Apocalyptica Worlds Collide

Apocalyptica Worlds Collide
Apocalyptica have come a long way from their first moments in the spotlight as cellists covering Metallica. Worlds Collide is a substantial heavy rock album straddling the divide between mainstream appeal and unconventional charm. The record (released last year in Europe) opens with signature Apocalyptica — an instrumental carried by the fusion of four-string melody, counterpoint and rhythm, supported by hard-hitting percussion. Tracks like "Last Hope” extend the usual formula, in this case with some serious metal guitar work (Japanese guitarist/composer Hotei, like long-time collaborator Dave Lombardo, is one of many guests). But "Stroke” is the album’s climax, a mid-point masterpiece of thrash-y aggression and irresistible harmony. Aside from a German cover of David Bowie’s "Heroes” ("Helden,” featuring Rammstein’s Till Lindemann), the vocal tracks on Worlds Collide are model commercial rock singles as radio-friendly as the singers who perform them: Corey Taylor (Stone Sour/Slipknot), Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) and Adam Gontier (Three Days Grace). The whole holds together well but is unquestionably watered-down, losing something as Apocalyptica expand beyond their niche. (Red Ink)