Review: CREMATORY “Unbroken” [Napalm Records]

Review: CREMATORY “Unbroken” [Napalm Records]

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This is a strange collection of different songs, that works a lot better than you might think. Get ready for something completely unclassifiable, with different musical styles and different stories being told, and overall, a pretty nice experience.

Unpredictable is a good way to describe this album. Not because it doesn’t sound like anything you’ve heard before, but because it constantly shifts between different styles and moods, sometimes in one song, and talks about so many different things that at some point, you’re not sure what to expect. This is after all an album that contains both the industrial metal self-empowerment anthem Unbroken and the more desperate and angry My Dreams Have Died.

Musically, you could label this industrial metal or by the uncertain, not-really-a-label dark metal, but really, it’s not a single subgenre of music, it’s more of a random mixture of various styles I like. And there’s something for everyone, I guess. For example, a typical song for this album is Awaits Me, which starts with industrial sounds, growled verses and power metal clean vocal choruses. Other tracks are straight-up industrial metal, some are ballads, some have a more pronounced power metal influence, others are a mix of that and some more.

As for what other bands it reminds me of, I’d say that if power metal with growls is a thing, like a few bands I’ve already reviewed, then this album has that. The growls are low and raspy but easy to understand, which gives the album a little melodic death metal touch. However, when the vocalist tries his hand at spoken and screamed vocals, it wouldn’t sound out of place on a Celtic Frost album. As for the clean vocals, while they tend to sound like power metal singing with a lower vocal range, they can also use a more melancholic and low-pitched singing that you often hear from gothic or doom metal acts. Of course, they managed to do that without sounding like a rip-off of any act you could compare them to. When you put together such different influences without copying them perfectly, you can’t be called a rip-off of anything.

Lyrically, this album introduces all sorts of stories and moods, various power metal epic adventures, rage and sorrow as well. The overall mood of the album is angry and melancholic, but then there is the title track. This is a band anthem, about how we’re still here despite all the tough times, we love what we do and we love our dedicated fans. Maybe it’s more optimistic than the rest of the album, but it creates a great intro that makes you want to hear more, and it succeeds at what it’s trying to do. In a year like this, we all need a few songs about feeling strong and unbroken.

This is an album I enjoyed overall. In its weaker moments, it can get a little too long, both too repetitive and too incoherent. But I’d say it has mainly strong moments. Something about all the odd mix of styles and the album’s various good ideas makes you keep listening to hear what they will do next. The songs sound nice and the band has a unique style and personality. This is pretty good album, that I enjoyed both listening to and writing about, and I hope you’ll do too.

Release date: March 6th, 2020

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