Apocalyptica are a charting, multi-platinum symphonic metal band from Helsinki, Finland. Originally formed as a metal tribute quartet, the band eventually adopted a neoclassical metal style of their own without the use of conventional guitars. Their 1996 debut album Plays Metallica by Four Cellos, though provocative, was universally lauded by critics and embraced by extreme music fans globally. Their driving sound (often accompanied by other musicians) is created via sophisticated classical techniques, a knack for reinterpreting jarring, often percussive riffs and spiraling lead lines, and multivalent textures. It has succeeded in making them an arena rock institution across the globe. Far from a gimmick doomed to wear thin, Apocalyptica's cello rock dexterously explores the connection and chasm between classical and metal, balancing majestic, intricate covers with their own dark originals as evidenced by albums like 2007's When Worlds Collide. Initially an all-cello quartet, they have since become a trio and added a drummer and vocalist. For 2010's 7th Symphony, they worked with drummer Dave Lombardo (Slayer) and vocalists Gavin Rossdale (Bush) and Joe Duplantier (Gojira), among others. They have also have made guest appearances on albums by Sepultura and Amon Amarth, and once toured as Nina Hagen's backing band. While Apocalyptica's sound has shifted texturally and dynamically from their thrash metal beginnings, it has evolved; it is a progressive, symphonic metal profile — as displayed on later albums such as 2014's Cult, and the following year's Shadowmaker — that is often emulated.