Krematorii

Crematorium (Крематорий) is a popular rock band in Russia. Headed by vocalist and songwriter Armen Grigoryan (Армен Григорян), who founded the band in Moscow in 1983, its sound ranges from blues to psychedelic to classic rock and Grigoryan’s lyrics often deal with the fantastic, such as the possibility of life after death.

In the beginning, Crematorium started out playing underground shows in Moscow apartments before graduating to rock clubs around the city. Their first full-length release, Illusory World (Иллюзорный мир, 1985), was a huge success and brought them popularity all around the Soviet Union, as well as invitations to play shows in other cities.

In 1988 Crematorium released their best-known album Coma (Кома), which made the band one of leaders of the Russian rock scene. The album won an award for Best Album of 1988, and the music video for “Trash Wind” (“Мусорный ветер”) made onto mainstream television channels. At this time, Crematorium began touring the Soviet Union in earnest and playing to much larger crowds.

Despite internal tensions, Crematorium released a concept album entitled Zombie (Зомби) in 1990-1 which contained several hits including “Caligula” (“Калигула”), “Poison” (“Яд”), and “Zombie” (“Зомби”). Two years later the band released the most successful album of its career, Double Album (Двойной альбом).

During the rest of the 1990s, Crematorium continued to release albums, and played several concerts abroad in places like Israel, the United States, and Germany. Crematorium was generally well-received by critics and amassed a large following during this time.

In 2006 Grigoryan began a solo side-project called Third Angel (Третий Ангел). Crematorium released the full-length album Amsterdam (Амстердам) in 2008, which made its way high on Hit Parade’s top albums.

On April 1, 2016 Crematorium released a new concept album entitled Invisible People (Люди-невидимки), from which one single has reached the top spot on Nashe Radio’s June music charts.

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Here is Crematorium’s first music video, which made its way onto mainstream television networks in the late 80s. The song is “Trash Wind” (“Мусорный ветер”):

Lyrics for “ Мусорный ветер”:

Мусорный ветер, дым из трубы
Плач природы, смех сатаны
А все оттого, что мы
Любили ловить ветра и разбрасывать камни

Песочный город, построенный мной
Давным-давно смыт волной
Мой взгляд похож на твой
В нем нет ничего кроме снов и забытого счастья

Дым на небе, дым на земле
Вместо людей машины
Мертвые рыбы в иссохшей реке
Зловонный зной пустыни
Моя смерть разрубит цепи сна
Когда мы будем вместе

Ты умна, а я идиот
И неважно, кто из нас раздает
Даже если мне повезет
И в моей руке будет туз в твоей будет joker

Так не бойся милая, ляг на снег
Слепой художник напишет портрет
Воспоет твои формы поэт
И станет звездой актер бродячего цирка

Дым на небе, дым на земле
Вместо людей машины
Мертвые рыбы в иссохшей реке
Зловонный зной пустыни
Моя смерть разрубит цепи сна
Когда мы будем вместе

 

Here is a live version of Crematorium’s popular “Sexy Kitty” (“Сексуальная Кошка”):

Lyrics for “Сексуальная Кошка”:

Фрегат твоей мечты раздавили льды давным-давно.
И незначительным стало то, что было когда-то главнее всего.
И теперь от гнетущей тоски ты ищещь в звездной ночи ветер нового счастья, ветер новой любви.
Припев:
Сексуальная кошка на облаках, блаженная фея добра.
Ласкающей звезды я вижу тебя на небе.

Свое уставшее тело ты освежаешь водой мертвых морей,
Твоя душа как музей гениальных издели и редких вещей.
И я хотел бы остаться с тобой, но твое жилище – проклятый дом,
Его величество дьявол поселился наверное в нем,

Припев:

Сексуальная кошка на облаках, блаженная фея добра.
Ласкающей звезды оставляю тебя на небе.

 

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Zach Hicks is a PhD student in Comparative Literature at the University of Oregon. He is currently participating in SRAS's Home and Abroad scholarship program. His main areas of interest are twentieth-century Russian and Soviet literature, socialist modernism, and critical theory. Outside of academics his major interests are martial arts, the outdoors, and music. In Russia, he plans to continue to increase his language proficiency, to learn as much as possible about the Russian underground music scene, its tattoo culture, and to become a student of Russia’s native martial art, SAMBO.