Crematory – Unbroken (Napalm)

Monday, 9th March 2020
Rating: 7/10

What is there to be said at this point about the German gothic act Crematory? With almost 30 years slugging it out and now fifteen albums into their career, the band should be on most people’s radar already – though admittedly this style of metal seems to be much bigger in Europe than here in the States. This far in, don’t expect a brand new band with Unbroken; it’s more of what Crematory has made into their bread and butter.

This comes into fruition immediately with the title track. Pounding electronic/industrial rhythms alongside sludgy guitar riffs as the lyrics are meant to be a testament to the band and its fans. While these lyrics can feel a little hokey, one can still tell it’s a genuine sentiment. From there, it’s an everchanging proportion that includes the sleek gothic hooks, electronic bounce, and more metallic flair. The tracks, with 15 in all, manage to keep things varied – Felix’s gruff snarls and Connie’s clean vocals being a solid centerpiece in songs like the energetic “Awaits Me” and more melancholic “Inside My Heart.” Other heavier cuts like “The Downfall,” which swing more on the metal side of the fence offer enough brutality while still sneaking in some more industrial beats to keep the slurry mixed, while the darkness permeates more electronically enhanced numbers like “Broken Heroes” to keep the band’s sound aligned with similar elements.

No one is expecting earth-rattling changes with an album like Unbroken. Crematory have carved out their path of gothic/industrial/metal and continue to be a dominating force in that particular market. Unbroken instead offers plenty of reasons why the band has been able to sustain themselves for such an extended period with their keen ear for melody and electro-metal fusion. You either dig it, or you don’t.

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