September 21, 2017 Cradle of Filth – Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay (Album Review)
Bold expressions of darkness should be held in highest regard in the Heavy Metal world. Contextually serving as the backbone for Cradle of Filth, their unique approach has awarded the English band a lengthy survival rate in a cold and bleak place where musical artistry is not always appreciated. The more shallow or close-minded humans do not accept any differences in their own personal universe, but sometimes dark sarcastic humor is what makes for reliable strength in a weakened time.
Pushing the limit, diving into territory that society may not embrace, the satirical satanic Cradle Of Filth has been dazzling fans with their dark magic for years. Engraved in the Extreme Metal scene early on, releasing albums such as 1994’s The Principle of Evil Made Flesh and 1996’s Dusk and Her Embrace, the band would continue to grow and morph in style as time passed. Incorporating various styles ranging from Black Metal to Gothic Metal along with Symphonic elements, their sound and style is entirely their own.
Ever consistent pumping out new material, Cradle of Filth return yet again on September 22, 2017 with a new album entitled Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay. Their twelfth overall studio album, it comes 2 years after the positively acclaimed 2015 album Hammer of the Witches. In addition, the new Cradle of Filth follows a period Lead Singer/Lyricist Dani Filth devoted a good portion of energy to his other band Devilment who released Devilment II: The Mephisto Waltzes back in 2016. Giving his all to his endeavors with an impressive rage-filled vocal range, Filth has done it again with a fluid sound and masterful work of evil while dissecting life.
Released via Nuclear Blast Records, the eight tracks of Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay do not spare on quality or quantity. Aggressive as ever, Dani, Daniel Firth (bass), Martin Marthus Škaroupka (drums/keyboards/orchestration), Lindsay Schoolcraft (narrative vocals), along with Richard Shaw (guitar) and Marek ‘Ashok’ Šmerda (guitar) join together for their second consecutive album as a collective unit. All this said, what twisted tale does Cradle of Filth have to tell this time?
Well, much like their other pieces of work which follow a theme record to record, Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay does as well, following a Victorian Gothic Horror style. Setting the mood, the album opens with the screams of “Exquisite Torments Await,” which is full of aforementioned Gothic Horror elements and symphonic theatrics mixed with fast Black Metal styled beats. Moving on, the single “Heartbreak and Séance” once again pushes along into a wild stomach-turning ride with moments of downhill aggression picked up with gravity defying jolts of magnitude. Thereafter, mellowing out into Gothic chaos, the intro of “Achingly Beautiful” switches it up with the interspersed female vocals and fast riffs charted by the spooky symphonic.
Skipping on to the title track, there are more melodic riffs and growling shrill vocals of Dani while telling an insane tale of blood splatter and mayhem. This is before the “Vengeful Spirit” where a melody builds into a fierce assault of guitar riffs and double bass. Utilizing the vocals of Liv Kristine, it is a fitting balance of beauty and brutality matched with Dani’s bellows. Featuring a more old school Black Metal feel, the single “You Will Know The Lion By His Claw” is speedy, while delivering a evil agenda and a fantastically darkened storyline. After this monstrous tale, the final track, “Death And The Maiden,” will touch listener’s cold black heart with a seemingly appropriate nature for a Lord Of The Rings soundtrack when times turn dark and the enemy battles take the threshold.
A masterful storyteller, Dani Filth’s lyrics are poetic while honing on the Black Metal standards. This is all while showcasing a creative, unmistakable vocal range that reaches amazingly high-pitched climaxes much in the vein of what King Diamond is capable of. Powerful, while not recycling material, it is highly recommended to make the delightfully evil Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay a piece in the Cradle of Filth collection for repeat play. That is why CrypticRock gives this album 4 out of 5 stars.