Crematory - Pray

10 songs
48:21 minutes


Founded already back in 1991, Crematory are among the pioneers of the German gothic metal movement. Their first few albums pleased me quite a lot, but in the last fifteen years my musical taste has changed a little. And change is something rather unknown to Crematory. Pray just sounds too much like the preceding Revolution and Klagebilder. With music it’s the same as with food: if you reheat it too often, it ends up losing its taste.

Since Revolution in 2004, the bands experiments more strongly with electronic sounds, like Paradise Lost did too. What worked fine with the Brits is disturbed here by the generic male growls that have not been too originally arranged. Another problem are the obtrusive keyboards; the weird whistling on Left The Ground is truly getting on your nerves. The synthesizers are just as out of place on Burning Bridges, where the symphonic elements sound like a cheap imitation of the real thing. The band works hard to infuse some variation, as on the ok doom song Alone, but Just Words sounds again like a sterile mid-Nineties prog rocker. Most of the time though, Crematory are walking a safe road and use every cliché of the gothic genre. If you need the usual gimmicks like penetrating keyboards, ugly growls versus melodic vocals and sticky pop appeal, you might even like Pray, even though bands like Tiamat, Amorphis and Paradise Lost do something similar much better.

Even if Crematory deserve respect for all that they did for the German gothic metal scene, it is inexcusable to always move in circles. First of all, they reuse the same structure over and over again since their early days, and second they are not even doing it very well on their new album.

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