Cradle Of Filth's third full length album, following (in order): The Priciple Of Evil Made Flesh
and Vempire Or Dark Faerytales In Phallustein.
To start, the artwork/imagery on this album is very well done. Very dark, slightly gorey, gothic pictures and art. The only thing that annoys me is the fact that the cd covers and everything is dark green and blue, but the cd is red; it doesn't match. It has lyrics for every song in the booklet; which is good, because you can't really understand what Dani is screaming most of the time.
Now to the music. It starts off with Humana Inspired To Nightmare.
It's a nice little bit with keyboards. It gives off the hanuted house/organ feel, music that would be perfect for a horror movie. Short, but it sets the stage for the rest of the album. Great intro track.
After the first song ends, Heaven Torn Asunder
comes in. Starts with some creaking sounds and then a driving guitar riff. Great use of growling and screaming. The tempo changes and breaks in this song are perfect. If you've never heard Cradle Of Filth before, then this is a great song to start with. The transitions between screaming and growling is flawless. You can't hear the bass throughout most of the song, but there are part in there where you can, and it is very smooth, somewhat calming. The female vocals in this sound as if it was an actual witch or something from the 18th century. Very nice.
Then, with a rolling drum intro, it comes to Funeral In Carpathia.
A tad bit faster than the other song, which is perfect. This is a definate showcase for the playing abilities of the drummer and guitarists. Most of the song already sounds great, but then an unexpected fingertapping guitar solo comes in. One of my personal favorites. The tempo changes in this song are also done well. There is also more growling and female vocals. But the one part that makes this song perfectly eerie, is the whispers along with the keyboards. It's overwhelming and kind of scary. There is another solo that is similar to the first, but I think it is even better. Although, this song is eight minutes long, it doesn't feel like it. On the song before, you could notice the length a little more. My favorite Cradle Of Filth song.
After the last two songs going right into the hard-pounding metal, you might expect A Gothic Romance
to do so as well. Not the case. It starts with organ sounding keyboards and howling wolves. Also, very creepy. Much slower than the first two songs, and it works well. A lot of this song is growling and deep talking. Very demonic sounding. Part way through there is a woman giggling in a sexual manner, and later, some heavy breathing. Cradle Of Filth shows how they can create the perfect atmosphere for an erotic goth song. It's another eight minute song, but yet again, it doesn't feel like it. It keeps you listening all the way through.
Malice Through The Looking Glass
follows the same suit as A Gothic Romace.
Stars with 18th century keyboard sounds. It gives you the feel of a broken down Victorian building in dark colors, like blue and gray. But then, this one gets into the metal a little faster. Most of the song is musical driven, but it doesn't lack the screaming/growling. Another display of how they can create the exact atmoshpere they want. This song ends a little different than the past few, as well. The music fades and a demonic voice speaks. If you heard Satan, it would probably sound like that.
After the past two keyboard intros, it goes back to going straight into the fast and hard music in Dusk and Her Embrace.
The women vocalizing at the beginning is something new though. It doesn't really stand out or anything, but it's all about setting the atmosphere. One of the fastest sounds on this album, that actually remains fast throughout most of it, too. Dani screams extremely, extremely fast on this track. There is only one part where the music is really slow, and it doesn't last too long. And another freaky bit in there too, where the women are vocalizing behind the deep speaking. I don't listen to this song a lot, but it is really good.
More of a clean piano into to The Graveyard By Moonlight.
That is backed by some more of the whirling, sustained notes. This instumental bit is different than anything else on the album. Halfway through it has a really creepy stop, where you can hear something that sounds like wind chime and the wind blowing. This little interlude is even better than the first track, in my opinion.
A very different intro to Beauty Slept In Sodom.
It's some more keyboard, but it isn't like anything else on here. It sounds more medieval than gothic, in fact, I thought of Medieval Times (the restaurant) when I heard it. Another slower installment to the album. There is little screaming on this song, a lot of growling/talking though. I don't usually listen to this song, but now I am wondering why. The guitar solo in this song is quite amazing. By this song, the screaming may get on your nerves a bit, actually, about halfway through it might. But they make up for that with the speaking parts and growling. Great track.
Now, for the last piece of talent on this album: Haunted Shores.
Another keyboard, which you probably expected by now, but the fast guitar riff that follows is different. This song is very fast, very hard. Nearly all of it is screaming. And even when you think the song will get slow, it doesn't. They'll have a short break where it gets slower, but then blows right back into it. There is a lot of nice whispers and talking parts though. A lot of this song sounds similar to the other songs, in fact, most of them do sound similar if you aren't really listening; but that just makes you appreciate the songs more. At the end of this song, there is another speech, and then fades out, concluding this hellish wonder of an album.
Funeral In Carpathia
A Gothic Romance
Beauty Slept In Sodom
Overall Rating: 4
out of 5