Crematory – Denial (1992)

crematory denial

Article by David Rosales

Crematory’s 1992 EP is the very definition of good, old riff salad death metal, at least from a basic technical stance. Strings of ideas fly by with less-than-optimal riff glue to hold them together, but an intuitive flow is always present. Adjacent riffs may be linked motif-wise, but sharp corner-turns are never too far away. There is a clear emphasis in contrasting rhythms to create interest in the music in the absence of clearer goals. Denial is a good example of why many black metal musicians who were originally playing death metal chose to forgo this style in order to look for more artistically meaningful avenues of expression. Crematory is fun, and there is an obvious emphasis on technical proficiency that although not forgetting entirely about coherence leaves it as a second thought, and any other landscaping is all but forgotten. Concept building is left to the lyrics, while the music is only an engine to carry those words.

Fans of this old school band’s work tag this lazy and faceless approach as ‘Crematory style’, but in truth, it is just run-of-the-mill riff salad without any particular purpose; only remarkable for presenting some technical variation. This can be particularly observed when the band attempts to take rhythm to the edge of what their speed-based approach allows them and creates this ass-shaking syncopation worthy of Brazilian carnivals. This comes out as comical, but perhaps technically ‘interesting’ for drummers. The guitar’s work is completely driven by these frenetic drums that seem more interested in showing off how many different patterns they can cram into half a minute than in contributing to the larger picture. In fact, the whole of the music appears to be an excuse for rhythmic exercises in “fun and gore”. This is an early demonstration of tongue-in-cheek emptiness that lead these musicians to explore technique but reveal nothing to the soul.

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26 thoughts on “Crematory – Denial (1992)”

  1. tormentor says:

    When can we expect reviews for the new Master and Morbus 666 albums ?

    1. Gabe Kagan says:

      I’ve already reviewed the new Master album. Morbus 666 coverage will most likely be closer to its release date; earlier if the band or their label sends us a promo.

  2. Dr Khan says:

    YAWN. Find some hidden gems from days bygone and review those. All these “this album is not awesome” reviews are getting tiresome. GIVE ME SOMETHING AWESOME.

    1. vOddy says:

      There is not a magically infinite well of good music.
      The amount of good music is limited, and so is the knowledge of this music by the staff of this site.

      If you have a specific album in mind, review it yourself or send them a copy.

    2. HH says:

      Too risky. This blog prides itself on the intellectual superiority that is derived through sardonic iconoclasm. Enlightened contrarianism, or elitism, is an impenetrable worldview and it’s the style adopted by skilled trolls. They are cool, aloof, cynical, and above it all – they’ll never admit to ever “liking” anything because such an admission leaves them open to character judgement. Contrarians are usually extremely self-conscious and protective of their image, intelligence, and professional reputation. When a contrarian praises an album, he broadcasts his personal tastes and sensibilities which leaves him vulnerable to critical feedback. For this reason, you’ll rarely see an album receive universal acclaim. Even the albums that are received warmly are loaded with subtle digs so, if ever challenged, the reviewer can fall back on “eh, I never said the album was great” backslide.

      So we’ll continue to get echo chamber reviews calling Dream Theater “Disney music” because that’s easier and less risky than writing a compelling and controversial article about why Focus was better than Nespithe in 1993.

      1. Gabe Kagan says:

        If you can write a “compelling and controversial article about why Focus was better than Nespithe in 1993” and send it to the mailbox at, who knows? If it’s well written, we could publish it. The same thing goes for anything else you want to try and write. We’re always looking for good writers to join the team.


        > they’ll never admit to ever “liking” anything


  3. Caleb says:

    Stumbled onto this site for the first time in search of some new metal to check out. Instead I just wasted 20 minutes reading a bunch of negative reviews on a variety of metal bands. Not saying the opinion isn’t justified and valid, but even the positive (if you can call it that) reviews were filled with a dry, uncompromising negativity. I suppose I should be used to it by now, but alas I continue to hope. So allow me to offer a little constructive criticism. Be better. Every review site out there does the same thing (the irony not lost on me that the very thing you critize in other’s work is emulated and embraced in your own). It’s easy to write negative reviews which tear down. This wastes everyone’s time and does no good. Instead, I hope for a site that introduces me to something new, brutal, and savage that I may have missed in my journey of life. Who wants to read about crappy metal? You obviously know what you are talking about, no need to bash others to show me that, instead, tell me, who is your favorite metal band? What album is in your proverbial cd player? Best album of 2016? Time to build the community up, we have enough people trying to tear it down. Rage on.

    1. We have reported plenty on good things, but it is not our fault that most metal nowadays (like 99%) is not that good.

      Check out good releases of 2015 and links to their reviews here:

    2. >”Every review site out there does the same thing”

      Not really, most other sites just praise with no reason. Other sites criticize but with no real musical basis.

      >” It’s easy to write negative reviews which tear down.”

      Only true if what you are doing is ranting with no content. To do it properly, you really have to go into, and have actual knowledge of music and understand the philosophical grounds of the movement. Most reviewers don’t even come close to either.

      > “This wastes everyone’s time and does no good.”

      Not true, it clarifies and gives insights. The point of a review site is NOT ONLY to tell you what we think is good, but also to provide appropriate critique to things in general or mis-labeled “hidden gems”.

      Stick around a while and you will see the worthwhile stuff. If you want random praise of Ok-ish albums, this is not the place.

    3. Nuclear Whore says:

      I understand your point of view.

      Listen to that Crematory record. I think it’s good in terms of spirit.

    4. vOddy says:

      If you want music recommendations, click on “The Dark Legions Archive” at the bottom of this page. There are a few negative reviews on there, but the overwhelming majority of them are praising.

      Personally I learned of the band “Atheist” that way. It’s interesting death metal.

    5. C. M. says:

      Not even a quarter of the way through 2016, naming an album of the year is a little premature, don’t you think?

      If you’re looking for more positive reviews, stick around, they are coming up.

      If you don’t like negative reviews then you’re kind of out of luck though. We don’t really have fun writing them; we’re just being honest and straightforward because our goal is to let people know whether or not an album is going to have enough replay value to justify a purchase. Most appreciate this service but, some miss the point. Personally I detest having to listen to and review a bad album but if it saves many others from wasting time, then I’m not really wasting time myself. Probably if you spend more than 20 minutes reading you’d notice that we have good and bad things to say about most albums, because simply applying a good or bad rating is not enough to inform anyone whether the album is worth purchasing. That’s also why we don’t apply any quantified scoring to an album’s rating.

    6. Poser Patrol says:

      the positive reviews are here ->

    7. OliveFox says:

      They seem to like Paul Ledney. Rage off.

    8. thewaters says:

      Click on the Dark Legions Archive link at the bottom. Great reviews there! Lots of gems.

  4. Belano says:

    I don’t share the vision of the last two posts. First, if critics only wrote reviews of what they consider excellent albums, this blog would have only maybe one or two posts every fourth months, or maybe less. Besides, it’s interesting and revealing to read why some albums don’t work as pieces of art. We know the classics already, and sometimes they’ve been commented again and again here, so that isn’t a problem either. So, in other words, I like how is trying to review various albums, some bad ones, some mediocre, some great and maybe some future classics. The important thing is evaluating all pieces with high standards and explaining as best as possible why the critic thinks the music is great, good, mediocre, bad, etc.

    1. Thank you! And you know, half of the reviews are lukewarm, but most people who complain seem to be used to reviewers showering the albums with random and meaningless praise.

      1. Ara says:

        I recently reviewed the newest Cryptopsy negatively on a different site and got lambasted for the perspective I chose.

  5. OliveFox says:

    Oh cut the malarkey. Everybody knows CREMATORY is nothing but good, clean, family fun. They really only have those 4 songs and a few shitty demos, right?

    1. Daniel Maarat says:

      Some bands have no good songs. Name a good Bloodstone song? You can’t as all they have is Incantation and Necrophobic riffage with a shittier production.

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