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Back in strength and back for good - 75%

kluseba, December 18th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2004, CD, Nuclear Blast (Digipak)

It was a shock when German gothic metal institution Crematory called it quits in 2001 after the musically brilliant and commercially successful ''Believe'' record. Thankfully, the band got once more together after a while to record a song for a Metallica tribute which is also included on this release. German metal label Nuclear Blast then encouraged the band to come back permanently and signed the group to the label. The first vital signs of the returning German gothic metal institution is this single and it proves right from the start that the band is back for good and still has a lot to say.

The title track has become a signature song for the band and is actually one of the group's very best songs. The verses feature grim extreme metal riffs with ferocious growls that liberate an unchained energy that makes it impossible to sit or stand still while listening to this energizing monster. The chorus on the other side is extremely powerful yet incredibly catchy. Melancholic keyboards take the lead while desperate clean vocals meet sorrowful growls. The extended version of this masterpiece features more electronic elements as well as a longing and melodic guitar solo that touches your heart and soul. The single also includes a destructive and original video clip involving a giant woman, numerous animals and obviously the band members.

The single also includes the track ''Farewell Letter'' which would become the closer of the comeback album ''Revolution''. This song stands in contrast to the powerful single and is in fact an appeasing ballad based only upon piano and string passages as well as a very short guitar solo and the guitarist's charismatic clean vocals. This song doesn't feature any bass guitar, drums or harsh vocals and showcases the band's impressive stylistic range. The main reason to purchase this single in hindsight is the inclusion of the cover version of Metallica's anti-war epic ''One'' which wasn't included on the studio album and is still very hard to find. Obviously, the cover song doesn't match the original's intensity but it's a creative take on one of the best metal songs ever written. Crematory's version opens with comforting acoustic guitar sounds which is very rare for the band before electronic keyboard sounds add another unusual soundscape to the song. The verses are dominated by raw and desperate clean vocals while the chorus features crunching growls. Crematory manages to make this song its own but it obviously isn't for everyone. The only negative aspect for me is that Crematory cut the original's phenomenal instrumental closure short.

In the end, Crematory comes back in strength and offers an excellent title song which is easily the band's greatest hit, an introspective and stripped down ballad and a creative Metallica cover on a balanced and entertaining collector's item. Those who already have the studio record might not find much value in this but occasional fans, new listeners and motivated collectors should all get their hands on this output.