Since the very early 1990s, Crematory has blown up the German extreme metal community with their very own pioneering brand of eclectic music. Their inception followed with a few genre changes, line-up transitions, a wide plethora of releases unveiled through multiple labels and countless live shows. And, most recently, the now six piece outfit has released their newest full length record.
The latest album from Crematory, titled Oblivion, happens to be the band's fifteenth or so full length release. Its content is sprawling with nearly 50 minutes of gothic and industrial metal madness broken up into thirteen tracks. Released via the Steamhammer/SPV label, Oblivion features themes and concepts related to real life issues surrounding death and spirituality, as well as the occassional odes to The Rapture.
This new record has a lot of variety in terms of the vocal prowess in addition to the progression in the songs themselves. Some tracks lean more towards the balladic and mainstream type of sound while others take on a more gloomy, yet heavy tone with the growls and blasting guitar riffs. There are both clean and growled (unclean) vocals and the melodic aspects are pretty engaging in certain songs that consist of greater keyboard/synth exposure. Overall, I appreciated the Rammstein-esque elements combined with death metal undertones.
The softer songs on Oblivion are not as intruiging as the ones of the heavier variety. Execution works well for what it is, but the songwriting on tracks such as "Stay With Me" didn't grab my attention as much as others like "Salvation" or even the self-titled "Oblivion". Another thing to note is the lack of innovation on the part of the main guitar riffage and overall vibes, which make this release slightly less destructive on the instrumental front.
To top it all off, I will state that, while Oblivion certainly isn't anything special and doesn't particularly build upon anything that the band has done prior, it is still quite passable and does hold some merit to it. At the end of the day, Crematory has been through a lot...and this latest effort from the German gothic metal enthusiasts shows both wear and tear as well as maturity.
Fave Tracks: "Salvation", "Cemetery Stillness"
For Fans Of: Moonspell
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-Review by: Dave Raffy
Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter
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