Review Summary: As much as I hate to say this, it might be time for Cradle to call it a day.
There have been plenty of ups and downs when looking back on the career of the British black metal band Cradle of Filth. Starting out as a brutal death metal band in 1991, then changing their style to a more symphonic black metal with their debut album, The Principle of Evil Made Flesh
, in 1994 all the way up to their current extreme metal sound. Let's just say over the recent years, the respect for Cradle has been declining into the depths of hell. I for one have always been one to defend them, and they're still my favorite band to this day, but even I can't defend what they've done here on Midnight in the Labyrinth
For some odd reason, probably money, Dani Filth has decided to recreate a total of 19 tracks from the band's first four releases, The Principle of Evil Made Flesh
, Dusk and Her Embrace
, and Cruelty and the Beast
. Why he would want to take 19 songs, most of them some of the best Cradle of Filth songs to date, and completely butcher them like this is beyond me. First of all, this is a purely orchestral album. That may sound kind of appealing and interesting, but believe me, it runs the names of some of these originally amazing songs right into the ground. They just don't work in a purely orchestral setting. It completely takes away the emotions and atmosphere that these songs once had and just makes for over two hours of a snoozefest. There's honestly not one redeeming quality about this two-disc album.
The first disc features spoken word parts from both Dani Filth and former female vocalist for the band Sarah Jezebel Deva. They would've been better off leaving the first disc purely instrumental like the second disc because they both sound, for lack of a better word, awful. Both Dani and Sarah sound as if they're just uninterested in what they're doing and that just makes the album ten times more boring than it was to begin with. They absolutely destroy songs such as A Gothic Romance (Red Roses for the Devil's Whore) and Funeral in Carpathia just because of the monotonous voices.
Like I mentioned before, disc two is a purely instrumental album. And while it doesn't have the horrid "vocals" of Dani and Sarah, it still suffers from the monotony of the first disc. They sound as if they're just putting the songs through the motions and the people in the orchestra sound as uninterested as Dani and Sarah were. Both discs will have you wondering when this madness is going to stop, and honestly, you'll be lucky to get through half of one disc, let alone both of them.
Overall, this is by far the worst thing I've ever heard and until now, I've never been ashamed to be the one to say I'm a Cradle of Filth fan, but Midnight in the Labyrinth
really makes me question whether or not I want this band to continue on. If the next studio album (due out in October of this year) is as bad as this, I'm gonna lose all hope in Cradle of Filth. If you're someone who hates this band already, you need to stay as far away from this as possible, unless you want another reason to make fun of them, because this is well worthy of the heckling.