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An Act Of Dark Kindness - 80%

Skarnek, January 21st, 2013

Great memories surround the sound of this band for me. I had first witnessed their fantastic sound on the very cool and informative compilation, Beauty In Darkness, which featured the song "Tears Of Time". The track was dark, yet comfortable, recalling the vibes I felt as a child when watching fantasy flicks. Hell, the vocalist even brings to mind Ludo from Labyrinth; the gentle-giant, good-guy monster with the imposing look and the soothingly gentle personality. This is what I feel is a perfect description of Crematory's music--ominous and slightly treacherous at first glance, yet kind, appealing, and loyal.

The loyalty is intact with Act Seven, as the band that struck such a nice chord in my heart back then is fully intact here, only changing in ways that are beneficial and welcoming. Since the integral foundation of Crematory is keyboard-garnished gothic death metal, it isn't (and never was) a surprise that clean vocals are heavily implemented on their mid to later release; this one being in the beginning of their mid-era. These vocals are very traditional goth vocals with a heavy German accent. For an extreme metal band devoid of blasts, tremolo picking, or any brutality whatsoever...subtle goth vocals are allowed. It actually goes quite nicely with the good-guy monster utterings.

There's also a nice emphasis on songwriting going on almost throughout the whole disc, and I only say "almost" because some of the slow, slower, slowest dirges of yawning refrains tend to personally kinda bore me. However, my subjective little problem there is not to say that they fail in this department. It's clear that these gloomy Germans write that way intentionally. For a good example of what I mean, consult the song "The Game". Their songs truly are sure to get stuck in your head whether you get bored easily or not. It really is a bad idea to put a Crematory album in your player when you're in the mood for death metal's key elements, but a great idea if you are just dark enough to appreciate growls in your goth. This is an album to sit and relax to, giving your metal side it's fix by offering just enough heaviness, yet also giving you a break from the metal world's abundance of skull-fracturing drones.

Gothic, Gothic, Gothic - 90%

di_piaza, May 27th, 2004

This is some fine Gothic-rock-metal, i agree that the old Crematory was better, darker, complex. I Agree that things have changed a lot because of that horrible self-title album where they try to capture some of the fame gained by bands like Rammstein and shit like that.
But, Awake was a good turn, maybe not a comeback, but a better turn that the one they took in the 1996's "Crematory" album.

And this "Act Seven" is the perfection of this new formula.
Pure fucking gothic, using all the ingredients in the right way.
Sharp guitars, mixed vocals (growls, clean vocals, female vocals), synth-pop keys and a little touch of complex arrangements.
The opener "I Never Die" (after the intro "Shining"), is a success, it has ingredients from the present and the dark heavyness from the past also.
But this album, has everything, hits like "Fly" and "Waiting", songs in the vein of the previous effort like "Moonlight" or "Awake" and more "experimental" stuff like "The Holy One" and specially "The Game" with a very old-gothic aproach in the vocals. It also features two ballads, "Memory" and the closing "Tale".

The songs have a very similar structure, but the band manages to make them special, the kind of songs that stick in your mind... and you like it!!!

The best production ever for the band, a mediocre artwork (as always too....) and the same kind of topic in the lyrics like in "Awake".

You should try, this effort from this germans, I think is their best since "Illusions", and better than the two latters, "Believe" and "Revolution".

All this, in my personal opinion, of curse...