Apocalyptica was formed in 1993 when four cellists, Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, Max Lilja, and Antero Manninen gathered to play Metallica covers at Sibelius-Academy. They performed in an after-Christmas party as a "Jailhouse Band" at the Teatro Heavy Metal Club. That evening the line-up was Toppinen, Lilja, Manninen and Perttu Kivilaakso (who was to join the band permanently in 1999.) Among the audience was Kari Hynninen, who worked for the independent label Zen Garden Records. After listening to Apocalyptica's set, Kari Hynninen signed them on the spot to Zen Garden Records.