Vera : It is really remarkable how German band Crematory sounds different on every album, yet it is always very recognizable as being Crematory. In the nineties they put themselves on the metal map as doom/gothic metal band with grunts, after a break they surprised everybody with the jumpy ‘Revolution’ (2004) where electro elements overwhelmed their rough nature. Soon it resulted in a couple of club hits. After the very doom-like ’Pray’ (2008) and the bit faster ’Infinity’ (2010), they decided that the time had come for a new experiment. ‘Antiserum’ continues where ‘Revolution’ stopped. They even engaged an EBM producer (Elmar Schmidt of Centhron) to record the foundation of the album on keyboards with Katrin Jüllich, long before real drums or guitars were used. Let us hope that this goes well.
Well, we cannot ignore it: on ‘Antiserum’ cheerful electro melodies and industrial influences prevail. Actually Crematory has written an album full of chart busters/singles, a bit rougher than disco freaks are used to, but above all infectious and catchy. Rammstein surely pops up in the back of my head as point of reference, when the stamping rhythms, heavy riffs and synth ornaments resound in ‘Until The End’. Something used more than ever, is the interaction between the gruff growls of Felix and the smooth clean vocals of guitarist Matthias. The singles ‘Shadowmaker’ and ‘Kommt Näher’ are even more commercial (if we are allowed to use a dirty word). ‘If You Believe’ on the other hand is typical Crematory, with grunts in German lyrics and the kind of emo chants in English. I admit I had to put up with it, but I confess that sing along choruses like the light ‘(Nothing To See) Inside Your Eyes’ (a tribute to disco freaks?) or the fetching gothic/death in ‘Irony Of Fate’ really stay in your mind. The EBM invasion is again there in ‘Virus’, while ‘Welcome’ appears to be one of the fastest songs. Fortunately old style Crematory with a kind of dark edge also remains present. More precisely in ‘Irony Of Fate’, ‘Back From The Dead’ and especially the final highlight ‘Antiserum’ (with clean vocals akin to Amorphis, sensitive piano and a dark spoken fragment) we obviously hear that doom/gothic touch. No matter what genre Crematory chooses, they always do it genuinely and professional. Consequently this is mainly a record for Crematory fans that have a liking for their stamping hits and swinging electro elements. And in the end, when Samael is allowed to do that, why not Crematory?