Cradle of Filth
Hammer of the Witches


4.5
superb

Review

by Hawks USER (117 Reviews)
July 13th, 2015 | 73 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Look who decided to release their best album in 15 years....

Cradle of Filth is a band that's really under the microscope in the metal community. They entered the mainstream of the metal scene in 2003 and became a band that was subject of mockery from black metal fans claiming that they sold out and that Dani was a money hungry asshole that nobody wanted to work with. The thing is, Cradle has never looked for approval from the black metal community or anyone for that matter. And though many diehard fans claim that every album they've put out from 2003-2012 has been mediocre (even though I personally disagree), even old time fans of the band aren't going to be able to turn off their newest album Hammer of the Witches

The main thing about this release is the brand new lineup. To be honest, Paul Allender leaving the band was the best thing that could've happened to Cradle of Filth. Although he was the longest running member other than Dani, his work was beginning to get a little stale, making a lot of the past 3 albums sound extremely samey. With that being said, the duo of Richard and Ashok that has come together here is the best duo of guitarists the band has had since Gian and Stuart were around. The dual harmonies on this album, take for example the main riff in Blackest Magick in Practice, sound like something that would come from early era Cradle. The best thing about this album instrumentally is how they bring back the feeling of earlier and more successful albums while adding a modern touch. The keyboard duties are handled by another newcomer Lindsey Schoolcraft, and once again, the feeling of Cradle's glory days come climbing back. Not overbearing, but very present, similar to Midian. With all this going on, Martin is still behind the drum kit and puts on his best performance since joining the band.

Sounds interesting right? But you may be wondering how good ole Dani sounds these days. It's no secret that his vocals have declined since around the year 2000. His world famous banshee screeches are still present, but not as well done as they used to be. Dani isn't in his 20's anymore and can't pull off that kind of range, let's just face it. However his performance here is easily the freshest he's sounded in years and the addition of the new members seems to have struck a nerve in him. His death growls are more powerful than ever and while his screeches aren't as good as they used to be, they're still good in spots. Lindsey provides female vocals as well and she's what the band has been missing in terms of that element since Sarah left the band.

With all that being said, I think it's obvious that I highly recommend this. Not only because I'm a fanboy, but because this is one hell of an album. Listen to songs like Deflowering the Maidenhead, Right Wing of the Garden Tripytch, and Onward Christian Soldiers and you'll hear the epic gothic tinged symphonic black metal reminiscent of Dusk and Her Embrace and Cruelty and the Beast. Unlike some of the post-2000 Cradle you've heard, this album actually has no skip worthy tracks and that's what impresses me so much. After over 2 decades and a billion lineup changes, these guys put out an album that can be placed up next to their classics. If you hated this band because of mainstream hits such as Nymphetamine or Temptation, then this could very well change your outlook. As for fans who haven't been on board since Midian, you finally have a reason to jump back over to the ship because Hammer of the Witches is easily the best album Cradle has put out in 15 years, and at this point, I'd say that's a damn good reason to check this out.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Hawks
July 13th 2015


73730 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Ok I said I wasn't gonna do this, but who was I kidding? ;]

emester
July 13th 2015


8271 Comments


Yayyyyyyy

Hawks
July 13th 2015


73730 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is the most Cradle hype I've ever seen around here I love it. m/

emester
July 13th 2015


8271 Comments


Giving this another go just to see if anything clicks.

Will say some of the guitar melodies are really sweet.

Hawks
July 13th 2015


73730 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah dude some of these riffs are catchy as hell. Best guitar work they've had in forever.

emester
July 13th 2015


8271 Comments


Kinda the appeal of this for me I guess. For black metal this is really easy listening. Vox are shit unfortunetly and I don't like symphonics in black metal to begin with, so that brings it down quite a bit for me. But even with all that it, the guitars save the album to some extent.

Hawks
July 13th 2015


73730 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Ehhhh I dig the vox, they could be a lot worse. And yeah I can understand not digging symphonics in bm, but if it's your thing it doesn't get a lot better than this.

emester
July 13th 2015


8271 Comments


Its just when he does the screeching thing it just irks me quite a bit.

Stopped to check some of their older stuff. Pushing back the symphonics on this was one of the best decisions the band could ever had made

Hawks
July 13th 2015


73730 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

That's why this is so good and has the feeling of the early albums. Great mixture of the symphonics and dem riffs. m/



Have you jammed any of the first 4 full lengths bro?

emester
July 13th 2015


8271 Comments


If I'm being completely honest, I never checked those out in full. This would be my first true look at Cradle.

Albums starting to lose its steam at track 7 and the symphonic elements are beginning to poke their heads farther out.


Hawks
July 13th 2015


73730 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Well if you don't dig the symphonics then you probably won't really dig their early stuff either. But idk you should still at least sample some stuff from Dusk and then take it from there.

emester
July 13th 2015


8271 Comments


I'll give a listen. Could be surprised. ;]

Hawks
July 13th 2015


73730 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fuck yeah bro. m/



Listen to the song Funeral in Carpathia.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
July 13th 2015


18888 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Pos'd dude, awesome review and agreed that they have no weak albums. I think we can forget about midnight in the labyrinth at this point ;)

Digging: Sufjan Stevens and Lowell Brams - Aporia

Hawks
July 13th 2015


73730 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks bro. m/



But yeah considering Midnight isn't an actual album anyways I think we can.... :]

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
July 13th 2015


16212 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice review Hawks. Listening now and it sound pretty good. pos.

Digging: Nine Inch Nails - Ghosts VI: Locusts

Hawks
July 13th 2015


73730 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Much appreciated my man. Hope you dig the album too.



I've been jamming it non stop since the first time I heard it and as Spirit said in the comments on his review, this really holds up next to their classics.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
July 13th 2015


16212 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Never been a huge fan of these tbh, but this sounds pretty sweet like.

Hawks
July 13th 2015


73730 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Which Cradle albums have you jammed dude?

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
July 13th 2015


16212 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Dusk and Her Embrace" which was okay and "Damnation and a Day" which was, again, okay.



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