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Review of the Album "Transmigration" by Crematory

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


Some Basic Details About Crematory's Debut Album

Length: about 42 minutes

Genre: death metal with an emphasis on the keyboards as a secondary instrument

Label that the band was signed to at the time: Massacre Records

Release date: April 7, 1993

Crematory Began Their Career With a Death Metal Style Album

German metal veterans Crematory which began their activities in 1991 began their career differently than what fans have been accustomed to. Their 1993 debut album Transmigration is a big part of this difference because this album is almost a direct departure from what was to come just even a few years later. The album is described as a mixture of the band Nocturnus plus early influenced band Sinister.

"Eyes of Suffering"

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An In-Depth Analysis of the Style and Songwriting of Transmigration

This debut is mostly old school heavy death metal with the keyboards also playing a pretty prominent role especially in the very first song called “Bequest of the Wicked.” This is a song that even the British band Cradle of Filth would have written but what we have here is no screeching vocals with black metal but heavy death metal with some pretty darn good vocal grunts as well. There is also a pretty obvious keyboard and symphonic feel to this album along with the vocals which are not like grunts but very harsh death metal vocals which were very common at this time. This debut from Crematory especially the vocals are like what you would end up hearing from Theatre of Tragedy’s 2nd studio album which would be released in 1996. The thing is though that in this album there are no Old English style lyrics though. There are some fans that might enjoy this one the most because of the fact that it is of the old-school death metal variety with the keyboards playing a good secondary role. For what it is worth, Transmigration was also an album that just matched the times. In other words, at this time which was the early part of the 1990s, this brutal death metal style was in demand and that’s what record labels looked for in terms of music to market. However, this is no Obituary or Deicide style album. It is an album that sounds dark in melody and approach but is much more melodic than those two mentioned bands.

“Eyes of Suffering” is another memorable song in this album not only because of the chorus but also because of the riffing in the middle section. “Deformity” is a song that defines this album in a way because of the orchestration along with Gerhard Stasse providing a rather hoarse and dark vocal style. The vocals are brutal too but they are the right type for this type of album. Then there are also songs such as “Never Forgotten Place” which has a very good moderate fast guitar section before the keyboards provide their secondary role again thanks to the work of Katrin Jullich (at that time she was performing under her maiden name of Katrin Goger). The song called “Reincarnation” is lyrically pretty self-explanatory as the song is saying that certain souls are reincarnated into a different body with the chance to learn from mistakes made in past lives. Near the end of this song, the way that the guitar riffs are constructed, it sounds like a combination of early Paradise Lost and early Amorphis.

© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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