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Krematorij (Крематорий)
Armen Grigoryan, Crematorium DSC 3779 (487017525).jpg
Armen Grigoryan at concert
Background information
Origin Moscow, Russia
Genres Blues rock, hard rock, rock and roll
Years active 1983–present
Labels Melodia, Moroz, Soyuz etc.
Members Armen Grigoryan (vocal, guitar), Maksim Guselshchikov (violin, keyboards), Andrey Yermola (drums), Vladimir Kulikov (guitar), Nikolay Korshunov (bass)

Krematorij (Russian Крематорий - "Crematorium") is a Russian rock group. The group is considered one of the best concert performing teams in Russia, known for its masterly rock-n-roll.[1] Formed in Moscow in 1983, Krematorij gained quick recognition, achieved the status of a “legend of Russian Rock-n-Roll” and after 30 years on stage continues to delight its audiences throughout the former Soviet Union, the Netherlands, Germany, Israel and the United States.[2] The group’s front man (and main song writer) is Armen Grigoryan.


The group was formed by Armen Grigoryan and Viktor Troyegubov in 1983 when rock music in the USSR was censored and banned. After running through several names including "The Lady Killers" and "Black Sunday," the group finally decided on "Crematorium."[3] They started playing at musical events called "kvartirniki", underground acoustic concerts held at private apartments. The group quickly grew in popularity [4] in Moscow rock circles. The group was unique in its inclusion of violin as a lead instrument, on the same level as lead guitar, giving it a peculiar colorful sound. [1] After the release of Illusionary World in 1985, the group gained a reputation [5] throughout the Soviet Union and began to perform at concerts all over the country. In 1986 "Krematorij" entered into Moscow rock-laboratory. However, Troyegubov left the group due to discord with Grigoryan and formed a new project called Smoke.[6] Krematorij continued to increase in popularity [7] until several group members left again after the release of Coma in 1988. Grigoryan succeeded in drawing new musicians to the band although since 1980's the group sometimes plays with a 'reduced' (acoustic) lineup, including Armen Grigoryan, the violinist and the guitarist. The band has changed with times, "emerging in the words of Rodion Schedrin, as the original "Waltz-Rock" band, much different from its underground beginnings, but always true to its passion to create original music. The band's current repertoire covers a wide range of styles".[8]

Uniqueness of Krematorij is also in their improvisational style. According to critics, "instead of boringly regurgitating the same old program at every performance", the group uses "a solid music base to recreate every performance anew, adding slight nuances, visualization effects and just plain Crem magic, which can only be felt at a live concert".[2]

The first conceptual album of the group, "Zombi", was written towards the end of 1990, and, released in 1991. It was considered by as an album "inhabited by certain strange and wondrous creatures, some "terrible bacchae," and other Tolkienian organisms barely recognizable in the dark".[9]

Troyegubov temporarily returned to the group in 1993 as both a musician and the director of the group. In 1994, the group worked on the film Tatsu; however, the film was not a success and was never brought to rental, though clips from the film are frequently used in Krematorij’s music videos. After another quarrel, Troyegubov left the group for a second and final time. He later wrote a book entitled Life in Krematorij and Outside It in which he makes many accusations against Grigoryan. He returned to Smoke which quickly dissipated.

Meanwhile, Krematorij continued its creative life, releasing several more albums and performing on tours all over the world.[10] Krematorij contributed greatly to the development of the Russian rock music genre.[7] The group continues to delight its audiences throughout the former Soviet Union, the Netherlands, Germany, Israel and the United States. Grigoryan composes multifaceted lyrics that frequently deal with the themes of life and death in various religious contexts. The use of the violin serves to give Krematorij an individuality that has been essential to the group’s continued popularity.

Krematorij in 2013

In 2000 Krematorij released an album entitled "Three Sources" a name that was taken from the Apocalypse, from the chapter about the three spirits summoned to take part in the great battle during Armageddon. "For an epigram to the album I would include a quote from the song "Zveroyascher," which would be studying humans and animals, and everything that comes between them....", said Armen Grigoryan.[11]

Krematorij toured in USA, Europe and Israel, performing their hits "Tanya", "Kondrati", "Trash Wind", "Ugly Elsa", "Saxy Cat", "Strawberry with Ice", "Little Girl", "Katmandu" and many others.

In 2006 Armen Grigoryan starts new project 3' Angel and releases album "Chinese Tank".

In 2008 Krematorij's new album was awarded by the "Golden Disk" of All-Russian Association of the Phonographic Industry. Their song "Amsterdam" headed the Top 13 of Russian Nashe Radio for several weeks. The same done "Chemodan Prezidenta" in 2013.[12]

In 2013 Krematorij had a great concert tour dedicated to its 30th anniversary.


Over the years, Crematorium has released 15 albums of original songs, 8 compilations, 2 discs of historic musical recordings and numerous live concert CDs and DVDs.

1983 - Винные Мемуары / Vinnie Memuary/ Wine Memoirs

1984 - Крематорий / Krematoriy / Crematorium

1985 - Иллюзорный Мир / Illyuzorniy Mir / World of Illusions

1988 - Кома / Coma

1989 - Клубника Со Льдом / Klubnika So L'dom / Strawberries on Ice

1991 - Зомби / Zombie

1994 - Танго На Облаке / Tango Na Oblake/ Tango on the Cloud

1995 - Текиловые Сны / Tekilovie Sny / Tequila Dreams

1996 - Гигантомания / Gigantomania

1996 - Микронезия / Micronesia

1997 - Ботаника / Botanika / Botany

2000 - Три Источника / Tri Istochnika / Three Springs

2001 - Реквием Для Всадника Без Головы / Rekviem Dlya Vsadnika Bez Golovy / Requiem for the Headless Horseman

2002 - Мифология / Mythology

2003 - Рок`Н`Ролл / Rock'n'Roll

2008 - Амстердам / Amsterdam

2009 - XXV Лет — The Best / XXV Let / 25 Of Years

2013 - Чемодан Президента / Chemodan Prezidenta / President's Suitcase

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b legends of Russian Rock Music, by V. Ivanova and M. Manykin, 2007
  2. ^ a b “Crem” (aka “Crematorium”) – an Internationally Renowned Russian Rock-n-Roll Band Plans a 2005 CD Release US Tour. By DenverNewsWire
  3. ^ Learn Russian in San Diego // Modern Music, by Yulia Savicheva
  4. ^ (Russian) Рок В Армении и Армяне В Роке
  5. ^ WWW.ROCK.RU - Российский Рок-портал
  6. ^ Vladimir Marochkin – Everyday life of the Russian rock musician.
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ Krematoriy Concert and Party, by Alex Kiskachi, Leo Chelyapov, and Rasputin open, Apr 16, 2005
  9. ^ Zombi, 22.05.2000, Анна АРУТЮНЯН (ЗВУКИ РУ)
  10. ^ (Russian) КРЕМАТОРИЙ-официальный сайт группы
  11. ^ And Three Composing Parts, 6.03.2000, Анна АРУТЮНЯН (ЗВУКИ РУ)
  12. ^ 1 место!,