Cradle of Filth has to be one of the most controversial metal bands to surface within the past several years. After forming in England in 1991, Cradle of Filth released their now legendary album The Principle of Evil Made Flesh
. After two years of touring and gaining a cult-like fanbase, Cradle returned to record Dusk.......And Her Embrace
in 1996, the album which brought them from the underground to the mainstream music world and solidified them as am unstoppable source of psychotic English antics. After another two years, the band gained major popularity after recording the albums Cruelty & the Beast
, and soon afterward Midian
. Although Bitter Suites To Succubi
, released the following year, seemed to do nothing to help them, they continued on to release Lovecraft & Witch Hearts
and Live Bait For The Dead
both in 2002. Then of course in 2003 came the album Damnation and a Day
, which was recorded with a 40 piece orchestra and 32 voice choir from Budapest. A mere one year later, their back, with their latest release Nymphetamine
I'm going to be straight with you. I am a Cradle of Filth fan. I have been hooked after picking up a copy of Midian
, and have not been disappointed after hearing Dusk & Her Embrace
(which I also own). Then Damnation
enters the picture. Oh, the pain. In all honesty, I lost more than a fair share of respect for the band after this album. A choir and orchestra? To me that just screams out, "look at us, we're so rich and famous that we can pay this group of talented and dignified musicians to basically do our job for us". The music on Damnation
was completely over the top and seemed like they were too intent on keeping an 'evil' image. Despite this, I just maintained that their early work was good but there was no hope in actually following the band anymore. Enter Nymphetamine
In short, I felt this album earned my respect back after the horrific performance on Damnation
. The term 'melodic' never seems to really be associated with a band like Cradle of Filth, but that's the only word I can think to describe it. The record does not have the speed and heaviness of Midian
or the atmosphere of Dusk
. Instead, Cradle seems to achieved a new sound, one which I never would've thought Dani would have the balls to even attempt. They seemed to have sacrificed a little of Dani's glass cutting vocals and blasphemous atmospheres to find a more melodic and softer sound. To me, Nymphetamine
, with a slightly more technical and sophisticated sound, takes Cradle of Filth to a new level.
The albums begins with the usual Cradle intro, Satyriasis
. They've done better intros. It has various symphonic sounds and in the middle a low voice reciting something I couldn't quite decipher, but then moves on. Nymphetamine
has retained some of Cradle's coveted fast moving and aggressive songs. Gilded Cunt
, the heaviest track on the album, does not disappoint. With fast, high pitched guitars and heavy drum beats, this is sure to please the old Midian
fans. Granted, it's not the heaviest they've ever done, but it could hold it's own for a little while at least. Ther albums rolls on with the amazing Nemesis
, my favorite track off the record. This song shows how 'melodic' the sound has become. It has the usual almost evil sounds with a steady tempo, but soon breaks into the drums keeping a fast double bass while the guitars play a duel, howling riff. As soon as I heard this I knew I would have to buy the album. It keeps up and gets a little faster while combining the original sounds. It seems to possess both the initial heavinss of the track coupled with the lead guitar riffs making a song that one could easily end up humming to themselves subconsciously later. In time it begins to repeat the line "black is my heart", which seems strangely fitting for the band. Each section of the song adds a little bit from the previous part, and is topped off with a quick guitar solo.
Nearly 7:30 later we find ourselves on Gabrielle
. It begins deceptively slow and soft with piano and a basic drum beat. 20 seconds later it goes back to the speed they usually possess. While not the greatest song on the album, it does have it's moments. When Dani's vocals combine with the soft sound in the beginning make a somewhat haunting track. Continuing on, Absinthe With Faust
seems to be an amplifies version of it. More piano kicks off the song, with yet more drums. The song in itself is pretty dark and symphonic. After the intro the guitars and synth behind the lyrics make a very dark sound, and break into the melodic riffs and piano. Another solid song, not too special, but not to be overlooked. Nymphetamine (Overdose)
may be familiar to some of you. It' basically a lengthened version of the first single for the album. It has everything from the fast and heavy riffs with glass-cutting vocals to the softer and more symphonic sounds. This song is a good showcase of backing voalist Liv Kristine's voice (not listed in the line-up, but actually does the female vocals here). Apparently this is the only song where she sings; all the other backing vocals are done by the usual Sarah Deva...or so I've heard. The melodic guitar sound dominates the middle of the song while Dani takes a break from his usual scream. By Cradle standards, this track is pretty unique. It stands out for all the reasons I've just said. It ends on a high note, with an amazing combination of the guitar riffs seen earlier and both Dani and Sarah's vocals. and at roughly 9:15, Nymphetamine
is packed with enough stuff to keep many fans happy. Painting Flowers White Never Suited My Palette
is the traditional instrumental track. Well, it has one interesting title. It isn't much to listen to, and proves to be simply a break from the album in order for the music to have a much bigger effect when it comes back into play.
And by God, does it come back. Medusa And Hemlock
starts off with a low sound, never getting too fast or heavy. Untill the second half. Dani's vocals get much more aggressive and the drumming produces a more urgent feel. It all leads up to a short guitar solo riddled with some sweet effects. Afterward, it becomes fast again, and ends pretty linear. Coffin Fodder
is another highlight. After a pounding intro, the guitars make an amazing epic riff, and leads into the main section of the track. Dani's vocals over the instruments pummels into you, giving a heavy yet emotional sound. It slows down with an intersting guitar part untill it goes back to the part above. The 'filthy' screams work prefectly with the music. 3:30 in we get another great guitar solo that follows the original structure of the song. It breaks back into that riff I love oh so much and ends up being one of my favorites off the record. After so much good music, English Fire
would be one to skip. The riffs seem recycled, and the structure is a little too repetitive for my taste. It has a few good parts, but overall I feel that it really isn't worth the wait. Luckily, they put a song like Filthy Little Secret
after it. This track has more of the great leads and flowing melodies, but is counteracted by a sort of suttle brutality. It goes on for quite a while leading up to another sweet shred. The solo leads the track for quite a while and ends on a heavy note.
[i[Swansong for a Raven[/i] just proves how much they favor the piano as an introduction to a song nowadays. Swansong
is by far the best piano type song on the album. The music only gets heavier under the intro and makes an amazing sound. This is kept up for the most part, wit the occasional break into a shorter, darker sounding part. There is quite a bit of the deep voice saying some more crap that keeps with the theme. In short, just live for the piano parts on this song. After that, we come to Mother of Abominations
, which goes back to their almost black metal roots with the spped and heaviness, but keeps with the lovely leads. Dani does and interesting echoing thing with his voice to start out, and then comes on full force. I could've sworn that this sounds like Naglfar could've done it. This track is very consistent and does't really have any parts that aren't worth listening to. It's got all the sounds on the album condensed into about 7 and a half minutes, and is a pretty epic track. This is strongly reminiscent of Midian
, complete with their classic atmospheric synth. The record concludes with Nymphetamine Fix
, which is nothing but a stripped down version of Nymphetamine (Overdose)
. They basically took the softer parts and made a video out of them. Pretty good, but you might as well just listen to Overdose
This is how I view the album: Nymphetamine
produces a sound new to Cradle of Filth. That sound really struck a chord with me. I've regained a hell of a lot of respect for the band after the freakshow that is Damnation and a Day
. Old Cradle fans may feel a little let down, and this is expected. But I feel that the band thought outside the box here and broadened their horizons to something new and unique.
Swansong For a Raven
Let me know what you guys think of the review. I just might get even more creative in the future.
Final Rating - 4/5
Enjoy this - I sure as hell do.