Review Summary: Thornography is very Heavy Metal oriented probably the best "gateway album" into Cradle of Filth.
Either you love them or hate them; they seem to never please people that come across their music. Yes, Cradle of Filth does change their sound after every new release whether it is instrumentally, vocally, change in the symphonies, ect…, and by doing so they’re always called a sellout band. Plus if they didn’t change their sound with every release in some sort of way the same people will go and accuse them of not being creative and so on and so on.
All in all it's an awesome album, but the sad part of Thornography is that the very beginning of the album really depicts themselves away from their symphonic sides of their talent. But the symphonies get back at the very end of the album strongly, and there are a few piano riffs here and there. The stand out of the symphonies is all in the instrumental piece “Rise of the Pentagram” and “Under Huntress Moon”.
Thornography is also one of Cradle of Filth’s one of the most guitar oriented album they’ve ever released. You’ll know what I mean when hear the more melodic songs in the album such as “The Foetus of A New Day Kicking”, "The Byronic Man", and “Cemetery and Sundown”. Paul even gets to work on some pretty good solos such as the one on “Tonight in Flames”. Now, with the Bass guitar it’s really vivid because Paul and Charles play some low tuned power chords throughout the album, and by those power chords being tuned low results in the hearing of blast beats complimenting the Bass. Even the Bass parts are melodic in its own way, prime example would have to be a few parts in “Dirge Inferno” and “Tonight in Flames” were there is perfect stopping on the guitars that allows you (the listener) to hear Dave play a very technical bass riff.
Now with the drums, after the recording, Adrian Erlandsson left the band so he could pay more attention to his side project bands. Cradle of Filth then got Martin Skaroupka to tour with them after wards; we don’t really see Martin’s true ability to play the drums until Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder. The drums more or less keep a consistent beat in most songs, what I mean by that is that the parts aren’t really trying to show off until the instrumental piece “Rise of the Pentagram”. Like I said earlier the blast beats compliment the Bass parts and there’s a lot of perfect timing on those blast beats.
Vocally as it goes Dani Filth doesn’t use his signature vocal style as much, not totally sure why maybe he had vocal issues in those recording day for Thornography. He predominantly uses a death growl in all of the songs; he sometimes uses his high pitched screech. In “The Foetus of A New Day Kicking” there’s something special about the song with Dani’s vocals he actually uses clean vocals in the song during the chorus and it’s not bad either. There are also a couple of guest appearances. One of them is Ville Valo who is featured at the very end of “The Byronic Man” it’s very short lived, so if you don’t like his vocals your ears are just plugged by your fingers for about a minute. Dirty Harry is the other featured appearance in the Heaven 17 cover “Temptation”. I didn’t think the cover was bad but it’s not going to be worth your time if you’re not a fan of her vocals.
In the end of it all Thornography may not be Cradle of Filth’s more popular album to many people that have heard their other work before. But it’s probably the best first time Cradle of Filth experience. The reason why I would call this the best first time Cradle of Filth experience or “gateway album” to their other albums, because it’s more of a heavy metal album than compared to a Symphonic Black metal album. I hate to say it but its sound is more of a mainstream metal album. So, if you’ve never heard any of Cradle of Filth’s work before this album might be a good start.
In actuality I believe this album is a 3.3.