KREMATOR - Below the Line - LP
Leningrad, February 1989.
The curtain was made of iron, the nights were long and cold and Kremator recorded an album that is still pitch black, furiously wild and razor sharp... The sad thing is, few maniacs know about it.
Korozzia Metalla's first album came out in '88. If one were to name the most well-known Russian band, I suppose it would be Korozzia Metalla.
Kremator is essentially an unknown or overlooked band whose full length album came out in '89 and was originally recorded on reel-to-reel tape.
While Korozzia Metalla had far more in common with, say, Finnish punk/hardcore mixed with thrash metal, Kremator had more in common with anomalies of the time such as Sodom, the Brazilian or Colombian extreme metal scenes.
From the bizarrely spooky intro through the duration of the album, this music breaks down the linear patterns of Korrozia Metalla and most typical thrash music of the time. Short and choppy, odd time patterns and perfectly rough vocals absolutely remove this from the punk rock or hardcore affiliation that was so prevalant with "crossover" bands of this time period. Even if band members in one photo are sporting Exploited shirts, in another photo one witnesses Slayer, Motley Crue and Voivod shirts: which still isn't an accurate depiction of the music you'll hear within, but trends closer to what one would hope for.
High pitched screams, brief leads, galloping pacing and a general unruly moood prevades this album.
The album title is the closest that this ever gets to a "political" statement: Below the Line. But, forget that because there are translations of the Russian lyrics included here and song titles like `Cremation´, `Blood Running´, `Sabbath´, `Black Death Feast´, `Funeral Pyre´ and `Hellfire´ paint an accurate picture of the music and mood of this brilliant, punctuated and perfect album.
Mastered for vinyl by Phil Kusabs.