without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
I confess I used to like Crematory. In fact, Believe used to be one of my favorite albums a long time ago. Well... time has passed, I discovered more bands, I've become more critical... and Crematory is no longer one of my favorite bands...
This album starts off with the intro "Redemption of Faith" which is pretty useless as there's not much instrumentation to speak off. Then "Endless" starts. Keyboard intro, with some guitar on the background... then comes the verse. And wtf is the guitar doing?! I've heard similar riffs on an alcohol-fueled car engine being started on winter. Also I can't say I like Felix's vocals too much... they sound so... average... they seem to lack something. Ok, now here comes the chorus. Don't ask me what the lyrics are about here... I'm damn confused... I guess they're just repeating the song name over and over again until you're singing along. Back to the verse... and the chorus again. Hahahaha, now it has the clean vox together. It sounds kind of goofy imo, and the lyrics are cheesy as hell. "Let me be your everything when I'm looking at you, let me see you when I'm king, when you are my something" wtf? enough, next track, please.
"The Fallen"... keyboard intro again... I hear a bass... and there's the drumming... then the guitar kicks in but is still being drowned by the keys. Now the verse. Where did the guitar go?? oh, no, and more hideous clean singing... the vocalist who does the clean vox at times reminds me of that guy from Green Day... and that's never a good thing... The guitars come back during the chorus, but I'm having trouble telling what they're doing, because of those annoying keys! The chorus' lyrics are funny, it's like they're trying to teach someone phrasal verbs in English. Now the verse again... then back to the chorus and... A GUITAR SOLO! Hey, it's actually a pretty good one... makes up for the car engine riffs. Verse+chorus and then the song ends.
Then "Take"...it has a... keyboard intro! I bet you weren't expecting it, huh? well, this one actually sounds good... like the music from some old movie.... but at least this time the piano doesn't dominate the song. This song is a bit more aggressive, but the guitarwork is still pretty boring. I can't say much about the lyrics, though, as they're in German, but the chorus in English is laughable.
"Act Seven" has a... you guessed it, keyboard intro. The riffs here are actually not so bad and the chorus is groovy but a little too happy and light, which pretty much destroys the mood for the song's dark atmosphere (it seems the keys are good for something).
"Time for Fears" is.. the almost the same thing as "Tears of Time" from one of their previous albums!!! But with a slightly different melody... and it's actually worse and with different lyrics. Hell, even the title is similar. Enough, next!
Eternal and Unspoken follow the same formula with keyboard intros (though the intro for Unspoken is actually pretty good) and car engine riffs. See a pattern here? so do I.
On to "Caroline"... ok, now THIS is how an intro should sound like. It's atmospheric and melancholic... but then the verse comes... and they blow it! Shitty (though speedy) riffs, technoish keys and lyrics that seem written by a 13-year-old (The fire of passion burns like the loneliness without you?? LAME!). The chorus comes and... well, there're only 3 more songs before the album ends and it seems they still haven't started the car up yet.. and the clean vocals sound like a Brazilian country singer. Also, nothing is sexier for a girl than a fat dude growling out her name. Oh, yeah! ...*sigh* what a pity, this song had so much potential...
Oooh, "The Curse" actually has a nice intro (very little keys, cool guitar riff). Then on verse the riffing sounds pretty generic, but at least the keys don't get on your nerves... and the lyrics aren't childish.. and.. ooooh, there's another pretty guitar solo! It's a cool and emotional one. The vocals are also a bit better here. Anyways, a highlight on this album.
"Why" has a nice acoustic guitar intro with clean vocals that sound actually pretty good. Then the electric guitar soons makes its appearance and I dunno if all this chugging has affected my mind but I think it sounds better here. The chorus is also pretty good, (though I think it gets repeated too much... which is the only reason this is the longest track on the album) and the keys are very well used on it. Another highlight, I guess.
Now, the last track, "Perils of the Wind"... is a piano ballad. It's actually pretty nice. The piano sounds pretty good, though the vocals are a bit funny, especially since he tries really hard to sound emotional. But it's not a bad track, I guess. A break from all the chugging can't be bad.
Overall, as you may have noticed the songs here all follow a similar pattern. Intro (normally keyboard) and then verse, chorus (that attempts to be catchy), verse structure, sometimes with a little variation. The keys alternate between piano sound, string ensemble and technoish noises and completely bury everything else... including the guitar! Not that many good riffs are played anyways... I mean, well, I know gothic metal doesn't have such a huge focus on guitars as the other genres do, but this is too much. They're not heavy, they're not melodic, they're not catchy, they're just there! Well, maybe I might be being too harsh... it sounds not so bad for rhythm but it lacks a lead... maybe if they had a second guitarrist...
The drumming is ok (some cool double bass here and there) and provides some energy and the bass on the few occasions it can be heard properly (the keys are above everything!) sounds not too bad. As for the vocals, I guess I've complained enough about them. However, I can not stress enough how silly are the lyrics they sing. They're childish and make absolutely no sense, often making references to love (at least 5 songs say this word... most of them do it more than once), hope (4 times) and life (amazing EIGHT repetitions) and are a serious rival to [insert power metal band name here] when it comes to cheesiness.
Anyways, though they have all these problems I've pointed out, I'll admit they often do set up a nice atmosphere and sometimes a cool guitar riff appears here and there, as well as the 2 great solos, but there's not much besides that. As an appreciater of gothic, doom and all kinds of melancholic metal, I can't say I reccomend this album.
Like stated in the previous reviews, it really sucks that the band disbanded. Thankfully they left us with a truly awesome cd. I won't both describing anything else about the band and get right into the music.
Redemption Of Faith - This is an intro track and is to me, a useless track. I almost always skip this, as I want to get right into the music & not wait almost 3 mins with this song. It just features keyboard & ambient noises, with some spoken German vocals.
Endless - Ah, the music I've been waiting for. It starts off with drums & keyboards, before leading into a heavier verse, with the "harsh" vocals, though the lyrics aren't death metal or anything at all. After about 1:30 the clean vocals make their first apperance. They are really well done and its quite similar to Opeth in terms of going from heavy to soft vocals, but not completely, as Mikael goes totally death metal to totally soft/clean. This song features a strong chorus and is a good tune.
The Fallen - This song starts off again with keyboards & drums. This song reminds me a lot of Amorphis and I could see this song being on Tuonela. It starts with clean vocals and is very easy to get into. Some heavy vocals do appear, but not much, but make an impact when they do. This song has a cool heavy part where the guitars come in and make this song even better. One of the best songs on the cd.
Take - A haunting piano intro soon connects with keyboards, before the guitar comes in. The way it all fits together is amazing and it just has a cool sound that I really can't describe. We're back to the heavy vocals for the verse and the song gets heavy during the chorus. The keyboards play a nice part in this song, as they have a cool background part. This is also the first song to feature all heavy vocals.
Act Seven - This one is one of the heavier songs so far, with the drums picking up & the vocals remaining heavy. Soon the clean vocals come back though and are good, but they don't have a really memorable part like the songs before. Though there is nothing wrong with this song and it has its cool parts, such as near the end when the heavy vox come back.
Time for Tears - While this song starts off kinda bad, it does get better, but only for a short time. This is probably the worst song on the cd to me. It has a cool part, but I don't really like the verses.
Eternal - Like the songs before, this one starts with keyboards, but soon gets going with some drums & guitar. This is a really cool song, which starts off heavy and is really catchy. This is one of the heavist tunes on the cd, while still staying catchy and with decent lyrics.
Unspoken - The band returns to the softer side of things with another really nice piano intro, but soon gets heavy. We then go back to some softer things, as this song goes back & forth, with the drums & guitar picking things up for a bit, before returning to a softer part. The vocals are heavy for the whole song. It does have a somewhat humorous part, at least to me. Its a lone piano, with the almost death metal vocals singing " unspoken feelings no one miss your life" and lyrics like that.
Caroline - Great song. It has both heavy & clean vocals, some cool double bass parts and has a chorus which will stick with you for a couple days after listening to this. Well maybe not, but if you have a special girl or a girl who you want to be yours, substitute her name in the chorus. Near the end of the song, the chorus is done in heavy vox, then clean, then heavy, then clean. This is a very cool way to change up the chorus, so they can repeat it without becoming tedious.
The Curse - Like the songs before it, this one is both heavy with some soft parts, at different times, but its mostly heavy. The standout part in this song is the guitar solo.
Why - We're coming close the end of the cd. This will also mark the end of the heavy parts on this cd. It opens slower & with clean singing. It gets faster and the heavy vox come in soon. It returns to the slower & clean part though.
Perils of the Wind - wow...this song is so beautiful. It features just piano and the soothing clean vocals of Felix. Its a somewhat depressing song, depending on your mood. I've showed this song to all my friends and they love it. It did spark a few laughs when they asked the band and I'm like, its Crematory. This is the highlight of the album to me, as it shows the ability of Felix for clean vocals and the band to go out on a limb (somewhat) with a song like this.
Overall this is a very good and pretty unique cd. It does have a few moments where you may get bored, but never tedious or bad. The vocals are mostly the death/deep singing, but clean vox do show up and they are very well done. The deep singing is what may take the most getting used to, as its done in a way not heard very often. I can't describe it, you have to hear it. Check this out if you have never heard anything from the band. You will most likely not be dissapointed.
best songs imo: the fallen, take, eternal, caroline, perils of the wind.
Crematory are one of the bands that just have to be respected. After delivering one album after another improving each time and having their one unique sound, they disbanded without fading into political struggles and money squeezing like so greats did and do. What Crematory play (or played) is keyboard-oriented catchy Metal with gothic lyrics and gruff, but intelligible vocals slightly mixed with clean vocals. Here I must mention that their gothic lyrics are not H.I.M. or Type-O-Negative type of gothic lyrics, but much more profound and without any references to 'razorblade love' or 'love you till death'. Sometimes thoughtful, sometimes less, but always above average. I remember seeing them in Wacken '99. I really didn't know who they were, but I think that it was the best show I've seen there - it was totally amazing.
This is their last and best studio album and it really contains a lot of catchy songs done by true professionals. 'The fallen' has just to be heard to be believed with its excellent yet simple leading keyboard riff. This is the song that actually can get mainstream airplay - it is so catchy and the gruff vocals are almost totally absent here. My favourite song on the album is 'Caroline' - again, so much mood, emotion and catchiness here! Almost all of the other songs are also perfect with two minor exceptions : 'Act seven' and 'Time for tears', the first one just is somewhat worse in quality, the second one is good but sounds too close to their previous hit 'Tears of time'. Even the names are similar. And like the previous review mentioned, 'Perils of the wind' is a perfect way to finish the album!
Now to minor complaints. First and foremost, guitars are way back in the background. With all due respect to Crematory, I think that Metal should be more about guitars - there are only a couple of solos in the album, although one of them - on 'Fallen' is perfect. Another thing is...Hmmm...Actually, that's my only complaint!
I really recommend this album if you like your Metal catchy, yet heavy. And of course, if you heard previous Crematory albums, then you should get this one!
CREMATORY - Believe (Nuclear Blast~2000)
Fifty four minutes plus of awesome, gothic sounding at times, synthesizer laden, melodic death metal! What could be better ? An eerie intro with deeply spoken German sets the foundation of this release and takes you on a trip through the mind of man which ends with a beautifully sung and composed work of art entitled "Perils Of The Wind". Beauty and serenity best describe this closing track. The wall of atmosphere generated by the keys and growling death vocals coupled with clean, crisp vocals is almost emotionally overwhelming for me at times. On this release there seems to be more clean vocal style than usual but the existence of the classic death growls is definitely not going anywhere. The doomy, plodding "Unspoken" is one of the best songs. If you like Act Seven and previous Crematory releases then this one is sure not to disappoint. It is very heavy, extremely catchy and contains some awesome riffing.