Apocalyptica – Shadowmaker Album Review By: MelodicEnmity
I want to first start off by addressing the elephant in the room. Yes, Apocalyptica’s “Shadowmaker” is different than any other previous Apocalyptica offering. Unlike past albums that were instrumental rock cello music with the occasional guest vocal, “Shadowmaker” brings in vocalist Franky Perez. With the release of the single “Cold Blood,” all the internet trolls, in their infinite wisdom, have been quoted as claiming that Mr. Perez cannot sing to save his life, writes like an 8-year-old, and that the band has lost all of what makes them special. …those are unfortunately just some of the less colorful ones. So, I’m here to say this: Since when is change such a bad thing? If Apocalyptica kept making the same record over and over again, no matter how hauntingly beautiful, it would begin to get old. Musicians as a whole mature and desire to try new things. Honestly, I believe “Shadowmaker” is a risk that well paid off.
For starters, Franky Perez has an excellent voice and does write lyrics proficiently, with much heart. And, to address the other issue that some people have found regarding the music, is that yes, some of the cello riffs have been simplified to fit the greater good. Meaning that the songs are written and arranged cohesively, in order to not take away from the other instruments, including the vocals. Just because Apocalyptica have taken a different approach on this album, thus sacrificing some aspects for others, does not mean that they “gave up” on the musical ideals that made them what they are today. In fact, this album still shines with those same beautiful, hauntingly intricate cello lines that made Apocalyptica so special in the first place. Heavy, yet gorgeous and melancholic, yet uplifting. Also, in my honest opinion, “Shadowmaker” features the best drumming of any Apocalyptica record prior, which is simply the icing on the cake.
I am in love with the tracks “Slow Burn” and “Hole In My Soul.” I find myself listening to some of these songs on repeat for hours, thinking that I have only played them a few times. That said, “Shadowmaker” has some real power behind it. It is different, and you cannot blame the band for wanting to change things up a bit. You should really go into this album with an open mind and not ready to judge it for being different. If every time someone who tried something new was shunned, most of the things we love today would have never came to be.
Apocalyptica’s “Shadowmaker” comes out in the USA tomorrow, 04/21/2015. It is worth the ticket price and more.