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Apocalyptica - Ilosaarirock 2009.jpg
Apocalyptica at the 2009 Ilosaarirock festival.
Background information
Origin Helsinki, Finland
Years active1993–present
Website apocalyptica.com
Past members
Apocalyptica logo Apocalyptica logo.svg
Apocalyptica logo

Apocalyptica is a Finnish symphonic metal band from Helsinki, Finland, 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), [5] drummer Mikko Sirén, and vocalist Franky Perez. Originally a Metallica classical tribute band, the band eventually adopted a neoclassical metal style without the use of conventional guitars. [2] They have sold over four million albums to date. [6]

Symphonic metal is a subgenre of heavy metal music which combines the heavy drums and guitars of metal with different elements of orchestral classical music, such as symphonic instruments, choirs and sometimes a full orchestra. Keyboards reminiscent of power metal are also sometimes featured.

Helsinki Capital of Finland

Helsinki is the capital and most populous city of Finland. Located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, it is the seat of the region of Uusimaa in southern Finland, and has a population of 650,058. The city's urban area has a population of 1,268,296, making it by far the most populous urban area in Finland as well as the country's most important center for politics, education, finance, culture, and research. Helsinki is located 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Tallinn, Estonia, 400 km (250 mi) east of Stockholm, Sweden, and 300 km (190 mi) west of Saint Petersburg, Russia. It has close historical ties with these three cities.

Eicca Toppinen Finnish cellist

Eino Matti "Eicca" Toppinen is a Finnish cellist, songwriter, producer, arranger, and drummer. In 1993 he formed the quartet Apocalyptica.



Four cellists, Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, Max Lilja, and Antero Manninen formed Apocalyptica in 1993 at Sibelius Academy. The band released their debut studio album, Plays Metallica by Four Cellos , in 1996. The album consisted of only Metallica covers. The band was featured on two songs on the Waltari album Space Avenue in 1997. Apocalyptica released their second studio album, Inquisition Symphony , produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa in 1998. Inquisition Symphony contained covers of Metallica as well as Faith No More, Sepultura, and Pantera. The album included three original songs by Eicca Toppinen.

Paavo Lötjönen Finnish musician

Paavo Lötjönen is a cello player for Finnish band Apocalyptica. Paavo comes from a family where both of his parents were professional musicians. At the age of 6, he took a cello and decided that would be the instrument he would play all his life. Like fellow band members Perttu Kivilaakso and Eicca Toppinen he attended Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.

Max Lilja Finnish cellist

Max Lilja is a Finnish cello player. He is best known for as a founding member of the Finnish cello metal band Apocalyptica, a band he left in 2001 to join the Finnish thrash metal band Hevein. Beginning in 2007, Lilja has been a recording and touring member of Tarja Turunen's solo band. Throughout his career, Lilja has continued to play classical music alongside rock, metal, and crossover projects.

Antero Manninen Finnish musician

Antero Manninen, also known as Mr. Cool, is a session musician and former band member of Finnish Cello metal quartet Apocalyptica. He was an official member but did not write the music and left in 1999 due to prior commitments, although he has come back to help the band several years ago. His seated, calm composure playing style is at stark contrast with the headbanging antics of the others when playing live. Besides his job in Apocalyptica he used to work as a musician in a Tapiola Sinfonietta Avanti! and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and in the orchestra of the Finnish National Opera. He is also one of the founders of Sibelius-Academy’s Cellosextet (SSS). Antero has been performing also at funerals. Currently he is a member of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra.

Apocalyptica at 2005's Wacken Open Air Apocalyptica - Festival Wacken Open Air 2005.jpg
Apocalyptica at 2005's Wacken Open Air

Antero Manninen left the group in 1999 and was replaced by Perttu Kivilaakso. Perttu had previously performed with the band in 1995. Apocalyptica released their third studio album, Cult , in 2000. It featured 10 original songs and 3 covers. The first Apocalyptica track to include vocals, "Path Vol. 2," was released shortly after Cult. Max Lilja left the group in 2002 and joined Hevein.

Perttu Kivilaakso Finnish musician

Perttu Päivö Kullervo Kivilaakso is a cello player for Finnish band Apocalyptica. Like fellow band members Eicca Toppinen and Paavo Lötjönen, he attended Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. He plays a German 19th century cello; he started playing the cello when he was 5 years old and joined Apocalyptica for their third studio album Cult. Kivilaakso played in Apocalyptica's 1995 line up, but he was concentrating on his studies when the band began their professional career. At the end of 1999 he came back, switching places with Antero Manninen, who then went to play in a classical orchestra.

<i>Cult</i> (Apocalyptica album) 2000 studio album by Apocalyptica

Cult is the title of the third full-length LP by the band Apocalyptica released in 2000 with a special-edition released in 2001 containing an extra disc, mixed and mastered at Finnvox. Apocalyptica's first two albums consisted mostly of cover versions; Cult was their first album to feature mainly original composition. Here, Apocalyptica also started using distortion effects much more boldly and frequently, which gave the album a more orchestral sound. There are some versions of the first release with "Path Vol. 2" as the first track and "Path" as the fourteenth. This is the last Apocalyptica album to feature Max Lilja on cello. The song "Hope Vol.2" has a music video which features scenes from the film Vidocq.

Hevein (band) Finnish band

Hevein was a Finnish thrash metal band from Helsinki with symphonic metal and neo-classical metal influences.

Apocalyptica released their fourth studio album, Reflections , in 2003. It featured all original songs. Reflections featured an experimental sound different from the acoustic arrangements of Inquisition Symphony and Cult. Dave Lombardo from Slayer played drums on five songs from Reflections. Session drummer, Sami Kuoppamäki, covered the rest. When Lombardo declined the following tour, Apocalyptica hired Mikko Sirén, who would stay with the band for future tours as well as the recording of the next album.

<i>Reflections</i> (Apocalyptica album) 2003 studio album by Apocalyptica

Reflections is the fourth studio album of Finnish metal band Apocalyptica, released in 2003 with a special-edition entitled Reflections Revised released in the later part of 2003 containing a DVD as well as the original album with five bonus tracks. The original slipcase cover is a picture of a burning cello, which is also seen in the inside traycard of all versions. The cover is similar to the cover of the film The Red Violin.

Dave Lombardo Cuban drummer

David Lombardo is a Cuban-American drummer, best known as a co-founding member of American thrash metal band Slayer. Lombardo played drums on nine Slayer albums, including the 1986 album Reign in Blood and the 2006 album Christ Illusion, for which he received critical praise. Lombardo's music career has spanned forty years, during which he has been involved in the production of thirty-five commercial recordings covering a number of genres. He has performed with numerous bands, including Grip Inc., Fantômas, Testament, and Suicidal Tendencies, in addition to Slayer. Lombardo is currently playing drums with Fantômas, Suicidal Tendencies, Dead Cross, and the Misfits.

Slayer American thrash metal band

Slayer is an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California. The band was formed in 1981 by guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman and vocalist and bassist Tom Araya. Slayer's fast and aggressive musical style made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. Slayer's current lineup comprises King, Araya, drummer Paul Bostaph and guitarist Gary Holt. Hanneman and drummers Dave Lombardo and Jon Dette are former members of the band.

Apocalyptica released their self-titled fifth studio album in 2005 which featured Ville Valo of HIM, Lauri Ylönen of The Rasmus, and Dave Lombardo.

<i>Apocalyptica</i> (album) 2005 studio album by Apocalyptica

The untitled Apocalyptica album is overall the eighth release and fifth studio album by Apocalyptica.

Ville Valo Finnish rock musician

Ville Hermanni Valo is a Finnish singer, songwriter and musician, best known as the lead vocalist of the gothic rock band HIM. Influenced by the likes of Black Sabbath and Type O Negative, Valo began his career playing bass and drums in various bands around his hometown of Helsinki. In 1991, he formed HIM, which would go on to become one of the most successful Finnish bands of all time, and the first to receive a gold record in the United States. Valo is also credited as the creator of the heartagram, the band's trademarked symbol. In 2017, HIM announced their plans to retire following a farewell tour that same year. The band played their final show on New Year's Eve 2017.

HIM (Finnish band) Finnish rock band

HIM was a Finnish gothic rock band from Helsinki, Finland. Formed in 1991 by vocalist Ville Valo and bassist Mikko "Mige" Paananen under the name His Infernal Majesty, the band broke up in 1993, before being reformed in 1995 by Valo and guitarist Mikko "Linde" Lindström. After being rejoined by Mige, as well as new additions keyboardist Antto Melasniemi and drummer Juhana "Pätkä" Rantala, the band, now called HIM, released their debut album Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666 in 1997. In 2000, now with drummer Mika "Gas Lipstick" Karppinen and keyboardist Juska Salminen, the band released the album Razorblade Romance, which reached the number one spot in Finland, Austria and Germany. Their first single, "Join Me in Death", also charted at number one in Finland and Germany, eventually going platinum and gold respectively. Following the addition of Janne "Burton" Puurtinen on keyboards, HIM released Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights and Love Metal in 2001 and 2003 respectively. Both cracked the top ten in several countries, and allowed the band to tour the United Kingdom and the United States for the first time.

Apocalyptica was on the track "Intro" from Bullet for My Valentine's album The Poison in 2005. The group performed with Marta Jandová and represented Baden-Württemberg in the Bundesvision Song Contest 2005 with the song "Wie weit", placing 5th with 77 points. [7] Mikko Sirén became an official band member in December 2005 having played around 200 shows with the band.

Bullet for My Valentine Welsh metal band

Bullet for My Valentine, often abbreviated as BFMV, are a Welsh heavy metal band from Bridgend, Wales, formed in 1998. The band is currently composed of Matthew Tuck, Michael Paget, Jason Bowld (drums) and Jamie Mathias. Former members include Michael Thomas, Jason James and Nick Crandle; the latter were on bass. They were formed under the name Jeff Killed John and started their music career by covering songs by Metallica and Nirvana. Jeff Killed John recorded six songs which were not released; two of these tracks were reworked later in their career as Bullet for My Valentine. A change of style from Jeff Killed John's style, led the band to change their name. In 2002, the band secured a five-album deal with Sony BMG. The band has stated that their music is influenced by classic metal acts such as Metallica, Iron Maiden and Slayer. The band is part of the Cardiff music scene.

<i>The Poison</i> 2005 studio album by Bullet for My Valentine

The Poison is the debut studio album by the Welsh heavy metal band Bullet for My Valentine. The album was released on 3 October 2005 through Visible Noise Records in the UK, and on 14 February 2006 in the United States, through Trustkill Records. The album included 11 new songs and two previously heard songs, "Cries in Vain", which was previously heard from their self-titled UK EP and from their US EP, Hand of Blood, as well as from "4 Words " was previously included on the same US release. Different editions of the album contain the song "Hand of Blood", previously heard from these EPs, replacing "Spit You Out".

Marta Jandová singer of Czech origin

Marta Verner is a Czech musician and actress, best known for being the lead singer of the German alternative rock band Die Happy. She represented the Czech Republic in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 along with Václav Noid Bárta with the song "Hope Never Dies".

Apocalyptica performing with Rammstein in Milan in 2005 Rammstein and Apocalyptica concert - 2005.jpg
Apocalyptica performing with Rammstein in Milan in 2005

Apocalyptica released their sixth studio album, Worlds Collide , on September 17, 2007. It was produced by Jacob Hellner. To the surprise of many, the album includes a remake 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". [8] 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.[ citation needed ] In 2008 the tour continued in the United States and included numerous festivals in Europe.

Eicca Toppinen 2018, With Full Force Apocalyptica Drive With Full Force 2018 22.jpg
Eicca Toppinen 2018, With Full Force
Paavo Lotjonen 2018, With Full Force Apocalyptica Drive With Full Force 2018 25.jpg
Paavo Lötjönen 2018, With Full Force
Perttu Kivilaakso 2018, With Full Force Apocalyptica Drive With Full Force 2018 23.jpg
Perttu Kivilaakso 2018, With Full Force
Antero Manninen 2018, With Full Force Apocalyptica Drive With Full Force 2018 24.jpg
Antero Manninen 2018, With Full Force

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. [9]

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 on Billboard's Hot Modern Rock Track chart and 2nd on Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart just after AC/DC and just ahead of Metallica, an ironic twist since the band's origins lie in 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, was released on August 23, 2010 in Europe (Germany on August 20, 2010), [10] and August 24 in the U.S. [11] The first single aired on radio June 29, 2010. [11]

The album features eight instrumentals plus four tracks with guest vocals. [11] The first single, "End of Me", features Gavin Rossdale, vocalist from the British alternative rock band Bush, who had previously collaborated with the band. Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo played on "2010." "Bring Them to Light" features Joseph Duplantier, singer and guitarist from the French death metal band Gojira. "Broken Pieces" is a collaboration with Flyleaf singer Lacey Mosley. "Not Strong Enough" was performed by Brent Smith, vocalist from (Shinedown). [10] "Not Strong Enough" was re-recorded with Doug Robb of Hoobastank before being released to US radio on January 18, 2011 due to distribution rights. [12]

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. [13] [14]

Apocalyptica performed live with Metallica on three songs, "No Leaf Clover", "One" and "Seek & Destroy" in celebration of Metallica's 30th Anniversary on December 5, 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 on October 28, 2011. [15]

Apocalyptica took a year off from touring and recording after concluding the 7th Symphony world tour in Beijing September 2012. [16] 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. There were two live performances in Wagner's birth town Leipzig, Germany on July 5 and 6, 2013. Eicca Toppinen arranged and composed the music for the production. [17] The band released an album titled Wagner Reloaded-Live in Leipzig, in November 2013. [18]

Apocalyptica released "Psalm" on May 10, 2013. It was performed by Perttu Kivilaakso on their most recent tour. The band also announced a tour with Finnish Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, which premiered in March 2014. The set will consist solely of instrumentally performed Apocalyptica songs, especially arranged for the band and the 25-piece orchestra. [19]

On October 21, 2014, it was announced on the Eleven Seven Music website that the band will be signing to their label. [20] Their eighth studio album, titled Shadowmaker , with Franky Perez singing on all vocal tracks, was released through Better Noise imprint of Eleven Seven Music Group in April 17, 2015. Regarding the possibility of having Perez as an official member, Eicca said "it's too early to think about it but nothing is decided! Now we got the record done and then we will have touring more or less for 2 years and at the end of that time or sometime during those 2 years we will know. But it wouldn't be an impossible option to have Franky [...]". [21] They also released a collaborative single with Vamps titled "Sin in Justice" on November 20. [22]

Apocalyptica made the music for the episode "On Finn Ice" of Rovio Entertainment's video game Angry Birds Seasons .

Apocalyptica celebrated their 20th anniversary of the first album Plays Metallica by Four Cellos in 2016 and was re-released with 3 brand new bonus tracks, a tour was based on the celebration with Antero Manninen returned to performing with them for the first-time after a 8-year haitus during his job as an orchestra cellist. On November 16, 2018, a live album version of the tour was announced containing, not only the original tracklists, but all the other Metallica songs they’ve covered on other studio albums and the inclusion of two unreleased covers and the 3 bonus tracks from the remastered first album.

Despite Manninen’s departure from the band in late 2018, they brought in a new touring member, Lauri Kankkunen, the first cellist of the Helsinki Chamber Orchestra, to continue on the 20th anniversary tour in April 2019.


Current members

Former members





Studio albums

Related Research Articles

Sibelius Academy Finnish music school

The Sibelius Academy is part of the University of the Arts Helsinki and a university-level music school which operates in Helsinki and Kuopio, Finland. It also has an adult education centre in Järvenpää and a training centre in Seinäjoki. The Academy is the only music university in Finland. It is among the biggest European music universities with roughly 1,700 enrolled students.

<i>Inquisition Symphony</i> (album) 1998 studio album by Apocalyptica

Inquisition Symphony is the second studio album by the Finnish metal band Apocalyptica. The album branches from their previous effort, containing only four Metallica covers. The remainder of the compositions are by Faith No More, Pantera, and Sepultura, as well as three originals by Apocalyptica bandleader Eicca Toppinen. In this album, some songs add percussive beats on the cellos. Max Lilja did the arrangements for "One". A sequel to "Toreador" appeared on the album Reflections.

<i>The Best of Apocalyptica</i> 2002 greatest hits album by Apocalyptica

The Best of Apocalyptica is an album released in 2002 by the cello metal group Apocalyptica. It contains covers from their previous releases and was only released in Japan.

Mikko Sirén Finnish musician

Mikko Sirén is the drummer for Finnish bands Apocalyptica and Megaphone. In 2013 he replaced Joe Letz as drummer of Emigrate. He also drummed for the Finnish rapper Cheek. He became part of Apocalyptica's live shows in 2003 but only became a full-time member in 2005 after over 200 concerts and a recorded album.

<i>Worlds Collide</i> 2007 studio album by Apocalyptica

Worlds Collide is the sixth studio album from Finnish metal band Apocalyptica, released on 14 September 2007. It includes special guests Till Lindemann, Corey Taylor, Adam Gontier, Dave Lombardo, Tomoyasu Hotei, and Cristina Scabbia. For the US release, a new recording of "I Don't Care" and a new mix of "I'm Not Jesus" replaced the original versions.

Im Not Jesus 2007 single by Corey Taylor Lennon and Apocalyptica

"I'm Not Jesus" is a song by the Finnish cello metal band Apocalyptica, featuring Corey Taylor from Slipknot and Stone Sour. The single was released on September 17, 2007 and again on March 4, 2008, on the album Worlds Collide.

I Dont Care (Apocalyptica song) 2008 single by Apocalyptica, Adam Gontier, Three Days Grace

"I Don't Care" is a song by Finnish rock band Apocalyptica, the song was released in 2008 as the third and final single from their sixth album Worlds Collide and features Adam Gontier on lead vocals. The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart for one week and No. 2 on the Alternative Songs chart where it spent a year in the top 20.

Live is the first official Apocalyptica DVD which consists of a recorded show in Munich, on 24 October 2001. It only includes tracks from the first 3 albums: Plays Metallica by Four Cellos, Inquisition Symphony and Cult.

Franky Perez American musician

Franky Perez is an American musician best known as a solo artist, singer of Finnish Cello-based rock band Apocalyptica, and as former guitarist for Scars on Broadway. He has released three solo albums, Poor Man's Son, My 4th of July and Addict, and performed with Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash in his live band before Slash assembled the touring band that backed him during his first full solo tour with Myles Kennedy. Perez has also collaborated with Slash's VR bandmate Dave Kushner, releasing songs under the pseudonym of DKFXP, as well as the virtual band Pusher Jones, contributing the song "Count Me Out" to The Avengers soundtrack.

<i>7th Symphony</i> (album) 2010 studio album by Apocalyptica

7th Symphony is the seventh studio album by the Finnish cello metal band Apocalyptica. It was released on August 20, 2010 in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, August 23, 2010 in the rest of the world, and August 24, 2010 in the U.S. and Canada. Released three years after their previous album Worlds Collide, Apocalyptica continues the practice of having 4 tracks with featured vocalists, while the remaining tracks are all instrumental. Dave Lombardo of Slayer is once again featured on drums, on the track entitled "2010". The band has been touring with touring vocalist Tipe Johnson in support of the album in Europe, Mexico, Canada, US and Venezuela since the summer of 2010.

Maiden uniteD band that plays acoustic music

Maiden uniteD is an acoustic project. Musicians from different bands join together to play an all-acoustic tribute to English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. The songs are played with new arrangements.

<i>Wagner Reloaded-Live in Leipzig</i> 2013 live album by Apocalyptica

Wagner Reloaded-Live in Leipzig is the first live album and eleventh album overall by the Finnish cello metal band Apocalyptica. It was released on 15 November 2013 in Finland and 18 November 2013 elsewhere. It was released three years after their previous studio album 7th Symphony. The time period allowed the band to prepare for a special live event to celebrate the anniversary of Richard Wagner's 200th Birthday. On 5–6 July 2013 the Leipzig Arena witnessed the sold-out première of Wagner Reloaded. This was a joint venture between German choreographer Gregor Seyffert and Apocalyptica. The event witnessed a blend of dance performances, circus and theatre arts, audiovisual effects, and live music.

<i>Shadowmaker</i> (Apocalyptica album) 2015 studio album by Apocalyptica

Shadowmaker is the eighth studio album by the Finnish cello metal band Apocalyptica. It was released on 17 April 2015 in Europe and Australia, 20 April in the UK, France and Latin America, 21 April in the U.S. and Canada and 22 April in Japan. It is the band's first album with one single vocalist, Franky Perez.


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  3. Musicmight bio by Gary Shape-Young
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Preceded by
Elena Paparizou
Eurovision Song Contest
Final Interval act

Succeeded by
Goran Bregović