This year has been a major music awakening for me personally and I have been learning that my musical tastes expand when I give them the opportunity to grow. With the addtion of bands like Lion’s Share, Dimmu Borgir, Murderdolls, etc added to my personal play list I was excited to hear from the much talked about Cradle of Filth. The new album “Darkly, Darkly, Venus Avesa” drops in North America on November 9th through Nuclear Blast Records and is a concept album based on the supposed first wife of Biblical Adam: the demon Lilith.
I listened to the album around three times before doing any research on Cradle so I wasn’t influenced by others opinions or the often misinformation of wiki. What struck me first was the differences in style from one song to the next. The band claims they hate being labeled in a genre and that becomes very evident even on the first run through of the album. We have mainly Symphonic Metal, Black Metal, Death Metal, Classic Heavy Metal Instrumentals, and even some Glam Riffs (that statements going to make me popular with their goth following.) Of course all of these styles blend and are used as a method of setting the mood and moving the story along.
The current line-up consists of Dani Filth (vocals), Paul Alexander (guitar), Dave Pybus (bass), James Mcllroy (guitar), Martin Skcroupka (drums), and Ashley Ellyllon (keyboards/backing vocals). Technically these guys and gals can tear the hell out of the instruments, but after the warp let me tell you why one member sticks out…
Ashley Ellyllon on keyboards I”m sure is fine, but its her backing vocals that make her stick out. On songs like “Forgive Me Father (I have sinned)” and “Lilith Immaculate” Ashley has major roles to offset Filth’s growls. Those two songs are my favorites just for the parts when Ashley comes out and adds those clean vocals to illustrate the songs with fresh new sounds. I would have loved to hear her voice more in other songs.
On the symphonic front “One Foul Step from the Abyss” uses the string section to create this crazy build up throughout the song. Its like watching a horror movie and you know when you hear that creepy pushing music something is going to happen. On the other end you have “The Nun with the Astral Habit” which creates the same effect, but with whispering vocals/growls and this relentless drumming in the back that gives you the same feeling as “One Foul Step.”
“The Persecution Song” and “Deceiving Eyes” have these very cool classic sounds including some great piano work. The vocals really set the stage for both of these songs. The string section is used so well by bouncing off the rhythm section of the band. We have some talented people here.
Over all its a good album, I don’t think it lives up to Dimmu Borgir’s new one, but thats more of a personal taste. With this being my first taste of Cradle of Filth I have a feeling its going to grow on me and others as well when they give it a chance. To the hardcore Cradle fans I think you are going to be very happy with this god/satan riden album.
Enjoy “Forgive Me Father (I have sinned)…
Show me your horns,
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