Twilight" movie score. The first single "End of me" is really faceless and boring. "Not strong enough" would have been the better choice but this song is also far away from emotional collaborations like the dreamy and soft "Faraway Vol. 2", the darker and intense "Hope Vol. 2" or the very melancholic "Bittersweet". The band decided to chose mostly some less popular singers from some modern and commercial bands and they lose all their charm and uniqueness by doing this. While collaborations from the past still gave a lot of space to the celli and their unique sound and atmosphere, the new songs are concentrated on some cheesy lyrics and the classical instruments sound like ordinary guitars.
At least the instrumental songs deliver the expected standards. The only negative point is that the drums are more present in most of the songs which destroys their old and unique style somehow. The band only shows its brilliant talent in the songs without or with less drumming and when they take their time to develop epic and intelligent structures somewhere between Mozart and Metallica like they used to do a few years ago. There are four nice songs on the album, two very good and two brilliant ones. The opener "At the gates of Manala" goes more into a metal style and is a little bit too long while "Beautiful" has an original classic and acoustic approach but is way too short. The only really well done songs are in fact the melancholic "Sacra" and the very interesting and fresh sounding bonus track "Throgh Paris in a sportscar" even if the song title makes you think of the modern crap which mostly dominates this album. It's a funny antithesis that this bonus track is one of the most traditional and profound songs on the entire album. The rest of the songs feel like some fillers and are only average stuff.
I must conclude that this album is the weakest one in the complete discography of Apocalyptica. The songs sound too metal during most of the instrumental parts ("2010") and too commercial and boring during their collaboration with guest singers ("Broken pieces" is maybe their worst song ever). One nice collaboration and four interesting instrumental songs save the album and make at least one half quite enjoyable. But overall, this album is still somehow boring. The bonus DVD is very interesting too and shows us that the band can still perform in a very personal and intense mood. I have seen them recently on stage and know that they are still really intense and powerful there.
Let us hope that their next album will not only be based on commercial collaborations and want-to-be metal riff shredding, but on the unique power and creativity which has made this band unique. If they will fail, one of the most dynamical bands risks to become as horrible as pseudo-innovating metal clowns like "Van Canto". Let us pray that those boys go back to their roots or reinvent themselves completely but that they won't chose the commercial and faceless path.« Ozzy Osbourne - Scream (2010) - Surprisingly fresh - 77% (06/10/10)Voivod - Angel Rat (1991) - Close to perfection! - 96% (06/10/10) »
Tags : apocalyptica, 7th, seventh, symphony, commercial, collaborations, alternative rock, cello, classic, acoustic, ambient, atmosphere, finland