To those of you out there who thought that Paul Allender was the true definition of the sound of Cradle Of Filth: Think again!
It’s no secret that I love COF – anything from their imagery, the humour and eloquence of Dani Filth’s lyrical universe, the layers upon layers of riffing, the pop elements, the classical heavy metal elements, the many inspirational sources they’ve crammed into their releases over the years. Cradle have taken a lot of flack over the past couple of years especially, and to be honest, I’m not sure why. They’ve done their thing. Like it or not, they stuck to their guns.
‘Hammer Of The Witches’ for me is like a step back in time. It’s a step back to 1996, when I first laid ears to the album ‘Dusk…And Her Embrace’, an album that opened my ears to something that was alledgedly black metal, but something I actually liked immediately. It was so fresh and different from anything else I listened to at the time. It had a desperate energy, yet encompassed a myriad of riffs and keyboards and this squaling guy in the front and goth elements and stuff. Along with Dimmu Borgir’s ‘Enthrone Darkness Thriumphant’ this British band made me realise I had to revise my attitude towards at least some of the bands that called themselves black metal.
This new album is a display of a refocused Cradle Of Filth, a band that sounds hungry again, hungry in a way I’d forgotten they could be. It’s as if the newly recruited reinforcements have brought in new blood, which in effect have taken the band back to it’s roots and brough back a stamina of extremity. Cradle never in my mind lost their extremity, and it’s probably all in the detail and in the feel, but this album simply comes across as being harder, more fierce and stronger than anything they’ve done for ages.
Welcome back, Cradle – it’s a pleasure to meet you again in this shape – and I can’t wait to see you at the Wacken Open Air!
1. Walpurgis Eve
2. Yours Immortally
3. Enshrined In Crematoria
4. Deflowering The Maidenhead, Displeasuring The Goddess
5. Blackest Magick In Practice
6. The Monstrous Sabbat (Summoning The Coven)
7. Hammer Of The Witches
8. Right Wing Of The Garden Triptych
9. The Vampyre At My Side
10. Onward Christian Soldiers
11. Blooding The Hounds Of Hell
Playing time: 50:20
Release date: 10th of July, 2015
Label: Nuclear Blast