Crematory - Infinity

With the exception of a few thousand Germans wearing Scorpions shirts and enamoured with all things gothic and romantic I guess that very few people wept a tear when Crematory broke up in 2001, I sure wasn’t one of them since I never really appreciated their wimpy and excessively melodramatic sound. So I could say that I wasn’t really paying attention when the German act announced their comeback following two years and that’s why “Infinity” is my first Crematory experience since the split-up, even though they had released three more studio albums since then. I personally don’t know those records, perhaps I’ve some catching up to do, but while listening to “Infinity” for the first I realized that Crematory are a lot heavier now than when I used to remember them.
Their sound in the mid nineties was a bit wussy, overflowing with pompous keyboard melodies and whining-whispered vocals interweaved with sorrowful growls. The formula is more or less the same here and still holds a radio-friendly feeling, yet it seems that the band have trimmed down those superfluous and excessively mellow keyboard lines and accentuated the heavier parts by giving the guitars more room to breath. Leadoff track and title theme certainly attest that brilliantly with an extremely punchy rhythm and a fierce guitar riff that could compete with the later material of either In Flames or Dark Tranquillity. Crematory strikes a pretty alluring balance between subtle melodies and harsh elements strengthen by the constant vocal dichotomy between main singer Felix Stass and guitarist Matthias Hechler.
The following song “Sense of Time” is definitely mellower and more in tow with their past material swaying to an almost pop sonority, but even on this occasion Crematory’s gothic-metal cannot be seen as dull or emotionless, revealing an appreciated sense of restraint. And that’s perhaps one of Crematory’s best characteristics of today, their ability to craft concise, mature and focused songs without draining the life, depth and emotion of their music with overly tedious and insipid melodies.
Well they did surprise me in a positive way for sure and while this may not be one the greatest albums out there, it’s definitely a good and strong work from a veteran band that still has some fervent blood running through their veins.

David Alexandre

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