Apocalyptica Reflections

Just to make things clear right off the bat; this is no phenomenal record. The more metallic riffs tend to be pretty traditional (very Master of Puppets actually), even if they are played on cellos, and some of the orchestral arrangements are a little over the top for melodrama. But there's a lot that’s good about Reflections too. Apocalyptica is excellent at using cello leads to replace the human voice, and Dave Lombardo’s drumming complements the songs he appears on almost surprisingly well. When the band brings their formal training in to break up those chugging (and often uninspiring) riffs, that’s when things generally start to get interesting. The quietly ominous "Cohkka” is an excellent example of how well the metal and classical can meld. There may be moments of mediocrity, but Reflections is worth getting just for bits like the "chorus” of "No Education” — it’s at those times when you can’t figure out why cellos aren’t a heavy metal staple. (Mercury)