Celebrating their 25th anniversary, German gothic metal band Crematory release their 13th studio album. Formed in Westhofen, German, in 1991, as a melodic death metal band, the band played many festivals (including Wacken four times), they have since moved in an industrial and gothic direction. Formerly on Nuclear Blast, the band are now continuing their success on SPV.
The six piece feature vocalist Felix Stass, guitarists Rolf Munkes and Tosse Basler, bassist Harald Heine, drummer Markus Jüllich and keyboard player Katrin Jüllich.
The album opens with the excellent Misunderstood, a building keyboard led intro that culminates in a solid chunky catchy track; the only downside for me is the growling vocals. The keyboards work well with the twin guitars in both a melodic and gothic power metal fashion.
Haus Mit Garten has a more industrial feel, and a mix of growl and clean vocals. Die So Soon has a dark gothic keyboard intro before the band come in, the clean vocals a nice touch to a catchy chunky riff.
Ravens Calling has a programmed intro and the clean vocals are dark gothic (a nod to The Mission), again the keyboards and guitars work well together.
Eiskalt has the growling vocals and again a programmed intro, the industrial sounds work well.
Throughout the album there is a keyboard lead, the guitars chunky and riff oriented, occasionally intricate. The layered vocal harmonies of Nothing work well, as does the rare guitar solo, but the programming and gothic / industrial / death edge really limited what the band can do, even with the melodic angles.
There are some excellent moments on this album, but do feel the band could be so much more. 7.2/10