Cradle Of Filth

Picture of Cradle Of Filth

The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh

Cradle Of Filth - The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh ©1995 Cacophonous
1. Darkness Our Bride (Jugular Wedding)
2. The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh
3. The Forest Whispers My Name
4. Iscariot
5. The Black Goddess Rises
6. One Final Graven Kiss
7. A Crescendo Of Passion Bleeding
8. To Eve The Art Of Witchcraft
9. Of Mist And Midnight Skies
10. In Secret Love We Drown
11. A Dream Of Wolves In The Snow
12. Summer Dying Fast

Chances are that if I had heard this record in 1995, I would have been more impressed than I am in 1999. The problem with Cradle of Filth is that upon your first listen (and chances are it'll be the first band associated with black metal that you'll hear in the genre) you are very impressed but as time goes on, their schtick wears thin. And I'm at that point where they have gotten to be quite pedestrian and uninteresting. All the elements are here that make up CoF: the gothic, ominous keyboards, the shrieks and noises eminating from Dani's throat (though he's more restrained here than in current days), blitzing tempos, etc. Unfortunately it simply sounds nothing more than mediocre. Some of the instrumental sections are kind of creepy and interesting, but the busy song arrangements and inability to really make them flow together are a major drawback. No particular song stands out in any way. Eventually this album fades away into background music and nothing more. If you're a fan of CoF, I can imagine either you already have this or are frothing at the mouth to find it. I do find it more interesting and less flimsy than their current Cruelty and the Beast, but when you can hear other bands like Bal-Sagoth doing this style of gothic, over the top keyboard heavy extreme music, there's no need to spend time on CoF. I realize I say this in my review of Vempire as well, but it is simply the truth.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/1999

Back to top 

Vempire Or Dark Faerytales In Phallustein

Cradle Of Filth - Vempire Or Dark Faerytales In Phallustein ©1996 Cacophonous
1. Ebony Dressed For Sunset
2. The Forest Whispers My Name
3. Queen Of Winter, Throned
4. Nocturnal Supremacy
5. She Mourns A Lengthening Shadow
6. The Rape And Ruin Of Angels (Hosannas In Extremis)

Chances are two years ago I would have been much more impressed with this release than I am now. Maybe it's due to my severe distaste with CoF's latest, Cruelty and the Beast, or maybe the fact that the band focuses so much on image. Who knows. Regardless, here on Vempire, CoF does little to really change my overall opinion of the band. It is a solid, symphonic speed-blast metal album with of course a nod of the head to the black metal scene. As standard with CoF, you get an maelstrom of varied vocals from Dani's really annoying screech to his low spoken "dramatic" bits as well as that chick who goes "oooh" a lot in the background. If you haven't heard the music, suffice it to say it is based quite a bit on the atmospheric keyboard effects and speedy guitar lines wrapped around one of the better drummers in the business, Nicholas Barker. Unfortunately the end result is an album that makes me yawn extensively and usually I lose interest halfway through. Perhaps the nature of the songs being somewhat formulatic: "Here we play fast, here we play slow, here Dani screeches, here Dani goes low, here keyboards go". Every song comes across having a somewhat jigsawed feel. In comparison to their countrymen Bal-Sagoth (who are but one of the few bands excelling in British Black Metal), the music lacks a lot of inspiration beside the shock value of having naked women claw at each other on the cover. Whereas Bal-Sagoth's music inspires one to conquer thy neighbors, CoF inspires one to search through the CD collection to find something else to play.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 02/1999

Back to top 

Dusk...and Her Embrace

Cradle Of Filth - Dusk...and Her Embrace ©1996 Fierce
1. Humana Inspired To Nightmare
2. Heaven Torn Asunder
3. Funeral In Carpatia
4. A Gothic Romance (Red Roses For The Devil's Whore)
5. Nocturnal Supremecy '96
6. Malice Through The Looking Glass
7. Dusk And Her Embrace
8. The Graveyard By Moonlight
9. Beauty Slept In Sodom
10. Haunted Shores

Cradle of Filth has garnered a large international reputation for their fiery brand of vampire eroticism, black metal, alcoholic traits, and sheer extremicism. Their latest, Dusk...and her embrace aptly demonstrates why they are so deserving of high praise.

C.O.F. probably has more musical firepower than most composers. Each song explores a wealth of moods, styles, and extreme forms. I would actually venture to say each piece is a fully realized composition. And each member is talented enough to pull off the deed. The singer, on the other hand, is the acquired taste here. I've never heard quite anything like it. His high screech is unlike most in metal. Occasionally they attempt a more standard grunt, but that's rare in the album. Instead, his voice is more like a bizarre instrument. Mixed with erotic female vocals, the result is eerie.

Lyrically, C.O.F. is very poetic and dark. Each song again is powerful on words alone. (And frankly I'm glad they included a lyric sheet because you won't get anything from listening to the singning.) Mixed with the symphonic spreadings, Dusk...and her embrace is a highly recommended symphonic black metal album.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 02/1997

Back to top 

Sodomizing The Virgin Vamps

Cradle Of Filth - Sodomizing The Virgin Vamps ©1997 Blackheart Records
1. Gothic Romance
2. The Black Goddess Rises
3. Of Mist And Midnight Skies
4. The Forest Whispers My Name
5. Nocturnal Supremacy
6. The Black Goddess Rises
7. Unbodied Of Dusk
8. The Raping Of Faith
9. As Deep As Any Burial/Fraternally Yours, 666 (Outro)

This bootleg CD contains both a live show recorded in 1994 and an early Cradle of Filth demo. As with many bootleg live recordings, the sound quality here is very suspect and isn't exactly going to endear itself to you unless you are the type who owns every little CoF piece of merchandise, including their recent line of toothpaste and hygiene products. You can hear Dani's annoying scream with more clarity than is comfortable, as well as keyboards, but the guitars are fully buried in the mix. The live material is truly for CoF fanatics only. The Total Fucking Darkness demo is only mildly better in quality and shows the band in one of its early recorded incarnations. The mix between death and their brand of gothic black metal is very embryonic and overall nothing spectacular. Perhaps the most prominent thing is that Dani focuses on low unintelligible growls rather than his current trademark screech. For a non or casual CoF fan, this bootleg CD is to be passed on. With the low quality of sound and lack of any truly devastating performances, it is best left for the diehard CoF fan who must own everything.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/1999

Back to top 

Cruelty And The Beast

Cradle Of Filth - Cruelty And The Beast ©1998 Mayhem/Fierce
1. Once Upon Atrocity
2. Thirteen Autumns And A Widow
3. Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids
4. Beneath The Howling Stars
5. Venus In Fear
6. Desire In Violent Overture
7. The Twisted Nails Of Faith
8. Benighted Like Usher
9. A Murder Of Ravens In Fugue
10. Eyes That Witnessed Madness
11. Portrait Of A Dead Countess
12. Lustmord And Wargasm (the Lick Of Carnivorous Winds)

I've had this album for about a week now and no matter how hard I try, it's nearly impossible for me to sit through this entire thing. CoF's last album, Dusk...and Her Embrace was amusing and at times quite intriguing, but as time wore on I saw little reason to play it. This particular release follows in the footsteps (bloody as they may be) as its predecessor and offers little new ground for the band. Perhaps it's the band's reliance on over-the-top theatrics (which is amusing at best) or even the odd production that makes the drums sound a little too sterile, but I find little to draw me into this record. Dani, as expected, is all over the place with his voice and unfortunately it's a drag to listen to his screeches being so upfront in the music. I probably should footnote my statements by saying one of my close friends has been completely enthralled with this record, but it's just something I don't feel like subjecting myself to on a regular basis.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 07/1998

Back to top