Apocalyptica is one of the best metal orchestra tribute bands known in the music world… or at least they were. Long ago they released a debut that covered Metallica songs with only four cellos. Since then, they are still using the cellos as the sole instruments, but they've become more than a cover band. With Inquisition Symphony Apocalyptica takes things a step further by creating more original music while still living up to their expectations as an orchestral cover band.
The music is very simple on Inquisition Symphony. Don't expect long trumpet sections, extended flutes, and any sort of vocals whatsoever. The music speaks for itself. Metal music fans will find covers of Pantera, Faith No More, Sepultura, and of course, Metallica. However, the sound is a bit cleaner on this album, and heavier, than the earlier Metallica tribute album. The opener, "Harmageddon," hits hard and fast with the cellos wailing away. Sadly, the cellos all seem to bleed together and create more of a wall of sound that can be hard to enjoy. Tracks like "Refuse/Resist" and "Dominate" do this as well. The quieter tracks — all Metallica oddly enough — allow the cellos to be appreciated more with their beauty and quiet sound while still retaining that metal feel. Other Apocalyptica original symphonies like "M.B" and "Toreador" are more mid paced, balancing the speed and heaviness with the quieter orchestral elements of the cellos. This would be a staple in their future albums, which would also begin to acquire more instruments, as well as vocals.
Perhaps the best thing about Apocalyptica is they aren't a band to go all out when they do their cover songs. This isn't to say they are not a hard working band; in concert they work their strings to death. Instead, they take the best of the metal songs they cover and stick with that. Take a note of "Nothing Else Matters;" it's about two minutes shorter than the original one by Metallica, but it still sounds just as good if not better. Lots of cover orchestra tribute bands try to perform certain notes or melody lines that just do not sound good on cello or violin or flute as it does on the guitar. The same could be said for a metal band trying to cover a piano ballad by a non metal band. There's just some things that can't be done and Apocalyptica understands these limits, which is why they are one of the best in the cover band genre. They would continue to expand from their work on Inquisition Symphony to create more complex songs, but never losing their passion or musicianship.