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Shadowmaker is the eighth studio album by the Finnish cello metal band Apocalyptica. It was released on 17 April 2015 in Europe and Australia, 20 April in the UK, France and Latin America, 21 April in the U.S. and Canada and 22 April in Japan.[3][4] It is the band's first album with one single vocalist, Franky Perez.[5]

Shadowmaker
Apocalyptica - Shadowmaker, album cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released17 April 2015
GenreSymphonic metal, progressive metal, alternative metal, cello rock[1][2]
Length53:57 (standard edition)
65:16 (limited edition)
LabelBetter Noise/Eleven Seven Music
ProducerNick Raskulinecz
Apocalyptica chronology
Wagner Reloaded-Live in Leipzig
(2013)
Shadowmaker
(2015)
Singles from Shadowmaker
  1. "Shadowmaker"
    Released: 15 December 2014
  2. "Cold Blood"
    Released: 13 February 2015

Commenting on the album, member Eicca Toppinen said:[5]

Contents

Background and recordingEdit

After the 7th Symphony tour, the band took some time off and did nothing except for Wagner Reloaded-Live in Leipzig. After the break, they reunited and discussed the next album. According to Eicca, "[...] if we wanted to do something, we have to do exactly what we want to do and this record is the result of that, that journey. We wanted to challenge ourselves even more and we wanted to be tight as a band before the pre-production."[5]

Regarding Franky Perez participation, Eicca said the band composed many vocal songs for the album, and having multiple guest vocalists was not the most interesting option for them at the time, because it always involves contacting too many labels and producers and it is more difficult to control everything.[6] He also said the band was looking for a vocalist to make the entire record, tour with them and "make the whole thing more understandable for people, to make the working circumstances more comfortable for us where things are not so dependant on people outside of the band".[5] In order to find a singer, the label came up with a list of 20-25 suggestions. The band analyzed it and asked 5 of them to record something, and then they invited 3 of them to sing a section of "Hole in My Soul", one of the album's tracks. Perez was ultimately chosen and accepted it since he wasn't committed to anything other than his solo career.[5] Eicca said he "loves" Perez's voice and commented: "He's not just a regular singer. He has a very soulful sound and he's able to sing different styles which is perfect for Apocalyptica because our songs are not only heavy metal, it's a variety of different colors and different dynamics and the singer needs to match that. [...] We did a couple of shows in Canada last August, a test run and it worked perfectly together".[5]

The album was mostly pre produced in Nashville with producer Nick Raskulinecz, with additional work being done by the band in Finland.[7] Perez was part of the album's pre-production and helped the band arrange the songs,[5] and had only two weeks to work on everything.[8] Commenting on the recording process, Perez said: "We were a team, in that each one had the right to speak and every opinion in the room was completely taken into account and were valuable."[7]

Song informationEdit

"I-III-V Seed of Chaos" was conceived as the album opener, but it was one of the last tracks to be prepared.[9] "Cold Blood" was the last song to be written and was originally slower in its demo version.[10] "Shadowmaker" was the first song to be written. Toppinen explained he wanted the song to sound both as an instrumental and a vocal track. It was co-written by Johnny Andrews, with whom the band wrote song such as "End of Me" and "I'm Not Jesus".[11] "Slow Burn" is a "ballad that isn't a ballad" and was composed as a pair of "Shadowmaker".[12] "Reign of Fear", which was longer in its original version, is influenced by 1980's Thrash metal bands.[13]

"Hole in My Soul" is a ballad which Toppinen describes as an "emotional" track.[14] "House of Chains" has elements of nu metal, though Toppinen admits he's not a big fan of the genre.[15] "Riot Lights" was the second song written for the album, and was conceived to be a "catchy" instrumental song, and Toppinen recurred to trance music to get inspiration for the main riff.[16] "Come Back Down" was originally conceived as a seven-minute long progressive instrumental piece, but since it didn't reach the desired level, it was shortened and turned into a vocal track.[17] "Til Death Do Us Part" was originally just three minutes long, but Nick requested them to make it longer, and Toppinen expressed satisfaction with the result.[18] "Dead Man's Eyes" was created as a mixture of the best parts of two songs written by Kivilaakso. It is the ending track and Toppinen considered it a proper conclusion for the record.[19]

Track listingEdit

All tracks produced by Nick Raskulinecz.

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."I-III-V Seed of Chaos" (instrumental)Eicca Toppinen, Perttu Kivilaakso, Paavo Lötjönen, Mikko Sirén1:26
2."Cold Blood"Toppinen, Martin Hansen3:27
3."Shadowmaker"Toppinen, Johnny Andrews, Franky Perez7:35
4."Slow Burn"Toppinen, Andrews, Perez4:44
5."Reign of Fear" (deluxe bonus track, instrumental)Toppinen6:54
6."Hole in My Soul"Toppinen, Hansen, Perez4:05
7."House of Chains"Toppinen, Andrews3:28
8."Riot Lights" (instrumental)Toppinen6:40
9."Come Back Down" (deluxe bonus track)Toppinen, Perez4:24
10."Sea Song (You Waded Out)"Toppinen, Guy Sigsworth, Richard Walters4:54
11."Till Death Do Us Part" (instrumental)Kivilaakso7:50
12."Dead Man's Eyes"Kivilaakso, Perez9:42
Total length:65:15

ReleaseEdit

Shadowmaker will be released in five different formats.

Standard CDEdit

Contains the standard 10-track album.

Double vinyl LPEdit

Contains the standard 10-track album and two bonus tracks plus CD.

Mediabook deluxe CDEdit

Contains 12 songs (additional tracks being "Reign of Fear" and "Come Back Down").

Digital downloadEdit

Digital download version includes 10 songs plus 2 bonus tracks.

BoxsetEdit

A collector's boxset including limited edition CD, double vinyl LP, vinyl-sized special booklet, band photograph, Apocalyptica/Shadowmaker candlelight and download code for exclusive digital content.

ReceptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Altsounds     [20]
RAMzine     [21]
MusicReviewRadar     [22]

The album has received generally positive reviews; many praising Apocalyptica's constantly evolving blend of classic and metal, as well as the new lead singer, Franky Perez.

Samantha Wu of Lithium Magazine wrote the following in her review of the album, with regards to the new lead singer; "It appears the perfect balance: the lyrics don't take away from the orchestral instrumentation nor the cellos take away from the lyrics."[23] MusicReviewRadar stated “you can feel the good old Apocalyptica in a perfect connection with Franky […] dazzle us with rich, heavy and soulful tracks where the powerful chords fuse seamlessly with the menacing drum beat and grow in intensity until Apocalyptica burst into flames”.[24]

ChartsEdit

Chart (2015) Provider Peak
position
Finnish Albums Chart[25] IFPI/YLE 7
French Albums Chart[26] Media Control AG 76
Austrian Albums Chart[27] Media Control GFK International Austria 31
Swiss Albums Chart[28] SNE 15

PersonnelEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Friedrich. "Apocalyptica". Metal.de.
  2. ^ "Apocalyptica - Shadowmaker Review - Angry Metal Guy". Angry Metal Guy.
  3. ^ "Apocalyptica - Shadowmaker Release Dates, Tracklisting Confirmed; New "Cold Blood" Song Available". Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles. February 13, 2015. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  4. ^ "Apocalyptica: Entire 'Shadowmaker' Album Available For Streaming". Blabbermouth.net. April 16, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Schizodeluxe, Andrew (14 January 2015). "Apocalyptica talks to The Rockpit". The Rockpit. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  6. ^ "Apocalyptican jenkkilaulaja ylistää bändikavereitaan: He ovat käsittämättömiä virtuooseja". Radio Nova (in Finnish and English). Bonnier Group and Proventus. 7 July 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  7. ^ a b Tapia, Jorge Figueroa. ""Es un honor trabajar con Apocalyptica": Franky Perez". Daemonica (in Spanish). Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  8. ^ Leggs, Hayley (16 June 2015). "Apocalyptica interview @Download 2015 (TotalRock)" (Video). TotalRock. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  9. ^ "Apocalyptica - The making of 'I-III-V Seed of Chaos'". Apocalyptica official channel. YouTube. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  10. ^ "Apocalyptica - The making of 'Cold Blood'". Apocalyptica official channel. YouTube. 10 April 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  11. ^ "Apocalyptica - The making of 'Shadowmaker'". Apocalyptica official channel. YouTube. 10 April 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  12. ^ "Apocalyptica - The making of 'Slow Burn'". Apocalyptica official channel. YouTube. 10 April 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  13. ^ "Apocalyptica - The making of 'Reign of Fear'". Apocalyptica official channel. YouTube. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  14. ^ "Apocalyptica - The making of 'Hole in My Soul'". Apocalyptica official channel. YouTube. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  15. ^ "Apocalyptica - The making of 'House of Chains'". Apocalyptica official channel. YouTube. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  16. ^ "Apocalyptica - The making of 'Riot Lights'". Apocalyptica official channel. YouTube. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  17. ^ "Apocalyptica - The making of 'Come Back Down'". Apocalyptica official channel. YouTube. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  18. ^ "Apocalyptica - The making of 'Til Death Do Us Part'". Apocalyptica official channel. YouTube. 10 April 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  19. ^ "Apocalyptica - The making of 'Dead Man's Eyes'". Apocalyptica official channel. YouTube. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  20. ^ "Review: Apocalyptica - Shadowmaker [Album]". Altsounds. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  21. ^ Hemmings, Adam. "Review: Apocalyptica – Shadowmaker". RAMzine. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  22. ^ "Shadowmaker: New approach, same magic". Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  23. ^ "Apocalyptica Taps Producer Nick Raskulinecz For New Album". Lithium Magazine. April 16, 2015. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  24. ^ "Shadowmaker: New approach, same magic". MusicReviewRadar. 2016-07-19. Retrieved 2016-07-20.
  25. ^ Finnish Album Charts IFPI
  26. ^ France albums top 150
  27. ^ Austria albums top 75
  28. ^ Swiss albums top 100

External linksEdit