Cradle of Filth
Existence Is Futile


4.5
superb

Review

by shemson USER (7 Reviews)
October 22nd, 2021 | 46 replies


Release Date: 10/22/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dark Office, Reached

Cradle of Filth have had many, many line up changes but remarkably, and I do not say this lightly, 30 years into their career, Dani may have found the best, most prolific line up yet!

COF had a previously untouchable trilogy of LPs, Dusk And Her Embrace to Midian which hold up against any extreme metal band and then followed it up with an incredibly overblown trilogy, getting gradually more mainstream and with much improved, major label, production from Damnation and a Day to Thornography. Thornography was probably a final crack at becoming a bit more mainstream which didn’t quite pay off, so was followed up with a massive concept album in Godspeed on The Devil’s Thunder, an overlooked gem in my opinion. So as you can see, I’m clearly a fan(boy), which is why it’s sad I had written off Dani and crew after the lacklustre Venus Aversa and Manticore. Enter, Hammer of the Witches.

I think it was important to start this review with a little breakdown of COF’s discography because now I can say this very quickly and save any further reading:
If you like Cradle of Filth, you will love this album
If you loved the last two albums, you will love this album
…and of course if you don’t like COF, nothing will change for you!
So, onto Existence Is Futile!

The new album continues the incredibly well received duelling guitar leads from the last two LPs. Going back in their discography, if you’ve missed recent output, the guitars are most reminiscent of Damnation/Nymphetamine era, thrashy riffs with catchy, twisting duel leads like classic NWOBH, a healthy dose of classic Maiden worship in here. Where I think this album is particularly impressive though in the context of the recent trilogy is the atmosphere. The one lineup change here is the keyboards and I think they’ve upped their game here again. Annabelle Iratni also adds some nice additional backing vocals, which remind me of the classic era with Sarah Jezebel Deva, to go with the extra haunting layers of synth and a few clean piano leads adding nice melody.

What hasn’t changed is the ever driving rhythm section, really solid without ever taking center stage drums and bass and of course, Dani himself. At 48 years old, the extreme metal vocalist sounds as hungry as ever, a truly remarkable feat. Long gone are his days as a ‘dead man squawking’, but that’s been the case since the extra utilisation of brutal lows in the classic trilogy, but being able to maintain his range he’s had since Midian is outrageous, even if he doesn’t hit the highs quite as regularly as he may have done going back a couple of decades.

One final note, is the return of guest spoken word vocalist Doug Bradley best known as Pinhead from Hellraiser. His spoken word additions since the classic Her Ghost In The Fog were a welcome addition from Midian to Godspeed and they’re back! I was loving the album start to finish and then when his inimitable voice came in with a couple of tracks remaining it felt like the perfect way to tie this exceptional trilogy of albums up with the old COF.

So there you have it, an album about the end of existence, the impending doom of humanity and how Mother Nature’s response to use will be ‘***ing brutal’, has never made me smile so much! Which other extreme metal bands have been releasing almost career high albums 30 years into their existence?



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user ratings (215)
3.9
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Shemson
October 22nd 2021


2311 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Rushed this out because we really need to talk about this trilogy of albums.

The hype is real.

Egarran
October 22nd 2021


27825 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Acquiring as we speak!



Worst album title ever!



Good review!

Digging: Spectral Wound - A Diabolic Thirst

Shemson
October 22nd 2021


2311 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Lol It’s the usual campy play on words from Dani, makes sense in the context of the lyrics, particularly the spoken word in Suffer Our Dominion.

Egarran
October 22nd 2021


27825 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha, those lyrics are not exactly subtle.

Shemson
October 22nd 2021


2311 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Dani has been accused of many things in the last 30 years but subtlety is not one of them :D

Egarran
October 22nd 2021


27825 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

But is this his first greenwashing?

Trifolium
October 22nd 2021


31994 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow wow wow!!!!!!



Can't wait to check!

Demon of the Fall
October 22nd 2021


24619 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

'Worst album title ever!'



Revocation would disagree with you on that one.



Niiiiiice stuff anyway, looking forward to this!

Digging: Gospel - The Loser

InFlamesWeThrash666
October 22nd 2021


10375 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Existential Terror has some great riffing going on

Digging: Septicflesh - Modern Primitive

Dwap
October 22nd 2021


296 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Few bands have seen a late-career resurgence as good as Cradle of Filth. Their last three albums are up there with their first three. This albums cements them as an elite band.

Anthracks
October 22nd 2021


7418 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

the riffs on this album are so fucking good god damn

Digging: Psycroptic - Divine Council

Rugal1945
October 22nd 2021


13 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

solid as cement

Madbutcher3
October 22nd 2021


3027 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

black smoke curling from the lips of war kinda rules

Demon of the Fall
October 22nd 2021


24619 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah that's not a real song, oh wait...

CottonSalad
October 22nd 2021


2462 Comments


:40 seconds into Existential Terror and I can't unhear Opeth's Lotus Eater (circa :50 in that track) lol

Digging: Pascal Battus, Anne F Jacques, Tim Olive - Trois Conseillers

Madbutcher3
October 22nd 2021


3027 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeh okay this is pretty damn good on first listen

BigPleb
October 22nd 2021


64771 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Guitarwork on here is their best ever, the 2 guitarists have an amazing ear for melody and well... riffs m/

Shemson
October 22nd 2021


2311 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

If we’re talking about riffs in Existential Terror, yeah there’s one that sounds a bit like Lotus Eater but what about what kicks in from the 5 min point? Sounds like Iron Maiden on crack!



Also, the chant is Pulvis Et Umbra Sumus, which means ‘We are but dust and shadow’.

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
October 22nd 2021


21955 Comments


stoked for this

Digging: Immolation - Dawn of Possession

BigPleb
October 22nd 2021


64771 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Shemson noticed it straight away, fell in love haha.



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