Crematory - Act Seven

Rating - 3/5

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By Greg Northrup

            This album is loaded with deficiencies, but the majority of the recording is so damn catchy and satisfying that I'm very comfortable with the rating.  Crematory plays very catchy, up-tempo, keyboard-laden gothic death metal.  In comparison to their last outing Awake, the songs have more individual identity, and are more easily discernable.  The problems with the album are quite obvious and easy to identify. 

            First off, the clean vocals are not only mediocre, but are overused.  Unlike masters such as Opeth and Dan Swano, many death bands that venture into the realm of clean vocals miss the point.   The clean vocals should not be treated as obligatory or as a gimmick.   Crematory seems to feel that the mere presence of clean vocals is enough, and they forget to write any kind of compelling melody for them. Clean vocals in a Crematory song sounds like a great idea, but since they feel they have to put it in the chorus of every song, they quickly become tedious and dull.  The female vocals however, are quite good, and although gimmicky, work well. 

            Crematory also seems to have a major problem with the English language.  The lyrics are very bad, and written in generic "gothic" style.  Grammatical errors are all over the place, ("I never die before" should definitely be "I never died before", shouldn't it?).  Crematory are at their best when they stick to their native tongue.  The verse of "Fly" for example, is phenomenal.  A certain exotic mystique is definitely present here.  This album would definitely be much cooler, and have a lot more character, if it was all in German.  Too bad.

            In short, all the elements that one would think would bring Crematory more mainstream acceptance (clean vocals, English lyrics, predictable song structures) take away from what is otherwise an excellent album. 

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