Crematory – “Live Insurrection” CD / DVD (Steamhammer / SPV)
Without a shadow of doubt, Crematory are Germany’s top gothic metal band along with being one of Europe’s longest – having been in existence for a quarter of a century! Although starting off as a death metal band, their evolution through industrial and goth soon garnered a following that grew to national levels, solidified through videos receiving heavy airplay from MTV Germany, along with a well earned respect for playing all the extreme festivals including the mecca of all metal festivals – Wacken Open Air! Hardly a surprise then that the band should be pick yet another prestigious German festival in Bang Your Head to release this 17 track live album, along with 4 bonus videos taken from last year’s “Monuments” 13th studio record. More importantly, “Live Insurrection” is also a testimony to the band’s new line up, having lost longtime guitarist Matthias Hechler after 17 years, who the band replaced with 2 successors: Tosse Basler (Scapegoat, Avalanche) who joined the flock as rhythm guitarist and clear vocalist, along with Rolf Munkes, Crematory’s new lead guitarist. Still led by roaring vocalist Felix Stass, Crematory ably handle it with relative ease as you might expect being live veterans, the crowd responding to their suave mix of harsh heaviness with melancholic bliss on new tracks like the pure goth metal of ‘Ravens Calling’ to older classics like the industrial goth of ‘Shadowmaker’ where newbies Basler and Munkes add in their guitar majesty through dexterous solos, no better evident than on the final epic closer of ‘Tears Of Time’, where along with Katrin Jüllich‘s flowing keyboards which do more than just add bountiful atmosphere but indeed are responsible for many of the band’s heart fluttering emotional melodies. With heavy interactions between Stass and the receptive audience through the excellent live sound, “Live Insurrection” is yet another win for this legendary band who show no signs of waning through this invigorating performance!