Crematory – “Antiserum” (Steamhammer / SPV)
Well, I don’t know if Crematory took an antiserum or need one after listening to this album ha ha! This has to be one of the most radical departures I’ve heard in a while: once regarded for their goth / mellow death metal mix, only Gerhard Stass’s deep, gruff vocals really remain and instead a huge amount of EBM (electronic body music) melodies now not only feature prominently in the mix but have shaped the musical direction of this album to the point where the band themselves refer to it as ‘EBM-Metal’. Taking a big leap of faith from their 2004 album, “Revolution”, Crematory collaborated closely with Elmar Schmidt of Hamburg EBM act Centhron, who brought them core beats from which to build songs like ‘Inside Your Eyes’ and ‘Kommt Näher‘ around. Whilst it’s certainly a departure more into the industro pop rock of Rammstein, I wouldn’t say the shift towards EBM is so radical given it too is based on industrial and electro punk. Additionally, there’s certainly a fresh sound and energy from the band undoubtedly carried by the electro groove and the new material certainly doesn’t lack in any aspect of catchiness! So while some tracks may indeed be testing for the die hard Crematory fan, I tend to feel that others like ‘Irony Of Fate’ may offer a respectable compromise between old and new styles and if that wasn’t enough then the more traditional ‘If You Believe’ may abate any frustration. “Antiserum” will be released as a deluxe box set (including a flag, patch, poster, sticker, postcard), digipak (including two bonus tracks) and 2LP gate fold colored vinyl version (including two bonus tracks). Brave and bold, it represents the band’s unconditional determination to continue to grow as artists – hopefully not at the expense of their excellent 23 year reputation – although the true test will be to see how it all mixes live.