Crematory – Inglorious Darkness (Album Review)

Release Date: May 27th 2022 - Napalm Records

Crematory - Inglorious Darkness

Melodic gothic industrial metal is not a genre that is brimming with household names.

But this is not to say that it is a cold and desolate place to wander. It is in fact a rich and verdant sunny upland. It is mostly dominated by European acts, as it seems the Europeans have taken this quirky and insanely captivating subgenre to their hearts. Yes, it’s a little like stepping into Eurovision sometimes, but this is not always a bad thing. It can get quite draining always being so serious. We all know how metal we think we are and how metal we think people should be. So when you put on Crematory and bands like them you can take a moment away from your diligent pursuit of true heavy and enjoy some really infectious groove-infused modern metal.

It still has brutality for that little bit of everyone that craves it. But it also has synths, catchy lyrical content sing-along anthems, and a straightforward black and white industrial rhythm section that has early German expressionist cinema stamped all over it.

For 31 years Crematory has toured the world, and recorded 15 diversely and sonically different albums, and this new one their 16th is built around a sumptuous blitzkrieg barrage of thunderous guitars, clean and growled vocals in both English and their native German. It is so textured and layered that from one song to the next you are enveloped in a comforting blanket of darkness. The beautiful juxtaposition and whimsy of euro-pop synths are brought into sharp relief by soul-crushing drop-tuned six-string brutality. It’s so damned infectious and groovy Not for the Innocent and Zur Holle that comes at the tail end of the album highlights the latter a wondrous Germanic tour de force of brutality filled with sounds and smells of heavy industry. Sparks fly anvils hammer and men and woman toil. But ultimately I think that what we get with this package is something that often gets lost in modern heavy music. A sense of FUN might be a dirty word in some circles not here though. Deep down is it not music’s raison d’etre to elicit emotional responses, positive and sometimes negative, whichever way you choose to respond is so uniquely you. I found this album glorious, triumphant, brutal, and beautiful.

Often as I sit down to review I find that I am delighted to find hidden in all the corners of my world, music that excites me Music that makes me think damn I wish I had tuned into this 30 years ago. This band and this album have me thinking this very thing. So guys don’t do what I have done and regret that I had not chanced upon this band before. Take a few moments to take in this very intricate and wonderfully textured moment of modern European gothic industrial metal. Dive into this large rabbit hole and like Alice you be taken to places that will delight, mesmerize and occasionally terrify you.

Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where –”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Crematory: Facebook

Release Year: 2022
Label: Napalm Records
Category: Album
Country: Germany

Reviewed by Tony Evans