CREMATORY
"Revolution"

(Nuclear Blast)

01. Resurrection
02. Wake Up
03. Greed
04. Reign Of Fear
05. Open Your Eyes
06. Tick Tack
07. Angel Of Fate
08. Solitary Psycho
09. Revolution
10. Human Blood
11. Red Sky
12. Farewell Letter
13. One

RATING: 8/10

Gothic metal has undoubtedly experienced an upsurge in popularity over the last few years, but on the fringes it retains a discernible love-hate status. Given the likes of MY DYING BRIDE and, to a slightly less gloomy extent, DARK TRANQUILLITY, many listeners either revel casually in the moroseness of it, or wish that the miserable bastards would smile, get over it and let a little light into their repertoire.

Giving up the ghost for a few years in 2000 was clearly something of a masterstroke for these German darkwave stalwarts, because for them to bounce back with an album like this is hugely impressive. For this ordinarily goth-phobic reviewer, many of the tracks herein transcend the depressive posturing of the genre purely because they are great songs. And in the case of "Greed", close to phenomenal. This is want you want to hear from those who would dress only in black: yes, an undercurrent of hopelessness, but fused with lively downtuned guitars, inspired vocal interaction between the gruff stuff and the heartfelt harmonies and, overall, a pulsating delivery. Although this is easily the standout track on "Revolution", there are many songs present that march along with a dark effervescence such as "Reign Of Fear", which you can think of as SISTERS OF MERCY, brains out of the black, up and on their feet and swinging. For heaviness, "Red Sky" is unmatched on the album — almost death metal in its angle of attack through the hammering of drummer Marcus Markus Jüllich's bass drums. Along with the upfront production, whose every aspect rumbles forth with aggressive clarity, this track is primed to take your head off as opposed to making you bury it in your hands in misery.

"Tick Tack" highlights the dancier side of CREMATORY. It's sung exclusively in German, and if this combination brings comparisons with the grossly overrated RAMMSTEIN, then it should be noted that CREMATORY's moves are infinitely more interesting. So much so that it goes beyond being dance-oriented to simply being, again, a good track.

And so it appears that this album is littered with them. Maybe you could pick out the title track as being so-so and therefore a weak choice as signature cut. But to be struggling to unearth a bad cut on an album of the darker persuasion is indeed something of a revolution in itself.

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