Devilment/The Great And Secret Show

Members: Dani Filth – Vocals Colin Parks – Lead Guitar Nick Johnson – Bass Guitar Aaron Boast – Drums Lauren Francis – Keyboards & Vocals.

The Analysis—-

Summer Arteries—-I eagerly awaited this release as I am a huge Cradle fan…with a bit of trepidation as well. The opening of the release is a swell of calm before the mayhem ensues….reminding me of another Cradle release to be honest. The song has a great marching beat that is fast paced and a bit mild. Dani is in great voice…the 6 plus minute opening does not disappoint though…the screams and the growls are in tact…this is a nice hold over until Cradle return….I like it at first listen. The melody is contagious and the metal feel is genuine…really nice.

Even Your Blood Group Rejects Me—-With a gentle piano interlude intermixed with fast blazing guitars, the song is off to a strong start from the onset. Dani delivers a vocal that is remarkable…the marching melody and the ghostly lyrics will be right up your alley if you are a Cradle fan…this sounds just like a great Cradle CD that they never recorded…the music is muscular and more metal …there is much less orchestration here…but this rocks…have no doubt.

Girl From Mystery Island—-Beginning with a nice guitar and a scream from hell, this has rapidly become a favorite track of mine….the song moves at a frantic pace and the familiar female backdrop singer is there…as ever present as on a Cradle release. This is muscular in sound…I wonder sometimes how he can fit so many words in one sentence…this will not disappoint, like so many off shoot bands. The only drawback is the announcement of tour dates…leaving a new Cradle release still in the air.

The Stake In My Heart—-Really nice from the very onset, the drums are maniacal on this track. The speed and that scream make this a nice centerpiece of the release. Dani can do no wrong in my book…this is quite an extraordinary release…the creative output from this man makes me feel a bit inadequate…this is just fantastic. When that chorus hits you…it will be embedded in your head. Really fantastic!!!

Living With The Fungus—-The guitars begin the song set way back in the mix…but emerge as the song develops. Dani lets loose with a death scream that makes me smile from the word go. The musicianship is masterful….delivering a nice stomp between classic Maiden and Priest. It is the voice though…always there and always classic.

Mother Kali—-This begins rather bizarre…but your fear need not rise as the band returns to a classic sound. There are a lot of interesting things going on in this song though…sometimes delivering an Indian music type strain in the back of the mix…but still it comes to full realization as you listen. The chorus is damn catchy….you will forgive the experimentation.

Staring At The Werewolf Corps—-With a large atmospheric sound, the song begins rather quiet and sedate…but you know that the familiar strains are not far behind…this reminds me of fog and fear….the guitars enter and give the song a galloping sound that brings comfort. I still wonder how Dani can sing in such a way…I don’t question…I’m just glad he can. This is not a great track…but it serves to round out the release.

Sanity Hits A [Perfect Zero]—-No unnecessary interludes here, the song begins strong and with a purpose…Dani enters with a growl and begins a dark tale that is as we would expect. This is masterful and strong…dark tales and a welcoming sound make you forget the few middle filler songs…because this man can sing with the best of them.Not perfect…but acceptable.

Laudanum Skull—- I don’t even know what Laudanum means….but as the song begins, we are blessed with that familiar Cradle dirge before the ear splitting scream kicks off the song as it should be. This is adequate…again…it all sounds a bit the same…but it is not an unwelcome criticism….that is why I bought it…I wanted Dani and Dani you get on this release. There is little different about the music…it is the strong voice that is welcoming. The female croon returns in the backdrop…giving the song needed atmosphere and fear….not bad!!!

The Great And Secret Show—-The onset of the song reminds me of how so many Maiden songs began in the 90’s…soft with a huge building sound. This is another favorite of mine…the keyboards emerge and the song is a masterpiece. The voice return and you are welcomed back into the dirge fold. This is the centerpiece of the release…and the song placement by the producer is masterful…just right to keep you from becoming bored. This track is huge and makes me smile in comfort. The guitars crunch…the drums are huge and the chorus is a great concert staple I’m sure!!! This is fantastic.

Beds Are Burning [With Bam Magera]—Who could imagine such a band covering Midnight Oil…..but indeed they do…and the outcome is nothing less than masterful. Where Bam is involved is a bit weird…but you can’t deny that this is incredible. I really love this cover…one of the annals….this is fantastic.

Psycho Babble—-Almost silent as the song begins…the keyboards fade away as the drum heavy track ensues. There is a nice rhythmic sound to this song…you can not dent the catchy feeling of the entire thing. This is an adequate song….welcoming is the voice and the sway of the song…but this so called bonus track could have been turned into a killer Cradle composition…but I will take it as it is….

Even Your Blood Group Rejects You—-A second redux of this track….from some Soundtrack or the other, this seems even more masterful than the original…I like the atmosphere…the fear that is portrayed by the music. There is more orchestration and wisps of evil than before…you can’t deny the wonder of the song…a great way to close out this release. Will this off shoot band continue…I have no idea….when will the next Cradle release terrorize us…I have no idea…but at least we have this in the interim.

***1/2 out of 5

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