Cradle of Filth are a British extreme metal band that formed in Suffolk in 1991. The band’s musical style evolved from black metal to a cleaner and more “produced” amalgam of gothic metal, symphonic metal and other metal genres. Their lyrical themes and imagery are heavily influenced by gothic literature, poetry, mythology and horror films.
The band has broken free from its original niche by courting mainstream publicity (often to the chagrin of its early fanbase), giving the band a “commercial” image. This increased accessibility has brought coverage from the likes of Kerrang! and MTV, along with frequent main stage appearances at major festivals such as Ozzfest, Download and even the mainstream Sziget Festival. They have sometimes been perceived as satanic by casual observers, even though their outright lyrical references to Satanism are few and far between; their use of satanic imagery has arguably always been more for shock value rather than any seriously held beliefs.
Dani Filth revealed plans for a 20th anniversary release of the original 1995 Cacophonous recordings in 2015, and a release date was officially announced in 2016. Filth told Team Rock:
The original recordings of Dusk – which were literally just sat gathering dust on someone’s shelf – are actually going to see the light of day. It’s going to be a really cool part of Cradle history, and obviously they’ve never been heard before by anyone.
The title for the new release was Dusk… and Her Embrace: The Original Sin. It was released on CD and digital on July 8, 2016, with a vinyl version promised for a later date.The liner notes confirm that the lineup for this version was almost the same as for The Principle of Evil Made Flesh, including Paul Allender and Paul Ryan, but excluding Robin Graves, who was shortly replaced by Jon Kennedy. Both left the band before the 1996 version of Dusk… was recorded.
Macabre, This Banquet—-Wispy orchestration enters your headphones…a deeper sound than the later release…but the grandiose introduction is clear leading you into…..
Nocturnal Supremacy—-The drums are much in the forefront as this track begins…the deep mystery of the sound is shattered by the intro scream from Dani….still amazing to me! The sound quality is a bit lighter…tiny if you will…but the power of the vocal can not be denied….from the piercing scream to the deep gut ranting…Dani remains the star of this how. This has a much darker and mysterious sound to it…but the groundwork laid was clear.
Heaven Torn Asunder—-The bass line that introduces this track will blow your head off. I wish the vocal was moved back up to the front of the mix….but these kind of recordings were meant to be presented in the most original form. Dani delivers a vocal that sounds driven and straight from hell…the high tones of his rants are piercing and from the very inside of his body. The pace of the song is driven by the drums and the bass line…it really picks up speed and drives it right into the center of your head. This is fantastic! The bass work…..just incredible!
Dusk And Her Embrace—-A classic track that was still being played last time I witnessed this band in a live setting. The opening growls from Filth are incredible…the dark and mysterious feel of the song is aided by Jezebel on backing vocals…the spoken word parts of the song making it sound far more evil than it actually is. Filth has a vocal that is almost hidden much to my chagrin….but it is there and strong….this is for collector’s only.There remains a undeniable melody line throughout the song…this is not a balls to the walls metal affair…but a well constructed release.
A Gothic Romance—-Clocking in at over 8 minutes in length, the opening organ strains of the introduction set the tone for the song. Leading you on a funeral march that seems to never end, this is huge and orchestrated with grand overtones. The tiny piano sounds add to the mystery and the wolf sounds make it even scarier. Filth enters with a spoken word intro before that ungodly scream greets your ears. The marching, plodding nature of the song adds to the dark flavor that carries this entire release. This is huge and overblown…but just a taste of the magnificence that was to come from this band. Remarkable.
The Graveyard By Moonlight—-A short and melodic interlude…the production IS sub par…but the feeling of mystery and evil carries it on its own. This is a nice respite from the relentless nature of the band and prepares you for the next onslaught.
Funeral In Carpathia—-Another 8 minute track that takes you on yet another journey of unrelenting screams and ungodly inhuman drumming. The pace of the song is incredible….adding fuel to the fire by the revolving sound of the bass line that drives the song to the depths of hell. Filth delivers one piercing lyric after the other…..settling in your brain even though you try to shake it. There are melodies in all of this sound that stick with you…that is remarkable..this is not just pure straight out pummeling. The female vocals give form to the song and make them even catchier. This is brilliant.
Beauty Slept In Sodom—-With an almost toy like piano intro that sounds straight off of a King Diamond record, the track begins with a deep vocal intro that allows you to sink into the mystery. Dani joins Sarah on a vocal that is in such contrast that it is fantastic. The squeal of his vocal is incomparable..no one can sing like this man….seemingly possessed but with the ability to drop to a growl at a moments notice. This is airy at times…melodious and orchestrated at others…and straight out metal from hell at other times. Fantastic…..the guitar leads that break up the song allow such credibility…..this is extreme to the max.
The Haunted Shores Of Avalon—-Sounding a bit crisper and less muddled, this track begins with a slow buildup that burst wide open with a guitar lead and then a rush of darkness accompanied by the hellacious bellow that only Dani can produce. Then the mayhem occurs,,,the song travels at 1000 miles an hour….making me wonder how the hell he can keep up with everything that is going on in the song at the same time. This is dark…extreme…brutal and melodious….a journey all of its own.The deep oral spoken word adds to the evil contents of the feel of the song…this is fantastic!
Camilla’s Masque—-Ending the proper release with another toy like piano interlude that tries to erase the brutality of the previous material, this track is much in the vein and recipe of many Cradle releases….smack you in the head and then try to sooth your damaged senses with beauty……remarkable.
A Gothic Romance [Bonus Demo Track]—-Funny, I almost prefer this demo track to the one that is on this release…it has a fuller sound and the tone is jauntier and more mysterious. The vocal from Dani is as you would expect…the song slowed a bit so you can catch the feeling that is coming from the growl before the screams. This is almost worth the re-issue in itself.
Nocturnal Supremacy [Bonus Demo Track]—-The only new thing for me here are the incredible monk voices that introduce the song and seem to have been removed from the later version. That kind of shit lends credibility to a band of this genre…..I’m just sayin’. Dani enters with his hyper-kinetic vocal that leads the song on an incredible romp.The melody line though seems much more present and is as later releases would be…up front and in the center of your forehead. A fantastic demo.
**** out of 5