Like all great rock bands, Crematory have based their success on the creativity of a well-rehearsed songwriting team. With Germany’s leading gothic metal act, it’s drummer Markus J llich in collaboration with the producer of each individual album that’s kept the group’s compositions on course for more than 25 years. At the same time, Markus J llich has enough experience to know that the band’s evolvement depends on fresh ideas and new influences.
So, by enlisting guitarists Tosse Basler and Rolf Munkes and, soon after, bassist Jason Mathias he has ensured that the band has remained contemporary and diverse ever since their 2016 release Monument, reaping the fruits his efforts on the new album Oblivion. “In particular, the sound and the selection of songs reflect the impact our three new band members have had,” comments Markus J llich. “Tosse is a fantastic rhythm guitarist who adds even more diversity to the material with his clean vocals, and our lead guitarist Rolf enhances the record with his solos. Jason has added lots of drive to the deep frequencies, which is why we’ve consciously opted for a loud mix of the bass parts.” Along with his wife Katrin (keyboards & samples) and vocalist Felix Stass, the three new additions are important factors that ensure that Crematory find themselves in a contemporary and forward-looking position in 2018.
Crematory have rarely sounded as multi-faceted and timeless as on Oblivion. The group’s classic trademarks, such as Felix Stass’s deep growls, are still present, at the same time new influences emphasise their great commercial potential. Markus J llich: “So far we’ve had a special motto to set the direction of each of our albums, but Oblivion simply combines all our strengths and experience. Over the years we’ve learned to blend different styles into the typical Crematory sound without ever losing sight of the importance of playing in a way that benefits our music. The motto “less is more” applies to our compositions 100 per cent. Crematory songs never lose themselves in exaggerated effects but always go the whole hog. That’s partly due to the fact that we’ve remained very much down-to-earth.”
Which is exactly what Crematory’s countless fans will be able to witness when the band embark on their 15-show tour of Germany at the end of April 2018. As Markus J llich aptly puts it: “Even if we know exactly what matters when you tour, we want to learn something new with every new concert.”