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Here we go with Crematory's second album. Before I start, for those that don't know Crematory, they are a German metal band that started out as a total death metal act that sounded like Massacre, Sinister, and Nocturnus due to the keyboard usage and overall horror feel of their music. After their first album, they slowly disintergrated into a cheesy goth metal act that still used death metal growls from time to time and then completely turned into a goth/industrial act which isn't worth checking out unless you are a fan of those styles of music. Now I AM a fan of real Industrial music such as Skinny Puppy, Ministry, Swans, early Front Line Assembly, etc...but it's extremely hard for a metal band to perform industrial-influenced music unless you are Fear Factory, Aborym, Meshuggah, etc in my general opinion.
For "...Just Dreaming" we see less death metal ferocity as we heard on their demo and debut LP. Here we see even more goth keyboard usage and different tempo guitars, less double bass, almost sounding completely less of everything that would have them in the same level of ass-kicking music as the bands mentioned above. Oh, we still have vocalist Felix Strass with his killer growls, but the band aint doing the same. Here we also start seeing cheesy song titles that make you go "WTF?"...I mean "Only Once In A Lifetime" and the gay-as-fuck "I Saw Angels Fly". Need I say more? It's a far cry from killer song titles such as "Hall of Torment", "Deformity", and "Engulfed By Darkness". Even the artwork makes me scratch my head...their classic album in deceiving the listener "Awake" had better artwork than this even though it was a total Hypocrisy rip-off. A giant fucking melting face being pulled apart by chains over an endless cemetery? It's more cooler than a green monster with an image of a what looks like a dream-like heavenly paradise in it's mouth.
But aside from the usual complaints and bitching in regards to the band's evolving(more like devolving, IMO) the music is still good and listenable. One a small percentage of me is having trouble understanding this, but for the most part, I can listen to this and actually head bang to riffs here and there. The first half of the album keeps everything consistent while somewhere in the middle of "In My Hands" the music starts to change direction. "Dreams" starts off with tehcno-sounding arpeggios before the total tranformation of gothic/tehcno death metal. Oh and some lame-sounding yelping style vocals. The intro and outros are short.
Stick to the demo and first LP by Crematory. If you can handle this as well, pick it up. Just sucks at what Crematory COULD have sounded like instead of totally wimping out.
In the beginning of their career Crematory was a gothic-death metal band without the industrial influences; their new sound that is industrial driven gothic metal sound is weak when compared with the maturity of their former and original style.
The brutality of death metal is not present in these songs but the growls are there, the music overall is slow & heavy with the essential atmosphere that is present in gothic metal but not in death metal, but if you don’t like atmosphere in death metal songs then don’t worry, it won’t bother you as it has suited & supported the overall concept of the sound to quite an extent in all songs.
The vocals are mediocre but in few songs the range of the growls tends to vary, there are no clean & female vocals which maintains the mood of the entire album. The drumming is very rhythmic and is enjoyable than anything else in these songs, keyboards don’t have any flare & flashiness to them which is a good thing but fans of Finnish gothic / symphonic metal bands might not find it enjoyable, bass is not prominent and the guitars do not stand out as well but they support the music real well.
Songs like “The Instruction” & “Dreams” have few industrial driven keyboard preludes, songs like “Shadows of Mine” & “The Prophecy” are better than the rest of the songs. The last song of the album “For Those Who Believe” is not a metal song, it sounds more like a lullaby with grim atmosphere, it is different from the entire album and is very calming.
In few words the sound can be described as slow & rhythmic melodic death metal without any flare. Overall this is a nice album, no major flaw but the production is not impressive and it doesn't have any stand out classic songs, its pretty much slightly above average album, no need to buy it, download it and judge it for yourself.
This album is too lame for death metal fans and too dry for gothic metal fans.