Release Date: April 15, 2016
For 25 years Germany’s Crematory have been a staple of the heavy music scene. Starting their career as a Death Metal band, over the years they have evolved into innovators in the Goth Metal scene and have even dabbled in the Industrial world. Monument is their first album since the departure of clean vocalist/guitarist (of 17 years!) Matthias Hechler who was replaced by both rhythm guitarist/clean vocalist Tosse Basler and lead guitarist Rolf Munkes.
The album kicks off with the sounds of lone synths that launch into the first single, “Misunderstood.” Although the band keeps the electronic edge they have exhibited throughout the new millennium, the guitars are much heavier here and drive the song along in a way similar to Rammstein. “Falsche Tranen” is another heavier moment that you’ll fall in love with on first listen. It features eerie synth work, heavy, intense guitars, and the band’s trademark Goth laden growls trading off with an almost spoken vocal part. It’s one of my favorite songs from these guys in years!
If you are like me and you really enjoy Crematory’s most recent works then don’t worry because they didn’t leave us out. “Die So Soon” is a big anthem rocker with a killer hook and mostly clean vocals. It’s a Goth-tinged goodie whose melody sticks with you long after the song is done. In fact, that’s one of the things I love the most about this album. The melodies this time around are very memorable and it makes you want to come back to the album over and over. “Nothing” is another moment that reminds me of the band’s newer albums. It’s got a smooth base to it that allows for it to weave in and out of extreme territory, strung along by the mix of clean and growling vocals. It’s a perfect beauty & the beast moment.
Overall, Monument is probably Crematory’s most well-rounded album to date. No matter which era of the band you prefer, it is represented here. The new members have helped to breathe some life into the band and longtime fans will be well-pleased.
Reviewed by mark1340