CD Review: “Oblivion” by Crematory

Crematory return with its 14th album, Oblivion, a steely slab of death metal, goth and industrial. “The Expectation” is a short orchestral piece that commences the album and concludes with a short poem that introduces the band. “Salvation” is noted for its rigid riffing and mechanic groove. The choir samples and majestic chorus contrast with the unyielding riffs making it a solid track. Things pick up on “Ghost Of The Past” with its melody and gothic keyboards. The driving nature of this track fits the haunting lyrics of one suffering from past demons. “Wrong Side” stands out with its blend of electronica and gothic metal. Front man Felix Stass’s vocals vary from harsh whispers to a guttural yet decipherable register during the chorus. Things take an interesting turn on “For All Of Us” which opens with a nu-metal riff before kicking into a fast tempo beat accompanied by stringed samples. The cookie cutter aggro main riff is out of place on this track, slightly weakening this song. Things improve on the grooving “Immortal” with its use of digital samples and crunchy riffs. The title track instantly assaults the ear drums with a slow heavy riff and dissonant keyboards that transitions towards a electronic rocker with a thumping bass. It is one of the best tracks on the album and guitarists Rolf Munkes and Tosse Basler showcase their versatility as players.

Oblivion is an accessible record with an ample supply of guitar riffs and guttural lite vocals. The riffing is a bit too aggro at times, which is a slight disappointment as Crematory can play solid melodic death metal. However, keyboardist Katrin Jullich does not overdo the samples and provides a beautiful classical landscape that complements the heavier side of the band. This record is what you introduce to someone that has graduated from lighter goth metal but not quite ready for At The Gates and Dismember. The production is great as each instrument is audible and the symphonic samples are never drowned out.

Crematory rage on after forming 27 years ago. Oblivion is another hit in the band’s discography that should satisfy fans of the band and garner some new ones. It has some good songs that will be staples at the band’s concerts and a few that should garner airplay. Oblivion’s album title is misleading as neither the album or the band will be forgotten.

For news and tour dates check out the band’s website:

http://www.crematory.de/

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