Apocalyptica’s Mikko Sirén Picks Best Albums, Movie, Concert of 2019

Apocalyptica's Mikko Sirén (far left); photo by Ville Juuikkala

Finnish cello-rockers Apocalyptica first made their names with their neoclassical covers of Metallica songs. They then went on to make original music with big-name guest singers ranging from Slipknot and Stone Sour’s Corey Taylor to Lacuna Coil’s Cristina Scabbia and Rammstein’s Till Lindemann. Indeed, it’s been 17 years since the quartet released an instrumental album. That drought will end with the January 10th release of Cell-0, the group’s ninth LP, via Silver Lining Music. Apocalyptica recorded Cell-0 following a four-year break between albums, which gave the classically trained band members — Eicca Toppinen, Perttu Kivilaakso, Paavo Lötjönen and Mikko Sirén — a fresh perspective on their music. That fresh perspective has also been informed by the music, movies and other cultural experiences that the cellists have been exposed to and inspired by. As 2019 comes to a close, we asked Sirén to spotlight some of his favorite things from the last year, and he had some great picks, spanning pop, rock, metal and more.

1. Billie Eilish – We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
Even though it is hyped a lot, I think it is all for a reason. I think this is maybe the most innovative album of the year.

2. Slipknot – We Are Not Your Kind
Long-awaited album of one of my all-time favorite metal bands. It was worth the wait — I love it! It goes through the roof.

3. Joker
It’s not only Joaquin Phoenix, but it is the whole movie. The rhythm, the tone, colors, the music … This is a modern masterpiece.

4. Sting, concert in Helsinki
In all fairness I was little skeptical how it would work out still in year 2019, but I was blown away. A stellar performance of an mind-blowing band with songs you cannot deny.

5. Leprous – Pitfalls
I just recently found this band and I find that their latest release is absolutely stellar! I am truly looking forward to get to see them live!

6. Anderson Paak – Ventura
Album that Dr. Dre produced has got fantastic vibes of past time soul, hip-hop, Prince and more.