[image-4]Published May 22, 2008.
Cellos playing metal are no longer a novelty, thanks to Apocalyptica, but it continues to be a revelation. Longer strings really are heavier and the grandeur of the classics enhances each assault like a thunderclap across the ages. Vocals, furtively explored on the last album, are embraced on five tracks with the likes of Slipknot's Corey Taylor and Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil. Rammstein's Til Lindeman turns Bowie's "Heroes" (in German, "Helden") into an earthquake. Drums have an increased presence, edging the Finnish bow-wielders closer to mainstream metal. The act has come a distance from the highbrow contemplation of Metallica a decade ago.