Cradle of Filth, after forming in 1991, had (whether positive or negative) made a name for themselves in the underground metal world. A future career was undoubtadly in store for the band after merely releasing a few demos (including Total Fuc
king Darkness, Ogiastic Pleasures, The Black Godess Rise, and Invoking the Unclean). To this day controversy (mostly pointless shi
t about the genre) surrounds them wherever they go. Dani's original intention was to be a very influential part of the black metal scene, and I think this record shows it. This is the album that started the legacy. I didn't put it in the title because I didn't want ten million people posting about how Cradle isn't black metal, but this album was. This record is definitely black metal - and is their only real BM release to date.
And without further 'Apu', the music...
The album opens with Cradle's traditional intro, Darkness Our Bride (Jugular Wedding)
. It has some cool chanting and synth effects topped off by some sounds from an odd xylophone/stinged instrument thing. Dani whispers something at the end, and the track leads into the title track ( :amaze: ) The Principle of Evil Made Flesh
. Blast beats and avid double bass dominate the first well-szed portion of the song. The guitars, as always, carry the melody, which flows along quite fast. Dani's voice, while still insanely high pitch, is much more raspy on this album than on Dusk & Her Embrace and everything after. The song continues with the dark sound untill breaking into a nice lead guitar lick (almost solo-like). It then goes into a larger break with some very heavy guitar work (and yet more blast beats) while Dani leads it all with his voice. The bass has a brief solo :confused: as we go towards the end but is followed by the usual sound of the song. Very dark sounding, while fast and slightly heavy. With a final shriek, the song goes to an abrupt close. The Forest Whispers My Name
is next - and an eerie sound it posesses. The beginning is a strange keyboard sound that is bases around the bass (yes, they use the bass quite a bit on this album). More and more instruments add to it including some heavy low sounding guitars. The song escalates into the full-on sound similar to last preceeding track. Fast and dark sounding with the usual drumming. After about two and a half minutes the song gets brutally slow. Dani's vocals are highlighted with some nice guitar melodies. After a few minutes the keyboards pick up a rhythm (somewhat overdone) and the drums add a faster feel with some interesting patterns. Soon the music gets intersting again with a good combination - drums playing a little something out of the ordinary with small bursts of double bass. Guitars keep a steady melody but play some well-placed rhythms. And the bass - well, it's hard to describe, but they use it quite well.
Of course, who could be without Iscariot
, complte with traditional horro movie sounds" It's another ahort instrumental. The entire song is some enticing violin type sounds, and is set to the sound of a large rain storm. Classic. It ends with the sound of a loud heart beating. The Black Goddess Rises
follows and opens with s little feedback until the full brutality kicks in with some slow power chordage and low chanting. Once Dani really starts doing his thing, the guitars go into overdrive (not meaning they turn distortion on) and have a very heavy flowing sound. Quite headbangable. It breaks for a second with some depressing guitar noises until the keyboard/piano part begins (with Dani carrying out a large thirty second scream). The guitars play some cool riffs over the keyboard while Dani does a very raspy scream (not as high as usual) and a female backing vocalist comes in, closely followed by some well-placed layering of Dani's voice. Yet another brief bass solo follows and the song speed picks up. For a small moment the guitar does s real solo (but Dani covers it) and then again the music gets fast and heavy. Good stuff. As we draw to a close, the guitars play a sweet five second solo, and the track ends with the slow sound (with that awesome heavy part directly afterward :thumb: ).
One Final Graven Kiss
comes next. Man, they really love to do these instrumental tracks. Ryan (keyboard) does a nice solo for two minutes, but that's about it. As we press on we come to A Crescendo of Passion Bleeding
. This is the most consistently heavy song so far. The drums go bass-happy while the guitars retain a heavy rhythm while Dani does one of those really long piercing screams. Some sweet melodies eminate from the guitar while the drumming does to mad blast beats. Then the higher pitch sound comes (and is welcomed graciously). The keyboards back it up wonderfully - a good blend of brutality anmd melodic sounds. Hereafter the song randonly breaks (with only the bass and drums doing simple rhythms) to a very deep voice singing something - it's similar enough for me to think it's Dani just doing something out of the ordinary. Soon all the music dums down a little (in volume) while an acoustic ( :confused: ) guitar plays a nice riff. The song ends right after the lead guitar shreds a mad crazy solo. To Eve the Art of Witchcraft
is next. They keyboards play an organ-like sound before all the instruments come crashing in. The main section has the drums doing an alternating blast beat/something else type of beat while the guitars fade in and out of some heavy riffage. The keyboards play some more of the organ type stuff. The alternating part goes for a while, and then the organ thing again - man, I'm having trouble keeping up. Suddenly - it slows down! The drums are left alone for a while, but it goes back to the usual sound. I'm getting tires of writing about this, the entire song is just the parts I already mentioned played back and forth with nothing to really mix things up, except for a section near the end with some great guitar licks. Now that
was a long paragraph.
And still we come to Of Mist and Midnight Skies
, featuring an extensive intro complete with cliched horror film organ sounds. The song rolls on quite steadily for quite some time. Steady drumming, slow guitar playing, with Dani's usual vocals leading the way. Of course we get another few second break with only the bass going (can't live without it). The music begins to alternate between heaviness with Dani screaming and some melodic guitar riffs. At one point I think something is screamed about Jesus fuc
king...it just wouldn't b Cradle of Filth without the blasphemy. The song is quite consistent and maintains a good balance between good and bad. In Secret Love We Drown
, the fourth instrumental track so far, is nothing but some emotional keyboard sounds with the sound of a fountain in the background. Next we have A Dream of Wolves in the Snow
, the slow-moving softer song of the album. The sound is all the same for the entire two minute duration with Dani doing a low chanting thing through half of it. To wrap up we have Summer Dying Fast
, which begins with some insanely cool drumming. Dani sings faster than ever while the music itself stays reletively slow. It picks up in tempo whith some wicked-sweet keyboardage and good guitar playing. The bass becomes more audible as a quick solo is played (guitar, not bass), but there is a break featuring only the bass and keyboards. Dani screams "summer's dying" in a tortured scream just before the song fades out - very nice. And that's it.
This is the hardest CoF release to find, but it deserves much more exposure. Combinations of some good heaviness with obvious symphonic influences are riddled throughout, and artfully so. This is mostly for the diehard Cradle of Filth fan and is highly recommended for someone looking to get into these to guys to not listen to this first (not that it will be hard to anyway). But for nig fans of the band such as myself, seek this out at all costs.
The Principle of Evil Made Flesh
The Black Goddess Rises
A Cescendo of Passion Bleeding
Final Rating - 3.5/5