With 15 studio albums released in 29 years, one cannot say Crematory are resting on their laurels – the guys (and girl!) just keep on releasing new music. Coming out less than two years after Oblivion, the new album Unbroken includes 15 songs into a duration of 66 minutes. OK, I can understand the confidence in the new material, but the Germans don’t sound too inspired here. I just cannot decide if there is some kind of an identity crisis here, or the band just decided it is a good idea to include no less than 15 songs in their 15th album. The Kingdom, Broken Heroes, A Piece Of Time, As Darkness Calls are just a recycling of ideas they have exploited much too often. My Dreams Have Died boasts a great chorus but the whole song is ruined by the blatant Rammstein copycat riffs (samples). Is this gothic? Is this industrial? Is this electronic/ death metal mashup? All of the mentioned?
We can easily forgive all of the above if we were talking of some newcomers, but this is the band which has released classics like Transmigration, Act Seven or Revolution, so it is understandable to have high expectations. Identity and consistency is what should be expected of a band with such status in the scene and these are exactly the missing pieces of the puzzle. Rise And Fall, The Downfall or Abduction are sounding a bit fresher and are among the songs that breathe some life into the album. Still, the majority of the compositions are crushed under the weight of a formula and there is little creativity to elevate this album among the better ones in Crematory’s discography.
All in all, Unbroken is just another of those several albums in their career, which will contribute little, if any, songs in an imaginary best-of compilation. If they had taken their time and invested more love and effort into just 9 or 10 of these songs, the results could be better.