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Cemetary's 'Black Vanity' (1994) is a record that I can call a classic. After that, Cemetary's releases disappointed me more and more every time they got a new one out. Cemetary, which was fronted by Mathias Lodmalm, quit in 1997 and Sundown rose from, supposedly cold, the ashes. More electro and goth tinged than Cemetary's dark metal, their music wasn't made for me. Suddenly in 2000, Cemetary 1213 was born.
Cemetary 1213 is not Cemetary. It mixes, well what a fucking surprise, Cemetary's darker metal and Sundown's electro and goth sides. There are metal riffs reminiscent of Cemetary, but usually they are just pale shadows of classy material of yore. Metal parts are more extreme than anything since 'Godless Beauty' (1993); growled vocals (by questing talents Manne Engström and guesting Anders Fridèn), double kick drumming and shredding guitars (e.g. on 'Firewire'). 'Anthem Apocalypse' is a trip to Gothenburg, Cemetary 1213 way. The metal element also has more modern feel, which is strengthened by the electric stuff. Sadly the drums are programmed, which lessens the impact a lot (okay samples, though). Dark alternative rock go hand in hand with Cemetary's metal leanings (e.g. 'Silicon Karma (It just Can't Stay the Same)'). Some of the songs have industrial pumping rhythms (e.g. nice slice 'Antichrist 3000'). Mainly, the songs are simplistic. They are too simple, actually, at smallest consisting of 2-3 parts only.
Mathias Lodmalm's voice is pretty one-dimensional. Pretty much love/hate affair. I like his crooning voice, there's no similar voice around. Thankfully there are a few guesting vocalists. Lyrical themes are varying. Man and machine future dystopias, Cemetary style darkness and guns. Yep, again songs about fucking guns!!! I'm full of 'em. I will never buy another album with a song about guns. No-fucking-way. Might be a tad tough to avoid the subject, though.
'The Beast Divine' isn't actually 40 minutes long, if you don't wanna count the silence found in the last track. There's a hidden goth song after the last one. Why, I ask? Are these funny things these song/silence/hidden song things?! The album is soon consumed and there's no enough positive things to keep me getting back to it. Pale shadow of good old Cemetary. Skeletal crow on the cover is a good metaphora: Body is mere bones, just like this is simple music, and feathers (a few positive things of the album) on its wings keep it still flying, but when they fall off, the crow falls... Easy-listening music, this. This is the only Cemetary 1213 album. And no, I haven't still tried the new Cemetary album 'Phantasma' (2005). I have no balls to try it. What if it is another letdown..? I should have learned already before I got 'The Beast Divine', that Mr. Lodmalm's too goth for me nowadays.
(originally written for ArchaicMetallurgy.com in 2005)
I bought this album about 5 years ago, and sold it about 4 and a half years ago. But, this review will be possible, thanks to the impact it had on me.
For starters, just look at the band photo. They say image isn't everthing... In this case they LIED! These guys make music just like they look... dank, angsty, and slightly effiminate. If I had to describe this album, I wouldn't say it was progressive, I'd say it was half-ass goth metal.
The songs all kind of meander, with a little bit of crazy synth thrown in here or there. The vocals range from weak whining to weak growling, and the guitars are more or less a formaility, as they crunch along in a bland way.
The only saving grace was Union of the Rats. Pretty good song, compared to the rest of the nonexistant metal on this release.
To be honest, I'd probably by this album again, just to see if my opinion has changed since I heard it last, but I doubt it. Even a friend of mine who liked Slipknot and Mudvayne said this was "Pretty damn gay." And I'll be honest I have to agree. Bad guitars, whiney vocals, with occasional allusions to nasal death-growls, drums that sound like they were made on Fruity Loops (and probably were). And the fact that they released one album under this moniker (I think they released a more broad spectrum of nearly successful albums under a different name) just provides testament to the fact that... well, even nu-metal kids wouldn't be caught listening to this.