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Apocalyptica is a Finnish metal band from Helsinki, formed in 1993. The band is composed of classically trained cellists Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, and Perttu Kivilaakso (all three of whom are graduates of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki)[1] and drummer Mikko Sirén. Originally a Metallica tribute band, their music borrows elements from a wide variety of genres including classical music, neoclassical metal, speed metal, alternative metal,[2] post-grunge, hard rock, progressive metal, thrash metal and symphonic metal.[2] They also incorporate some influences from Middle Eastern music, world music and folk music. They have sold over four million albums to date.[3]


Apocalyptica was formed in 1993[4] when four cellists, Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, Max Lilja, and Antero Manninen gathered to play Metallica covers at Sibelius Academy. In 1996, Apocalyptica released their debut studio album, Plays Metallica by Four Cellos, which consisted solely of Metallica covers played on cellos. They were later featured on two songs on the Waltari album Space Avenue in 1997.[5] In 1998, Apocalyptica released their second studio album, Inquisition Symphony, which was produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa. Inquisition Symphony once again contained covers of Metallica, but also contained covers of Faith No More, Sepultura, and Pantera. For this album the band also decided to include three original songs written by Eicca Toppinen.

In 1999, Antero Manninen left the group, and was replaced by Perttu Kivilaakso who had appeared in the line-up already in 1995. In 2000, Apocalyptica released their third studio album, Cult, which featured 10 original songs, and 3 covers. Soon after the recording of Cult, the first Apocalyptica track featuring vocals was released, "Path Vol. 2". In 2002, Max Lilja left the group and joined Hevein, leaving Apocalyptica with only three members.

In 2003, Apocalyptica released their fourth studio album, Reflections, which consisted for the first time of all original songs. Reflections featured a more experimental sound, instead of the previous acoustic style arrangements found on Inquisition Symphony and Cult. Dave Lombardo from Slayer played drums on five songs from Reflections, with session drummer Sami Kuoppamäki playing on the rest of the songs. As Lombardo was unable to join the band on stage on the following tour, the band hired Mikko Sirén, who would stay with the band for future tours as well as the recording of the next album.

In 2005, Apocalyptica released their fifth studio album, Apocalyptica. This album featured a number of guest musicians including Ville Valo of HIM, Lauri Ylönen of The Rasmus, and once again Dave Lombardo. They also recorded the Intro for Bullet for My Valentine's album The Poison. In December 2005 Mikko Sirén was announced as an official band member after having played around 200 shows with the band.

Apocalyptica released their sixth studio album, Worlds Collide, on 17 September 2007. It was produced by Jacob Hellner. To the surprise of many, the album includes a cover of the German version of David Bowie's song "Heroes". Till Lindemann of Rammstein, for whom they opened on the Reise, Reise tour, was the guest vocalist on the track "Helden". Worlds Collide was released on April 15, 2008 in the United States. The first single "I'm Not Jesus" featuring Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour from the "Worlds Collide" album cracked the top 10 of both the Active rock and Alternative rock charts.

To end 2007, the band toured Europe successfully, selling out many of the venues they played. In 2008 the tour continued in US and included numerous festivals in Europe.

In June 2008, during the Rock in Rio concert in Lisbon, Apocalyptica joined the Greenpeace "energy [r]evolution campaign" and played the Beethoven 5th symphony from the stage.[6]

The band also appeared on Last Call with Carson Daly on October 31, 2008. Here they made their American television debut with a performance of "I Don't Care" with Toryn Green.

In November 2008, Apocalyptica featuring Adam Gontier of Three Days Grace hit first at the BDS and Mediabase Active Rock radio charts with the single "I Don't Care". Later that month, the band ranked 3rd at Billboard's Hot Modern Rock Track chart and 2nd at Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart just after AC/DC, and just ahead of Metallica, an ironic twist, due to their origins performing Metallica covers. Recently, it reached No. 1 on the Billboard rock chart, making Apocalyptica the first Finnish band to top the US charts. The song "I Don't Care" was also featured in the 16th episode of season 8 of the TV series Smallville, which aired on March 19, 2009.

The seventh Apocalyptica studio album entitled 7th Symphony, produced by Joe Barresi and Howard Benson (on two tracks), was released on August 23, 2010 in Europe (Germany on August 20, 2010),[7] and August 24 in the U.S.[8] The first single aired on radio June 29, 2010.[8]

The album features eight instrumentals plus four tracks with guest vocals.[8] The first single, "End of Me", features Gavin Rossdale, best known as the vocalist of the British alternative rock band Bush, who had previously collaborated with the band. Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo plays on "2010", "Bring Them to Light" features Joseph Duplantier, singer and guitarist of the French death metal band Gojira, "Broken Pieces" is a cooperation with Flyleaf singer Lacey Mosley, and "Not Strong Enough" is sung by Brent Smith (Shinedown).[7]

"Broken Pieces" and "Not Strong Enough" were released as the second and third singles from the album. Due to distribution rights on Smith's vocals, "Not Strong Enough" was re-recorded with Doug Robb of Hoobastank before being released to US radio on January 18, 2011.[9]

On October 7, 2011, RCA Music Group announced it was disbanding Jive Records along with Arista Records and J Records. With the shutdown, the band (and all other artists previously signed to these three labels) will release their future material on the RCA Records brand.[10][11]

On December 5, 2011, Apocalyptica performed live with Metallica on three songs, "No Leaf Clover", "One" and "Seek & Destroy" in celebration of Metallica's 30th Anniversary.

On October 28, 2011, the band released an exclusive pledgers-only song "Solo Tu" featuring Erik Canales of Allison via fan-funding website Pledgemusic, as part of their Apocalyptica photo book project.[12]

After concluding the 7th Symphony world tour in Beijing September 2012, Apocalyptica took a year off from touring and recording.[13] During the break the band worked on a crossover musical and theatrical project titled Wagner Reloaded, combining Wagner's music with the sound of Apocalyptica, to celebrate German composer Richard Wagner's 200th birthday with two live performances in Wagner's birthtown Leipzig July 56, 2013. Eicca Toppinen has arranged and composed the music, and the band performed live on stage as part of the production.[14] In November 2013, the band released an album titled Wagner Reloaded-Live in Leipzig, comprising original music recorded live at the event.[15]

On May 10, 2013, Apocalyptica released "Psalm", a new song that Perttu Kivilaakso performed on their most recent tour. The band also announced a tour with Finnish Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, premiering in March 2014. The set will consist solely of instrumentally performed Apocalyptica songs, especially arranged for the band and the 25-piece orchestra.[16]

Apocalyptica are currently preparing for their eighth studio album to be released in 2014, aiming to go to the studio in late Spring.[15]


Current members
  • Eicca Toppinen  cello (1993present)
  • Paavo Lötjönen  cello (1993present)
  • Perttu Kivilaakso  cello (1995, 1999present)
  • Mikko Sirén  drums (2005present; live member: 2003-2005)
Current touring member
  • Tipe Johnson (exLeningrad Cowboys) vocals (2009–present)
Former members
  • Antero Manninen  cello (1993-1999, live member: 2002-2009)
  • Max Lilja  cello (1993-2002)

Guest musicians


  • Adam Gontier (formerly of Three Days Grace) on I Don't Care and touring vocalist for New York and Toronto 2008
  • Brent Smith (of Shinedown) on Not Strong Enough
  • Corey Taylor (of Slipknot, Stone Sour) on I'm Not Jesus
  • Cristina Scabbia (of Lacuna Coil) on S.O.S. (Anything but Love)[17] and tour vocalist for Download Festival 2008
  • Doug Robb (of Hoobastank) on Not Strong Enough
  • Emmanuelle Monet (of Dolly) on En Vie
  • Erik Canales (of Allison) on "Solo Tu"
  • Gavin Rossdale (of Bush) on End of Me
  • Joe Duplantier (of Gojira) on Bring Them to Light
  • Johnny Andrews tour vocalist for April 2008
  • Kyo (of Dir En Grey) tour vocalist for US Tour 2010
  • Lacey Mosley (formerly of Flyleaf) on Broken Pieces
  • Lauri Ylönen (of The Rasmus) on Life Burns! & Bittersweet
  • Linda Sundblad (of Lambretta) on Faraway Vol. 2
  • Marta Jandová (of Die Happy) on Wie Weit & How Far
  • Mats Levén (of Therion, Krux, Candlemass) on S.O.S. (Anything but Love) & I Don't Care (Backing Vocals)
  • Matt Tuck (of Bullet for My Valentine) on Repressed
  • Matthias Sayer (of Farmer Boys) on Hope Vol. 2
  • Max Cavalera (of Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy, exNailbomb, exSepultura) on Repressed
  • Nina Hagen on Seemann
  • Sandra Nasi (of Guano Apes) on Path Vol. 2
  • Till Lindemann (of Rammstein) on Helden
  • Tony Kakko (of Sonata Arctica) tour vocalist for Finland and Japan 2008
  • Toryn Green (exFuel) tour vocalist for 2008
  • Ville Valo (of HIM) on Bittersweet
  • Tomoyasu Hotei[17] guitar on Grace
  • Sami Kuoppamäki  drums on Reflections
  • Dave Lombardo (of Slayer) drums on Reflections, Betrayal/Forgiveness, Last Hope & 2010
  • Richard Z. Kruspe (of Rammstein) guitar on Helden
  • MDR Symphony Orchestra on the album Wagner Reloaded-Live in Leipzig


Main article: Apocalyptica discography
  • Plays Metallica by Four Cellos (1996)
  • Inquisition Symphony (1998)
  • Cult (2000)
  • Reflections (2003)
  • Apocalyptica (2005)
  • Worlds Collide (2007)
  • 7th Symphony (2010)
  • Wagner Reloaded-Live in Leipzig (18 Nov 2013)


  1. Interview with Mikko and Eicca for FaceCulture.nl 2007. Apocalyptica.apocello.ru. Retrieved on 2011-10-20.
  2. 2.0 2.1 http://www.musicmight.com/artist/finland/helsinki/apocalyptica
  3. APOCALYPTICA: New Album Artwork Revealed. Roadrunnerrecords.com. Retrieved on 2011-10-20.
  4. Billboard Music Charts - Latest Music News - Music Videos
  5. Encyclopaedia Metallum page. Metal-archives.com (2011-07-22). Retrieved on 2011-10-20.
  6. Apocalyptica supports Greenpeace campaign. Video on YouTube. Youtube.com (2008-06-09). Retrieved on 2011-10-20.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Apocalyptica Set Release Date For 7th Symphony; First Single Announced" MetalFromFinland.com May 6, 2010.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Apocalyptica Prepare for New album with U.S. Tour" PRNewswire.com May 7, 2010.
  9. Apocalyptica Pulls Smith's Vocals For Single AlternativeAddiction.com. January 8, 2011.
  10. RCA's New Executive Team Named Under CEO Peter Edge Amid Layoffs (Update). Billboard.biz (2011-08-23). Retrieved on 2011-10-20.
  11. Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Arbitron Ratings, Music News and more!. FMQB. Retrieved on 2011-10-20.
  12. Apocalyptica: Photo book - Free song for all pledgers!. Pledgemusic (October 28, 2011). Retrieved on February 11, 2012.
  13. Culpan, Troy (August 20, 2012). Interview: Eicca Toppinen of Apocalyptica. maytherockbewithyou.com. Retrieved on April 17, 2013.
  14. APOCALYPTICA To Take Part In 'Wagner Reloaded' Event. Blabbermouth.net (November 22, 2012). Retrieved on April 17, 2013.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Apocalyptica Discuss New Live Release Wagner Reloaded. Antimusic.com (November 22, 2013). Retrieved on February 17, 2014.
  16. Apocalyptica - New Video Online, Touring With Orchestra In 2014. MetalStorm.net. Retrieved on May 16, 2013.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Lacuna Coil, Gojira Members To Guest On New Apocalyptica Cd. Roadrunnerrecords.com. Retrieved on 2011-10-20.

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This page was last modified 09.04.2014 19:21:01

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