Review Summary: By celebrating Richard Wagner's 200th birthday and going back to their original influences, Apocalyptica signs a wonderful tribute to classical music.
3 years after their "7th Symphony", Apocalyptica comes back with an absolutely superb and breathtaking show. As usual, the 4 Finnish tried something different and went where nobody could expect them. As always, the final result is the same : their music overcomes the common conventions.
The influence of classical in Apo's music is no new fact. But by celebrating (with the contribution of the MDR Symphonic Orchestra) the anniversary of Richard Wagner's 200th birthday, they finally came back to their very original influences. And paid tribute to the classical music. Some might say it's too pretentious to try to make re-live the legend of Wagner and adapting several of the German composer's masterpieces, but Eicca Toppinen (who composed every songs) is that kind of musician that never makes something without being sure if what he does worth the hearing. And after 7 albums, we could objectively have thought they had covered it all, that they couldn't go further anymore and that they have kind of closed the loop, but with Wagner Reloaded, they proved the contrary, the cellos still have things to make us hear and contemplate. Some songs in this live album, like "Fight Against Monsters", "Creation of Notes" or "Ludwig-Wonderland" can even be considered as some future classics of the group.
Apocalyptica's art is, above all, mainly a question of atmosphere, of feeling. Through this album, they recreate the mood of the ancient, classical music. Even if every song is different, is a new experience, they are linked by their propinquity with the works of the classical composers'. Some are quite disappointing ("Running Love", "Ludwig-Requiem"), but compared to the rest, it is nearly nothing. I felt like I was back in the golden age of music, surrounded by talented composers and musicians of Wagner's era. Each songs of the band, and this has always been, is like a flash-back. We leave our modern world and meet the essential, magnificent power of classical an sometimes romantic music. Last point : the fact there is just music and no vocal makes the whole more beautiful. After 3 albums with music and singing, we finally have back the Apocalyptica we love.
If maybe not the best of Apocalyptica, Wagner Reloaded will however remain as a new step in the impressive career of the group. To my opinion, artistically speaking, what they just did deserves unanimously recognition and, perhaps, congratulations. Trying to go on through a new kind of art (just like Pink Floyd with The Wall) was a very big test, and they brilliantly passed it.
Inspiration makes the biggest part. Talent does the rest.