May 26, 2022

Celebrating their 31st year together as a band, German gothic metal institution Crematory are back with their 16th studio album, coming out tomorrow via Napalm Records. Back in 2020, I was far from impressed with their latest release Unbroken, so this time, understandably, my expectations are moderate for Inglorious Darkness. One of the setbacks of the last album being the excessive number of songs (15!) is corrected this time, with a track list of eleven, one of which is even a re-recorded version in German of their classic Tears Of Time.

The title track sounds really promising, with a catchy chorus and some memorable riffs, which is another positive lacking from Unbroken. The album gathers even more steam with the excellent Rest In Peace, The Sound Of My Life, Zur Hölle and Das Ende, all of which display fantastic melodies and a sense for the good song, with once again killer choruses. The feeling of recycled riffs and tired compositions is not present anymore, so I am delighted to say that Crematory are back. Felix handles all vocals (melodic and harsh) and it would not be an exaggeration to say that these are among the best performances in his career. There is something in these new songs that reminds me of the Believe In Nothing-era Paradise Lost, with just a touch of Rammstein “sprinkled” on top, but it is done with taste this time and, more importantly, it sounds as Crematory in the first place.

There is a change in the bass department we should say, with Patrick Schmid replacing Jason Matthias, but the core of the band consisting of Markus, Felix and Kartin is still at the heart of the band for the last three decades. Check out Inglorious Darkness and don’t worry (as I did) – it has ticked all the boxes left empty by Unbroken and is putting Crematory back on the right track.

7,5/10

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