March 2, 2020 Crematory – Unbroken (Album Review)
Nearly three decades into their career, Germany’s Crematory are praised as one of the prime leaders in European Gothic Metal. Since 1991, Crematory have remained a consistent factor in the scene releasing fourteen full length albums beginning with 1993’s Transmigration all the way to 2018’s Oblivion. As the follow up to Oblivion, Crematory are proud to announce the release of their unprecedented fifteenth studio album, Unbroken, slated to drop on Friday, March 6th, 2020 via Napalm Records.
Originally starting out as a Death Metal band, Crematory eventually morphed into a hybrid mix of Gothic Metal, Industrial, and Electronic Dance – more so focusing on the second two. Going mostly by first names and nicknames, Crematory’s current line-up consists of classic members “Felix” (Lead Growl Vocals), Markus (Drums and Programming), Katrin (Keyboards and samples), as well as Rolf (Lead Guitar), Jason (Bass), and Connie (Clean Vocals and Rhythm Guitar). Overall, Crematory have spent these years sewing their passion for life into the music they have created as one of the most tenured bands in Euro Goth Metal.
Entering a new decade, Crematory are ready to unleash the darkness of Unbroken into the Metal stratosphere. Made up of fifteen new tracks, Unbroken focuses on the transition of life and happiness and the emotional struggle of it all. Pressing play for the first time, the eponymous title track kicks off Unbroken with a vocal that screams the word “UNBROKEN!” which is followed by a wall of sound that makes this track sound a little like Marilyn Manson. One of the heavier tracks, the essence of the song pleasingly expresses Crematory’s love of music and the romance of it all (“Hello, we have returned, Never really gone”). Next, the tear drop like keyboard notes and energetic hook of “Awaits Me” presents a serene demeanor even with growl vocals.
Spirited, “Rise and Fall” portrays a journey from ashes to triumph where the growl vocals and the clean vocals, though different, still bear a complimentary resemblance to each other. Thereafter, “Behind the Wall” offers a heavily industrial and electronic sound. With a rising melody, “The Downfall” enjoys entertaining the idea of the darkness. As the most different track on Unbroken, “I am” has a more showy type of rhythm far apart from Metal. Keeping it going, Crematory praise their “Broken Heroes” before the more top heavy “A Piece of Time” arrives. Later, “Abduction” has possibly the catchiest and appealing keyboard hook on the album. Then, “As Darkness Calls” gives a dynamic vivacity that seems to echo Crematory’s vision for this music. Lastly, “Like the Tides” is a raw piano ballad with orchestration that gives a finality to the overall emotion endured inside Unbroken.
Looking at the big picture, Crematory’s Unbroken offers a look into a world where good things are taken away in the blink of an eye as mankind battles to live through it all. The stand out tracks on Unbroken would have to be the song “Unbroken” and “Rise and Fall.” Overall, the majority of Unbroken leans heavily on straight up Electronic Dance and Industrial sounds with a few tracks that lean a bit more on the side of Heavy Metal. Anyone who has been a longtime fan of Crematory knows the band has an energy and sound all their own with a sincere focus on deep lyrical content and Unbroken is no different. For Crematory’s latest endeavor, Cryptic Rock gives Unbroken 3 out of 5 stars.