Monday, August 5, 2013

August 5: Finnish cellist, songwriter & drummer, Eicca Toppinen of Apocalyptica, is 38-years-old today.

Eino Matti "Eicca" Toppinen was born August 5, 1975 in Vantaa's Hakunila, Finland. He started playing cello when he was nine-years-old. Eicca attended the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, where he met future Apocalyptica band members Paavo Lötjönen, Antero Manninen, and Max Lilja.

After graduating, he played for several orchestras, including Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Avanti! chamber orchestra. He's also a founding member of the Sibelius Academy's Cellosextet.

In 1993, when Toppinen was still studying in Sibelius Academy, the young Vivo Christian Orchestra played three songs from the Metallica album, Ride The Lightning. Thus, Apocalyptica was formed. The band is composed of classically trained cellists Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, and Perttu Kivilaakso (all three of whom are graduates of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki) and drummer Mikko Sirén.

Two years later, Apocalyptica performed at Teatro Heavy Metal Club in Helsinki, on the same night with His Infernal Majesty, later to be known as HIM. A week later, Kari Hynninen of Zen Garden Records contacted Eicca to discuss recording their first record, Plays Metallica by Four Cellos. They were later featured on two songs on the Waltari album Space Avenue in 1997.

In 1998, Apocalyptica released their second studio album, Inquisition Symphony, Although formed as a tribute band to Mettalica, their music borrows elements from a wide variety of genres including classical music, neoclassical metal, speed metal, alternative metal, post-grunge, hard rock, progressive metal, thrash metal and symphonic metal. They also incorporate some influences from Middle Eastern music, world music and folk music.

In 2003, Apocalyptica released their fourth studio album, Reflections, which consisted for the first time of all original songs. Reflections featured a more experimental sound, instead of the previous acoustic style arrangements found on Inquisition, Symphony and Cult.

Apocalyptica released their sixth studio album, Worlds Collide, in  September 2007. The album includes a cover of the German version of David Bowie's song "Heroes.” The seventh Apocalyptica studio album entitled 7th Symphony, was released in August 2010 in Europe and the U.S. The album features eight instrumentals plus four tracks with guest vocals.

On December 5, 2011, Apocalyptica performed live with Metallica on three songs, "No Leaf Clover,” "One" and "Seek & Destroy" in celebration of Metallica's 30th Anniversary.

While first writing songs for Apocalyptica exclusively, Toppinen also became involved in various other projects, such as the theatrical performance of Paper Rain and the Finnish Film Milja. In 2007, Toppinen composed the soundtrack for the Finnish movie Musta Jää (Black Ice). On February 3, 2008, he won a Jussi Award for writing the score. He also wrote the movie's main theme song, sung by Hanna Pakarinen.

In December, 2007, Toppinen was invited to the Finnish Independence Day Presidential Reception in Helsinki, which caused him to miss Apocalyptica's sold-out show in Strasbourg, France. This was the first time he had ever missed a performance by his band in 14 years.

Apocalyptica has sold over four million albums to date.


For more about Eicca and Apocalyptica, visit this Website:


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