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Crematory: Revolution

Germany's Crematory have returned to the gothic/death metal scene after a three-year hiatus with the brand new Revolution on Nuclear Blast Records. While the band has lost none of their "go for the juggular" attitude, Revolution sees much more progressive and electronic elements creeping into their music. Songs like the hook-laden "Reign of Fear" and "Open Your Eyes" features all sorts of orchestral keyboard work from Katrin Goger that complements the heavy guitar crunch from the hands of Matthias Hechler. Singer Felix Stass mixes clean vocals with death metal grunts impressively throughout the CD's twelve songs, and especially on the techno-goth metal of "Tick Tack", where his throaty growls give way to soaring clean vocals that reek of emotion.

At times I am reminded of a doomier, more symphonic version of fellow Germans Rammstein, another band who are real good at crafting catchy riffs that really groove and get you pounding your head. "Solitary Psycho" is a crushing rocker that has elements of nu-metal arena rock with its catchy hook and symphonic synth work, and "Human Blood" is just a scorcher with brutal guitar crunch and hyper-active rhythms from bassist Harald Heine and drummer Markus Jullich. Fans of prog-rock will revel in the gothic sounds of "Red Sky", an intricate and melodic number that again features many keyboard textures from Goger, whose playing throughout this CD is simply gorgeous and adds so many tonal colors to each song.

In summary, a solid release from Crematory that should see their audience grow with the recent addition of some more accessible sounds, much like their label-mates Amorphis are doing.

Track List
01. Resurrection
02. Wake Up
03. Greed
04. Reign Of Fear
05. Open Your Eyes
06. Tick Tack
07. Angel Of Fate
08. Solitary Psycho
09. Revolution
10. Human Blood
11. Red Sky
12. Farewell Letter
13 .Revolution (Videoclip)

Added: January 23rd 2005
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Crematory Website
Hits: 3949
Language: english

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Crematory: Revolution
Posted by Duncan Glenday, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-01-22 23:54:14
My Score:

They arrived in 1993, they helped defined the goth/death genre of music, they sold out to commercialism, and in 2001 they went away. And then they came back! Crematory's reunion album takes them back to their goth/death roots. Some commercial sounds remain, but listen carefully you'll hear a huge mix of interesting and varied influences, all wrapped in that signature sombre, dark romanticism

Opening track "Resurrection" starts with an almost symphonic, dark keyboard-driven sound with spacey electronica floating around the stereo field. So you're thinking progressive rock with a heavy rhythm section and with a bit of psychadelia thrown in - and then it fades into track 2, the power chords pick up a heavy distortion, and the deep death growls kick in, and all the while the electronica are still swimming around. Then there's a multi-part chorus of clean singing - and you're beginning to understand that you can't easily categorize Crematory's music. "Tick Tack" recalls Rammstein right down to the German lyrics. Not as dependent on clever riffs as Rammstein, and it's also a bit more sophisticated that their compatriots, but the similarities are striking. This album is rich with thick layers of keys, vocals that flip-flop effortlessly between death growls and easily delivered clean singing, dual guitars, and sampled effects. More important to this music is the tempo shifts between heavy and light, pop and metal, death and goth and power ballads and old fashioned hard-rock.

Crematory's dissolution in 2001 was driven by a frustration with the fact that they couldn't live off their music. On Revolution several sections are based in a 4/4 synth-pop rhythm and those spacey effects and the radio-friendly song lengths make clear their ongoing intent to reap commercial success from their music. If it is marketed properly, they just might manage to do so. The nature of this music is a a successful cross-over between commercial underground music.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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