Crematory_MonumentThe reigning kings of techno/industrial/party death are back once again to pump up the volume and rock your boots n’ pants, boots n’ pants. On their 13th full length, Monument, Crematory sees some major line up changes but the kraut rockers pick right up where 2014s Antiserum left off. That means more poppy techno-death tailor-made for metallized strip clubs and sketchy back alley discos. As their sound has evolved over time they’ve gotten closer and closer to what countrymen Rammstein do and that small deadly space has never been as tight as it is now. Monument is loaded with throbbing, pulsing odes to techno metal with their death metal influences now only present in the somewhat harsh vocals. It’s enormously cheesy and often cringe-inducing but somehow the band manages to make it worthwhile time and again and keep the rave going long after you’d expect it to die. Are you ready to go clubbing? Grab your club then!

With 2 new guitarists, one of them their new “clean” singer, you’d be right to wonder if the classic Crematory magic was still present, but opener “Misunderstood” quickly shows little has changed and their oddball blend of metal and club beats is still  functional. It sounds like what they’ve been doing for the last 10 years and since it’s so catchy and brainless it usually works. As they blast out their brand of stripper pole disco death, it’s amazing to reflect on how long of a career they’ve carved by rocking this oddball stuff. Tracks like “Die So Soon” pack in plenty of corny goth drama and theatrics but the catchy hooks allow both to pass muster even when they probably shouldn’t, and “Ravens Calling” borrows much of  the The Neonai era Lake of Tears sound for a bass thumping good time.

Monument jumps between songs that sound like Rammstein cast offs (“Eiskalt,” “Falsche Tränen”) and others that sound like typical Crematory, with the latter being more compelling. “Nothing” and “Before I Die” both go heavy on the cheesy keyboards (cheeseboards) and big, poppy choruses whilst head grunter Felix does his best to provide a modicum of heaviness amidst the radio friendly glitz. “Everything” is a tune that could have appeared on any album dating back to 2000 and new singer Tosse Basler acquits himself well in his duet with Felix here.

Crematory_2016

The less successful selections include the generic “Die Letzte Schlacht” which feels like an early Rammstein reject and the schmaltzy as all hell “Save Me” which gives power ballads a bad name and isn’t helped by Basler’s deadly serious intonations of “I’ve gots to go.” The biggest concern here is how Crematory albums are becoming increasingly disposable sounding. Sure they’re super accessible and easy to digest, but there just isn’t much “there” there anymore. While Antiserum had some meaty cuts to anchor the single serving fluff, Monument feels more like fluff in search of an anchor. It’s undeniably shallow stuff and at a certain point it starts to feel throw away and too mindless. I’m not sure how they can correct this course, but a correction is definitely called for before they become metal’s version of top 40 radio.

Musically, it’s a Crematory album so you don’t expect technical flash and bang. The riffs by Basler and Rolf Munkes are bare-boned and uber simplistic, the keyboards are cheesy and unsubtle and Felix is his typical quasi-death metal self. While Basler brings a slightly more gothy touch to his clean vocals, he isn’t all that different from former singer/guitarist Matthias Hechler. This is simplistic music that strives to be catchy and to the band’s credit, they get that part right more often than not. It just feels more soulless this time for whatever reason.

Monument isn’t a bad album by any means, but it feels like a watered down version of past successes and it’s definitely a step down from Antiserum. Long time fans will probably be satisfied but I doubt this will attract many new converts. You can’t fault Crematory for sticking to their formula (or using strippers in all of their videos), but I hope next time they dial up the heavy and maybe try something a bit different too (and no, I’m not suggesting you ditch the strippers). Rock out with your bratwurst out.


Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: SPV/Steamhammer
Websites: crematory.de | facebook.com/crematory
Releases Worldwide: April 15th, 2016

 

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  • I sorta liked these guys around the time they released Act 7, but that was long ago. The stuff they’ve released recently has been terrible. Your 2.5 score is generous.

    • Not sure why but I’ve always had a soft spot for these guys. They just kinda crack me up.

    • Reese Burns

      Hey, this is completely unrelated, but is your profile pick the cover of Let it Burn by Avatar? Been wondering for a while.

  • AngryMetalBird

    last time I saw those guys live they were playing before Hypocrisy. when they noticed the lack of enthusiasm from the crowd they asked “are you tired or are we shit?” the audience responded with… well you can imagine the rest. 2.5 is very generous imo

  • Berit Dogg

    Two reviews in a row! Good work mr Druhm. What a perfect illustration of the difference between “ridiculous” and “embarrassing”. This sucks the root.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    Did you intentionally did you intentionally write “boots n’ pants” twice?

    • Boots n’ pants!

      • Blueberry Balls

        Boots and cats and boots and cats and boots and cats and boots and cats. Sing it!

  • André Snyde Lopes

    From the review I fail to understand if you like Rammstein…

    • They’re decent. I like their first few albums.

  • Dethjesta

    2.5, seems about right. It’s the sort of thing you’d go ‘meh’ to, if a mate put it on.

    3.5 for the music vid, though!

    • You perv!

      • Dethjesta

        Don’t know what you mean. I was just commenting on the quality of the choreography.

    • Reminds me of Ukraine’s Semargl, a band that went from Satyricon worshiping black metal to dance pop/nu-Metal. It’s horrid, but you should check their videos. Without sound.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    Yea, I’ll keep my bratwurst tucked away for now, and I’d much rather listen to Pentagram’s Misunderstood.

  • Grymm

    I’m more partial to PUPPETS-‘N-CANS-‘N-PUPPETS-‘N-CANS-‘N… myself.

  • Tom Hardy

    Someone out to tell these lads it’s been over 20 years since they wrote a decent song.

    This video though, every time the drummer came on it cracked me up. Every single time. And I can feel every bruised rib of mine from a stunt gone wrong last week.

  • doom-erik

    Tears of Time was a catchy tune back in the day! I get the impression they changed a bit since then…

  • madhare

    Good review. Rammstein is very German in a good way. This, on the other hand, is very German in the boring way. Tired middle-aged plump guys making tired music with supposedly-sexy-but-actually-just-plasticky scantily clad women providing just the kind of semi-titillation middle-aged plump German men enjoy.

    Germany has so much good club/industrial/metal/darkwave stuff that I don’t think this will get much plays in clubs. But maybe this is made for those people who used to go to interesting clubs, but now they’re tied to their families and their boring BMW-engineer-jobs. At least they can enjoy reminiscing their lost youth on the autobahn on their way to their 9 to 6 job when this plays on that tired top 40 radio station.

    • Wow.

    • AlphaBetaFoxface

      You alright there, buddy? I can smell a back-story

      • madhare

        :D Scars from living in Germany.

        But I really do think this music (and video too) is exactly that bland. Especially when you compare it to all the other really good stuff that comes out of Germany.

        Like I said, the whole industrial/goth/club/semi-metal/kinky-club stuff seems to be one of their strong suits. This just doesn’t stand a chance.

  • Brother Ben

    I can’t stand Rammstein, so this is certainly not my cup of tea. However, the review was an entertaining read, as usual.

  • Oh, this band. The band that stole the name from the Swedish Death Metal band “Crematory”.

  • Kid Presentable

    I was thinking only a couple of days ago; what ever happened to Hurly from Lost???

  • Shangsean

    Funniest video clip of the year. There have been some bad ones, but this is on a whole other level. The dancing crack whores, the fake beard on the guitarist, the singer who looks like he’s crooning, but had his vocals replaced by growls, the drummer trapped in the kit and all the other members playing up to the camera like it’s an air guitar competition. I strangely enjoyed every minute, but couldn’t get to the end.

    Then there’s the music. Are you rating albums out of 10 now?

  • Reese Burns

    What a waste of that album cover.

  • RIATA de DIOS

    It’s true they’re kind of disposable but I think they’re fun to listen to. I mean, once in a while we like eating junk food, right? we can’t have premium steaks all the time.