I imagine that keeping a band like Cradle Of Filth afloat must be a challenge. Your foundation is black metal and, yet, you have managed to titilate the mainstream with songs that appeal to the hearts and minds of the many romantic souls out there with their dark melodies. I can see how you would easily get used to masses of listeners, and then have to face the struggle of remaining relevant in a world that is at the mercy of popular demand when the extreme metal roots stay your baseline.
Since 1991, Dani Filth has held high the banner of the Cradle Of Filth sound (well, as high as a man who measures 1,65 metres is able to), the last remaining member of the band who recorded the debut album, The Principle of Evil Made Flesh. Four million albums sold later, with countless line-up changes behind them, having survived several commercial and artistic ups and downs, COF are now back with their new studio album.
After a couple of less inspired releases, a distinct hunger for blood reappeared with 2015’s Hammer of The Witches, and it would seem that Dani and his ghoulish crew have retained that state of hunger for this new silver disc.
To sum it up, the dials has been turned towards both more brutality and melody, and other than that, Cradle Of Filth simply sound like Cradle Of Filth. Which is a good thing.
As always, Dani is prone to vast creativity in terms of his use of the English language, exploring Victorian gothicism, dark romanticism as well as the ever-present element of twisted eroticism. Sweetness and evil brutality go hand in hand as usual, as a multitude of riffs unravel before the listener’s ears. The versatility is in no way lost. Dani’s screams are no less haunting, and he is complimented brilliantly by Lindsay Schoolcraft.
Are there any instant hit songs like ‘Her Ghost In The Fog’ or ‘Nymphetamine’ on Cryptoriana? No, not really – even if Liv Kristine is again lending her vocal to a tune (‘Vengeful Spirit’). It took me a few spins to realise that also this is in fact a brilliant album that keeps revealing splendid details and riffs you didn’t notice before. It’s all in the detail. And there are many of those details – in true Cradle Of Filth fashion.
Excellent piece of dark art. It’s heavy f*ckin’ metal, that’s what it is.
1. Exquisite Torments Await
2. Heartbreak And Seance
3. Achingly Beautiful
4. Wester Vespertine
5. The Seductiveness Of Decay
6. Vengeful Spirit
7. You Will Know The Lion By His Claw
8. Death And The Maiden
Playing Time: 53 minutes
Dani Filth - vocals
Lindsay Schoolcraft - keyboards and backing vocals
Martin Marthus Škaroupka - drums
Marek "Ashok" Šmerda - guitar
Richard Shaw - guitar
Daniel Firth - bass