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Vukovar – Cremator

by François Zappa

We have just received a new release from the Other Voices Records: Cremator, the new album from industrial post-punk band Vukovar, that will be released in May but that is ready for pre-ordering here.

Cremator not only shares its name with a movie by Juraj Herz but also has the oneiric and morbid air of the Russian film. It’s the seventh release of Vukovar since the creation of the band in 2014. Other recommended releases of the band are the initial Emperor, Voyeurism, Puritan, the cover album Fornication and Monument recorded with the collaboration of Michael Cashmore from Current 93. For Cremator, unwanted break-up album, they counted with the help of Simon Morris from The Ceramic Hobs and Holly Hero from Smell & Quim

The first caress to our ears comes from Holly Hero’s voice in the disturbing intro of “Roma Invicta,” a song that explodes around the first minute: for a moment we think that the Bowie from Lost Highway has returned from the grave. The tune although is not commercial, it´s strangely catchy. It’s a perfect introduction for the album, being both experimental and addictive. Also, it introduces the Italian theme that we can find in different parts of the record, either in a reference to an obscure movie by Pasolini or to Boccaccio’s masterpiece. Sharing name with a movie by the director of Saló, “Love Meetings” has a martial rhythm and some industrial sounds that contrasts with the sweetness of the voice. The album continues with the dark and heavy “Interment By Mirrors,” with the industrial influence still present, as we like it. “Diving For Your Memory,” The Go-Betweens’ cover has a bass that PeterHook would envy, and sounds the way U2 should sound if they had followed the path of Zooropa instead of becoming iTunes spammers. It’s one of the best songs of the album, a fabulous example of the art of covering with style and it could be a possible single. “Prurient Real,” would be a club banger in a perfect world. “The Cold Lord” is a strange song, with some haunting voices singing over a minimal background.

“Love Provocation” sounds like some electric and happy Echo and the Bunnymen. It seems that we are going to see the light at the end of the tunnel or in this case, at the beginning of what we think will be the B side. We go back to a more experimental tune with “Perennial”: glittering keyboards, some disturbing drums that appear and disappear and a sore voice in one of our favorite songs of the record. The next song, “Voices/Seers/Voices,” has a more danceable rhythms but without losing the darkness that impregnates the album. “Orchids” is a spoken word cover of the Psychic TV’s classic with Holly Hero, singing here like Anne Clark from the 21st century. We continue with the same mood with the hypnotic and beautiful “Tomorrow’s Gone,” again a cover with a lot of personality. Cries in “The River of Three Crossings” manage to create a sick atmosphere that contrasts with the voices and folky air of the song. The album finishes with the ghostly “Decameron,” perfect ending to a record that burns us with its beauty.

A very interesting record, experimental enough to surprise us and with some nice melodies to catch our attention. It’s the end of an era for the band because two of the members, Dan Shea and Buddy Preston have left, but at the same time it’s a promise of a new beginning that for sure will bring us some interesting music. The editions are limited: 300 CDs, 200 black vinyl, 100 ash-grey vinyl and 50 cassette copies. A single has also been released with “Prurient” as A-side with the new exclusive song “Angels of Cremation” as B-side. It’s a Special Collector’s Lathe Cut 7″ EP of only 23 copies.

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