Apocalyptica

There's always room for cello
*special introductory paragraph!
*Plays Metallica By Four Cellos
*Inquisition Symphony
*Cult
*Reflections
*Apocalyptica
*Worlds Collide
*7th Symphony

Apocalyptica is a Finnish band that plays heavy metal on cellos. They were originally a cover band, but soon dropped that novelty approach and began creating their own music.


Plays Metallica By Four Cellos - Polygram 1996.
Rating = 8

Obviously a cover band is only as good as their material, but the Apolypticas pick some darn fine material to vwhump away at here! Eight classic Metunes including "Enter Sandman" (as heard in the fine film Your Friends And Neighbors and "Wherever I May Roam" (as heard in my apartment this morning when my dog was chasing a purple tennis ball up and down the hall). Neat effect, that chunka-chunka cello sound. Doesn't work for James Hetfield's vocals though. Too ON-THE-NOTE where James likes to swoop between notes. Other than that, fine work! The faster material certainly suffers from the lack of drums though. "Creeping Death" for example. The drums are like the main appeal of that song, aren't they? Fiddle-dee-dee!

Literally!!! Ha hahhah!!!!

Well okay, they don't literally "fiddle" their cellos, but the concept is the same. Using the bow and crap.

Reader Comments

DinoSergakis@aol.com
Great album, and it shows. THANK GOD, thay didn't play any alternative Metallica. That would ruin the whole album. Anyway I liked their rendition of Master Of Puppets, but boy did they cut it real short. I heard these guys on Mancow because my brother recorded it for me. Anyway some fan had told him that these guys played "One"(which doesn't appear on the album but on the next one Inquisition Symphony).

I was hooked on them because at the start it sounds like a romance song but when they got to the part with the bass drum solo that was it. I thought they couldn't play it but they pulled it off. Anyway to finish it up this is really cool playing Metallica instruments on cello. And one thing when I told all my friends about this at school thay did not even believe me. I played it for them some bought it others got it off "NAPSTER."

devilena@ca.inter.net (JM and Angel)
Honestly, I think this is pretty sad. Not only is this one of the most profound cases of novelty music I've ever heard, it's just so utterly pointless. Was that a redundant sentence? Probably. Anyway, there's something completely absurd about listening to four geeky cellists sawing away at "enter sandman", a pretty crap song to begin with, but oh man does listening to those cellos ever want me to hearken back to the original. This is the kind of thing four dudes in your highschool orchestra might do at one of those talent night things..and that's probably exactly what they did. There is really no point in listening to this, when you can either here the originals, some of which are actually pretty damn good, performed by a real band, or a real string ensemble performing symphonic music that doesn't need two/three note vocal lines or lame, frantic bow-sawing in place of palm muted chugga chug riffs. WHat a waste of time.

kathryna_@hotmail.com (Katharina Ko)
I think it was a really good idea to play metallica by four cellos...

I'm n a cello quartett and I would really like to play songs of them, too. But It's sooo hard and difficult to get notes... I love Nothing Else Matters... but it's easily impossible to get notes... can anybody help me to get some?

sk8erdragon_921@yahoo.com
Well you know what, devilena? no one cares what you think, anyway. I loved the album, especially "Nothing Else Matters." I applaude the celli. Encore!

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Inquisition Symphony - Polygram 1998.
Rating = 8

Branchin' out! Much like The Byrds' Turn Turn Turn album where they bragged that they weren't just a Bob Dylan cover band by only covering TWO Dylan songs, Apocalyptica here prove that they aren't just a Metallica cover band by presenting classical cello versions of hits by Pantera, Sepultura and Faith No More, along with a few originals (!) and only FOUR Metallica songs! WOW! Excitingly, most of the original material is really cool, emphasizing the HEAVY LOW tones of the cello and not looking dumb by imitating vocals with a big wooden instrument (cock). Otherwise, the same rules apply as the first album. You'll think it's funny, then you'll sing along, you'll get bored during the slow parts, you might miss the drums a bit - essentially these are novelty records, though the band would never, EVER admit to it.

OR agree to it.

Or not throw me out a fuckin Swedish window for suggesting it.

See that? From now on, I'm going to try not to use apostrophes in words like "fuckin," "strokin," "pokin," "dickin" and "stickin." Because if you're going to take the time to type an apostrophe, you'd might as well just type a "G" - am I right?

A lot of people think that I'm an asshole. Those people don't know the real me. I am a good, good man.

Unike Dennis Hopper, who slices his balls open with a knife everyday so he can suck the cum straight from the source, the douchebag.

Reader Comments

kalaviuh@hotmail.com (Kari)
Just wanted to add few things to your interesting reviews.

Apocalyptica is a Finnish band (Swedes would never be this inventive in music)!!!

I recommend the latest Apocalyptica album Cult which is coming pretty soon in an exclusive version, including couple vocal tracks. Great song called "Path" is sung by singer from Guana Batz. There's also some percussions on the album which sounds pretty cool too...

I would give 8 points for "Cult" too.

foland_ratzl@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
Even though a lot of the material are covers, the application and musicianship involved are fascinating! It's an original idea...these Finns do a great job of applying really fast, aggressive music to tradtional classical instruments without losing an ounce of the power or ferocity. Another band that plays harder music on mainly cellos is Rasputina, except they are three girls who write their own music. This type of stuff is great background music or has wonderful film soundtrack potential. I just love inventive instrumental music...so few bands write instrumentals nowadays!

CraZZd@firstlinux.net (Antony)
I found your review of Apocalyptica to be extremely narrow-minded. Apparently the only thing that came to your mind even close to this was country fiddling music. NO. In making that connection, you are smashing your own experience of the band to pieces. when you say something like, "essentially these are novelty records, though the band would never, EVER admit to it", you are forcing your own thought into being a statement. It's only a novelty because you don't like it. They are serious about this, why can't you see it that way? It's something different, and can work. Metal or hard rock music doesn't have to be on guitar, bass guitar, drums and have a singer.

You said that the first two albums would really benifit from drums. If you haven't noticed, they do cover the drum parts on their cellos in most of the harder songs, for example, Master of Puppets, Harvester of Sorrow, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Inquisition Symphony, Sad But True, Refuse/Resist, and Domination. I may have missed some, but the drum parts are definitely there. The thing is, though, that conventional drums don't go well with cellos. Orchestral percussion works fine for that purpose, and they do that on the third album, Cult.

And, I have to agree with Kari, on that you must definitely include Cult in your reviews.

giuseppinaritaconcetta.f@tin.it
Hey you fucking asshole! Why didn't you review Cult?

Oh, did I say "asshole"? I'm sorry. I really like your reviews. I think you're a nice man.

attikuslane@hotmail.com (Nina Clerecuzio)
i think its absurd simple minded creatures ( the ones writting in coherent stuff about apocalyptica ) can have at least the brain cells to think at all ,never the less write. How can some one :::: sighs :::: compare four grand cellist with country yahooling hill billie fidling. geezes christ , open your mind....think about it.I say Apocalyptica is spellbinding , very original , breath taking.You creatures need to feel the music , not just expect drums and that Bond music.:: shakes head , rolls eyes ::: they are doing something ...ORIGINAL . Not the same boring stuff we hear on the radio or in those non comercial band magazines , like magna carta.well this is all i have to say........................................

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Cult - Mercury 2000
Rating = 7

Failing the hundreds and thousands of fans who hoped that this would be a whole album of 'real winners' like "Love Removal Machine," Cult is Apiscopalian's first attempt to create a whole album of original music all by their lonesome (aside from an orchestral classic and a couple of Metallica songs at the end). They're basically good at what they do; i.e. be that the art of playing sorrowful bombast on the saddest-sounding instrument known to man (aside from 'the world's smallest violin,' which people are constantly playing for me -- it looks like they have a booger! Ha ha! A BOOGER!!!). Plus, much like The Byrds on Fifth Dimension, they've upped the ante(lope) third time out by bringing in a few more instruments (percussion and a bass, I believe) and running some of the cellos through distortion pedals for that crunchy heavy metal feel that you so seldom get from a string quartet. However, let's take a closer look at this.

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HA AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAH!!!!! OKAY, WHO ELSE JUST SHAT THEIR PANTS WITH LAUGHTER??? MY PANTIES ARE FULL OF SMELLY BROWN LIQUID HILARITY!!!!!

No but seriously. Let's take a closer look at this. What is Apocalyptica? It is a cello quartet best known for removing the "metal" from classically-influenced heavy metal, leaving behind nothing but the "classical." That's their schtick. And sure, their original material is every bit as moving, emotional, dark, melodic and expertly performed as any of your finest string-enhanced black metal (and they find so many different ways to play their instruments! Plucked, bowed, scraped, blasted, echoed, etc). But the fact remains that without electric guitars, bass, drums and a guy singing, it's just a bunch of fucking classical music. This is fine for classical music fans who don't mind a little darkness in their faggotry, but if you're a heavy metal fan into Apocalyptica for their novel reinterpretations of the music you grew up with, you're shit out of duck.

Still, I can't wait to hear their fourth album, because I want to compare it to Younger Than Yesterday by the Byrds.

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Reflections - Universal 2003
Rating = 8

When the board of directors at Universal Records got together in the early 00's to release a remastered version of The Byrds' 1967 Younger Than Yesterday LP, little did they know that they would accidentally record over the original studio tapes with a bunch of cellos playing heavy metal. It was an unfortunate incident for most, but Apocalyptica found a way to turn AIDS into Lemonade and the result, Reflections, is one of their best albums ever.

Why? What could have changed to turn this band into something so good on their own songwriting merits? Well, I'll tell you something that I feel straight from the brain to your ass: they've been listening to classically-influenced metal for so long that they know which formulas work. Just like Metallica used to, Apocalyptica know how to compose and arrange melancholy vocal lines (translated to "lead cello"), gruff chugging distorted rhythms and somber reflective passages in an intelligent way. And they pulled a real two-brainer this time around, hiring Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo to bring tight, fast and BRUTAL drumming to 5 of these 13 songs. Between that and the distorted stutter-viola chuggachunk-chuggachunk-chuggachunk, that's nearly 40% of the album dedicated to actual no-holds-back METTTAL!!!! The remaining tracks are mostly tear-inducing classical pain lines of pluckity/wavery Jellos, piano lines played on actual heartstrings and occasional drumless loud, distorted parts to remind you that, much like those worn by genetically altered fish, these are some Heavy Fuckin' Fins!

But that's not tall! They're also going beyond the usual gambit to bring to you a few tracks that don't fit into ANY category they've entered before: "Heat" is FUNKY! Heavy funky! And hilarious too, quite frankly, in an ironic Trans Am Miami Vice way (not sure if Aporelclystlpcisa meant it ironically, but if so, great work on the ironing! Now do my shirts!). Grammatical problem. I have two other songs to talk about. Let's try the colon trick again: "Pandemonium" is prog-math-metal ruined halfway through by a barfingly yucky speed viola solo that will totally gag you with a (metaphorical) spoon, dude. And here's another colon, so I can finish the paragraph: "Toreador" sounds like bullfighting music! With a horn crescendo climax and everygoddamnedthing!

Oh man, if you're into wearing pants, you GOTTA buy this album! It's PANTS-wearingly good! It's so good, when it's over you'll be wearing PANTS!

OH NO!!!! IT'S ALL COMING BACK!!! NOW I REMEMBER!! I WENT TO A CORPORATION TO HAVE ALL MEMORIES OF "PANTS" WIPED OUT OF MY BRAIN!!! BUT I WAS WRONG!! I WANT THEM BACK!!!! TECH SUPPORT!!! TECH SUPPORT!!!! I WAS IN A CAR WRECK AND NOW MY FACE IS DISFIGURED!!!

Shit, I totally just combined two movies, didn't I? Why, I'm a regular Todd Solondz! (*zooms in on a puddle of ejaculate*)

Reader Comments

chrisburmann@web.de
I like apocalytica, I like the sound of the Cello. And I thing, to play such famous songs on such an old instrument is the best idea I have ever heart about.

I am playing Cello and I would like to play some songs of Apocatytica. But it is impossible to get notes. Can you help me to get some, I would be very glad.

jaca@bankerinter.net
I will be very happy if you can help me to finde out some notes.

I am plaing cello and i would like to play some songs of Apocalyptica.Can you help me? :)

lynnesmorgan@btinternet.com
You can get their music by going to the shop on their website (www.apocalyptica.com) and buying it. You get a score and all the parts, so the prices are pretty good, and you can download it direct from the site.

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Apocalyptica - Universal International 2005
Rating = 5

Choosing to skip The Byrds' final pop masterstroke The Notorious Byrd Brothers altogether, Apocalyptica has chosen instead to record a bland, tepid collection of tracks not unlike the traditional country numbers found on Sweetheart Of The Rodeo. It's possible I'm just sick of cellos, I guess. But I swear to God, every "lead cello melody" on here sounds identical. Just cold depressed gothy suicide crap like some black metal bunch of boring string-laden jerks. Plus there's a few songs with vocals, and you know how THAT can be. The guy sounds young and slightly crackly, like a professional youth angst singer graduate from the Berklee School of Linkin Park.

On the bright side of my pants (where I urinated, rendering my previously clear pant groin a shiny sun-esque yellow in stark contrast to the muddy "swamp rock" brown smothered across the posterior), the rhythm cellos are still distorted and crankin' out some mean - and FAST - thrash rhythms and oft-intriguing chord changes. Let me direct your earhole to the chunka-chunka-chunka headbanger "Distraction," diddly hammer-on Van Halen cellos of "Misconstruction," awesome speed-tastible choogle of "Fatal Error," and eyelid-flappingly rapid jigga jigga jigga aggro-bowing + swizzly scrapy production effects of one of the CD's two honestly GREAT songs, "Betrayal/Forgiveness." The other 'must-ear' is, ironically enough, a slow ballad. A regal, forlorn ballad. A beautiful, sad and wonderful ballad that will break your heart and glue it back together with a cello string. Its name is "Farewell," and please don't confuse it with the album's shitty other sad ballad, "Bittersweet," which sounds like Linkin Park with cellos.

So that's my opinion on the disappointing new Apocallycpticlcia CD. The lead cello melodies are lazy and interchangeable, wasting a nice batch of thrashin' cello rhythm tracks on boring classical dog pollution. But check this out - on vacation last week, Henry The Dog got to chase deer and a wild turkey! And we ran across a deadly poisonous copperhead snake on our PATIO! And tonight I bought five Audio Stag/Funky Finger albums at Kim's Underground for only 10 dollars apiece!!! Can you believe some moron priced them that low!? I nearly ripped my eyes out and threw them across the room! In fact, I DID rip my eyes out and throw them across the room, resulting in my unfortunate purchase of the entire Elton John catalog. But fuck my ass -- TEN BUCKS APIECE!? Also, I thought of something hilarious that a fraternity person boy can say in court when he's charged with date rape. Check this out if you find yourself in such a situation -- when the judge says, "You honestly feel that this sex was consensual?," stand up proudly, smile your finest shit-eating grin and reply, "Well, her 'CON' (cunt) sure felt 'SENSUAL' to me!" I did this after fucking a retarded little kid once and the judge laughed so hard he ruled that the kid had to suck my dick every day for a month!

Reader Comments

ImMysticMargo@aol.com
i dont know whats up with you, but i find no good in your reviews. your not sapose to write what you think is wrong, but what you liked about it. whoever taught you this way of living is one hell of a depresed person, so you are too.

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Worlds Collide - Universal 2007
Rating = 6

Much like The Byrds' Ballad Of Easy Rider, this record is slightly more creative than its predecessor, yet it still only hints at the power and majesty that the band once possessed. Another similarity between BOER and WC (aside from their self-deprecating initials) is that each record features a larger-than-usual selection of lead singers. However, Apocalyptica chose to hire the vocalists from Rammstein, Lacuna Coil, Slipknot and Three Days Grace rather than pulling a Jim McGuinn and just letting a bunch of hillbillies drawl all over everything. This is a shame because nothing goes together like hillbillies and fiddles, and Apocalyptica is a whole band of fiddle players. As The Guess Who once sang, "F-I-D-D-L-I-N spells 'Fiddlin'!" And as The Who once sang, "Now I'm doing what I want to: Fiddling About"! And as The once sang, "fiddle."

Observation: Cellos sound so SAD! Who invented them, and why was he so sad?

ANSWER, COURTESY KITT THE TALKING CAR: He was an instrument maker in Bologna. He was sad because he was sick of Bologna.

This album, like many other Apocalyptica albums, utilizes distorted cellos as rhythm guitars, acoustic cellos as lead voices/instruments, and drums as drums. They also use a maraca as a piano and one guy plays a refrigerator like a 60-piece jazz orchestra but the ca

The band members uncover and display some extremely thought-provoking instrumental tones and effects, but the whole schtick gets kinda samey after a while, what with the corny 'METAL' chord changes and ever-melancholy lead hooks. They're certainly a talented troupe, and every song is played exceptionally expertishly, but in a world where you can buy String Tributes to everybody from AC/DC to The Flaming Lips, the novelty of cellos being used as rock instruments just isn't enough to make up for soundalike songs. The best tracks on here are simultaneously regal, emotional and melodic (the first two songs and the CD-closer are particularly well-written in this regard), but elsewhere the players just seem to lollygag along on the same cold goth mood they've been riding for the past few albums.

More than anything however, what this band needs to avoid in Future Days if they CAN are songs with vocals. For some reason, whenever they decide to write a song for vocals, they turn into Linkin Park. Out come the same "quiet verse/loud chorus" dynamics, the same obvious STUPID angst-ridden chord changes, and the same self-pitying crybaby vocal style (no matter who they get to sing it!). I have to assume that idiotic shitrock like "I'm Not Jesus" and "I Don't Care" is included just to keep the record company happy, because there is otherwise no excuse for such a cultured and thoughtful quartet to reduce itself to this level of middle-of-the-road teen-pandering. And ditto for throwaway goth ballad "S.O.S. (Anything But Love)"!

Having said that, it shames me to admit that one of my favorite songs on the record is a David Bowie cover. They get Rammstein's singer to croon the German version of "Heroes," and it's a lovely tuneful pop-rock meisterwurk. So maybe I do like David Bowie, even though I can't stand him. Fuck You "Heroes"! No wonder Glen E. Friedman put out that book. I should put out a book too, but there's something wrong with publishers. Look, here's a crossword puzzle I made up:

1 [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

ACROSS
(1) WHAT JESUS DIED ON

See? That's too good, and Doubleday is scared of my challengingness.

Reader Comments

nanja_monja@hotmail.fr
Maybe you mean "Meisterwerk"? With an E. And a capital. Every noun has a capital in German. They tried to teach me this language for seven years, and it's the only thing I've ever understood.

Anyway, now you like a Bowie song hahahaha!!!! Soon you'll be wearing makeup and outrageous glam clothes! (which would suit you quite horribly, but that's not the question)

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7th Symphony - Universal 2010
Rating = 6

THE WEEPING CANCER OF AGONY
Shooting Script

Narrator: That young man in the jail cell is 16-year-old Jimmy "Woody" Woodruff. Once was a time Woody felt that relaxing classical music was Kicksville and brain-rotting rock music strictly Squaresville. Then one day a slick fellow at his school convinced him that he would be more popular with the gang if he listened to 7th Symphony, a dangerous new record that combined the instruments of classical music with the anti-social attitude of rock and roll. But little did Woody suspect where this album would soon lead him: down the road of juvenile delinquency, poor grooming, and finally the committing of a fiendish crime.

Narrator: Make no mistake: distorted cellos sound like distorted guitars. And distorted guitars are the Devil's Dynamite. Furthermore, cellos by their very nature sound somber, where a smile would be a much healthier and more appropriate expression, particularly at the dinner table with family. And finally, several of the 7th Symphony compositions feature eerie high-pitched playing above the heavy chord chugging, which Jimmy "Woody" Woodruff unfortunately and immaturely concluded to be loads more fun than joining the Church youth group for a skating party or weenie roast.

Narrator: As future citizens of America, it is crucial that young people develop proper attitudes, be considerate of others, and devote themselves to pleasant conversation. But this goal is a fool's paradise when their malleable minds are molded by the poisonous siren songs of sorrowful instrumentals, metallic scorchers and radio-friendly Linkin Park shit music with guest vocals by Shinedown's Brent Smith, Bush's Gavin Rossdale and Flyleaf's Lacey Mosley. The next thing you know, instead of holding a bake sale to raise funds for a children's playground, they are writing off moral rules and moral norms as silly and sissy stuff. "Nobody is going to tell me what to do!" they snort childishly, and the Communists win.

Narrator: Not too many days ago, Jimmy "Woody" Woodruff was happy and healthy. Now his young body is crushed and wracked with pain. But he called the tune and he must face the music. Not this music though, hopefully. Between the authority-challenging opening epic "At The Gates Of Manala" and the anti-authoritarian closing epic "Rage Of Poseidon" lies a minefield of malevolent messages with the power to turn even the most courteous youngsters into hardened criminals. "What could be harmful about a song called 'Beautiful'?" Woody asked naively, not recognizing that behind its facade of regal classical majesty lay a world of squalor, dirt and confusion. "And how about 'On The Rooftop With Quasimodo'? That's named after a book or something and thus must be educational," he wanly tried to convince himself, failing to equate its morbid atmosphere with the bullying, homosexuality and car theft that are inevitably caused by exposure to rock music.

Narrator: You sure thought you were smart, didn't you, Woody? Yeah, a pretty cool character. Yessir, you felt pretty pleased with yourself. But now, rather than charging ahead in the world with ambition, here you are in jail -- just another bum with pinworms. Why couldn't you see that the speedthrash riffage of "Bring Them To Light" featuring Gojira's Joe Duplantier was bound to turn you into a bad person who tries bad things? And how were you so easily fooled by "2010" featuring Slayer's Dave Lombardo -- yes, he plays some awesome drum fills, but if he thinks he's outgrown church, what kind of citizen is he, really?

Narrator: Even as Jimmy "Woody" Woodruff sits here awaiting his punishment, other misguided and under-supervised young people are discovering 7th Symphony and concluding that it sounds pretty swell to them too. In fact, aside from the radio-angst Linkin Park shit, Apocalyptica has devised a powerfully devious tool for infecting children's minds with the virus of immoral conduct. It worked on Jimmy "Woody" Woodruff, and he will be saddled with the guilt of his crime for the rest of his life. Will you make the same mistake?

Voice-Over Broad: So remember these tips for becoming a responsible and healthy adult:

1. Accept responsibility and discipline.
2. Understand the cooperative terms on which society exists.
3. Help a man whose hat blew off.
4. Blow a man whose hat fell off.
5. Remember that you can't spell "Menstruation" without "Men."
6. Don't squeeze your Fallopian Tube and expect toothpaste to come out.
7. Control your emotions. One good way to "cool down" when you're upset is to count from 1 to 10 and then punch somebody.
8. Proper grooming is a very important part of growing up. There's nothing a fellow likes less than an eight-year-old with a gigantic bush.
9. It is considered impolite for a girl to expect a goodnight kiss after a first date, while her mouth still smells like sperm.
10. Nobody likes a grouch. So lend a hand when they're kicking the shit out of him.
11. In the event of an atomic bomb explosion, don't bother to "duck'n' cover" because it's "fuckin' over."
12. Always wear a seat belt, even when traveling on foot.
13. Protect yourself! You must think about safety all the time! ALL THE TIME! This text is giving you eye cancer RIGHT NOW!

Produced by Encyclopedia Britannica Educational Films
On behalf of O'Malley's Anti-Cancer Monocles: "If you don't want eye cancer... Then wear an O'Malley's Monocle, you fancy dancer!"
1951

Reader Comments

soul_crusher77@hotmail.com
I haven't heard this album. However, the review is hilarious. I recommend that someone with video editing software, the ability to do a good "serious announcer guy" voice, and a fair amount of spare time should make an actual 50's-style instructional film based around this script and upload it to the youtube. I'm not doing it, because I only fulfill the "spare time" requirement. One could record their own footage with someone playing Jimmy, but I actually imagine the results would be funnier if the visual component was just footage taken from the Prelinger Archives (http://www.archive.org/details/prelinger) edited together to fit the narration.

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