Apocalyptica: Eicca Toppinen, Antero Manninen, Paavo Lotjonen, Max Lilja (cello).
Cello-playing Finnish quartet Apocalyptica's sequel to their well-received first album departs from the safe haven of Metallica covers (only four tracks) and introduces material by other heavy metal bands, and even a few originals. Of the latter, "Harmageddon" is probably the standout track, and while most Metalli-fans will be eager to hear the group's rendition of the smash hit "One," the song takes a backseat to inspired renditions of earlier classics such as "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and "Fade to Black." As for the other bands covered, the arrangements of Pantera's "Domination" and Sepultura's "Refuse/Resist" are rather dull, but Faith No More's "From Out of Nowhere" works surprisingly well, and the group's performance of the album's incredibly complex title track (another Sepultura original) is simply stunning. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia