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Review of the Album "Illusions" by Crematory a German Gothic Metal Band

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.


Crematory is another one of those metal bands that this writer remembers hearing about back in the day because of those metal music catalogs. Crematory is from Germany and they have been active since 1991. Their 3rd studio album is called Illusions and it is one that I found to be quite enjoyable actually.

The Songwriting in the Album Illusions and the Musical Style

After the German lyrical short song called “Reflexionen (Intro)” comes the song “Faces” which starts off in the fashion of a good old fashioned Gothic metal song as the drums build up and there is this orchestrated feel to it. The song can be thought of lyrically as what happens as we come face to face with the morning. There are lots of things that are unknown in this life and we have to face these unknowns as well as coming face to face with the scariest thing of all – death itself. “Tears in Time” is a Gothic metal song that lyrically refers to time as just an illusion, something that Albert Einstein alluded to during his lifetime. The chorus part of the song refers to the tears of time lost in the light and that time is just an illusion. We are mostly familiar with what is known as clock time. Everything is in the quantum field until it manifests as something physical. But that’s beyond the scope of this album review. The lyrics allow us to think past the literal interpretations of the songs. Stylistically, the album Illusions is Gothic metal mixed with death metal style vocals as well so this 1995 album could be considered a sort of death metal and Gothic metal hybrid. It is not a death metal album specifically because the riffing and writing style just doesn’t represent that. Think of Illusions as a sort of modern day Paradise Lost, only better. Yes, such views are subjective but these German guys know how to keep you interested in their music. “Dreams of Dancing” is a song that in terms of the style would be sort of like the foundation of the song “Say Just Words” by Paradise Lost. There is a keyboard and or symphonic section in this song that brings that influence to mind.

Final Thoughts and Observations

“Lost in Myself” lyrically is trying to explain the fact that humans can sometimes be lost in their own creative world. Then there are songs such as “The Atmosphere” which stylistically really is of the Gothic metal genre and Italy’s Lacuna Coil would be influenced by songs such as this one because of the atmospheric feel to this one. Songs such as “Sweet Solitude” ask a profound question. Is life just an illusion? Life is what it is because humans as well as animals have life as long as they are living. Are people afraid of sleep? Are they afraid of awakening the next morning? This album really resembles some of the music at that time period such as early Theatre of Tragedy. This third album of Crematory ends with another instrumental song called “Visions” which is basically just one of those songs that is dominated with the piano being the main instrument.

© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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