It's so sad when one of your favourite bands of all time disapoints you. You really want to like this album, because you love these guys, but you really can't...you strive to find all the possible things you like about it, but their really isn't much to offer.
Maybe this album needs to grow on me, but at the moment I'm disappointed.
This album is another concept album, although out of the 4 they've made...this is their most disapointing. The concept is supposed to be the female counterpart to their previous album, Godspeed On The Devil's Thunder, which was about infamous mass murderer Gilles De Rais. Now this album is about Lillith...Adam's first wife, who's a demon and gets up to all kinds of mischief. Now, concept wise, its ok, and the music is almost like a soundtrack to the story...but it's not a Crulety & The Beast or a Damnation & A Day.
Musically, the band have tried to go back to their black metal days, with faster and more heavier songs. But to be honest, I kind of liked Cradle morhping their own unique sound throughout the years (although Thornography may be a bit too strong of a change). Now this album is faster and heavier than some of their current releases. And yes sound wise it does sound pretty cool, but it takes more than some good sounds to make a good album. The style of keyboards has changed too, where usually it would play creepy moments, the style has been changed to bombasticity, due to new keyboardist, Ashley Ellylon, providing pretty interesting orchestrations, which is nice and all, bu I prefered the earlier keys method.
Usually Cradle's songs always had those moments which made you go "f*** yea", and moments that send tingles up your spine and always kept you interested...and does that happen in this album...yes...in 4 songs...but usually it should be in every song. Their is way too much filler in this album, with 3 songs being really unique and kick ass, whilst the other 8 are just filler really. Their some decent enough moments, but they all sound too similar, and you can barely tell if its a new song or not. Now at times, the concept seems to keep them alive, but it still doesnt help them out anymore.
Lyrically, Dani isn't as good as he used to be, now don't get me wrong, the lyrics are better than what any other metal band could produce, but I feel that his poetic style has started to decrease, and he's going back to basics now. His vocals also seem to be slightly weaker now, although he is getting older.
Besides that, their are 4 really really really good songs on this album, and its such a shame that the rest aren't as good. The filler tracks aren't the worst, but they're nothing special.
1. The Cult Of Venus Aversa - One of their best songs in ages. Incredible chorus (one of their most striking in ages too). Amazing dramaticism throughout the track. Such a shame this is one of the only highlights. Best song on the album, definitly. 10/10
2. One Foul Step From The Abyss - Great arrangement. Brutal intro. Very evil indeed, but still a bit filler. 8/10
3. The Nun With The Astral Habit - Nice dramatic moments throughout. The use of keys is pretty cool too. 8/10
4. Church Of The Sacred Heart - Pretty epic at times. Killer evil riffs and interesting vocals. Some nice lyrics too. 7/10
5. The Persecution Song - It seems to build up throughout, but it really leads to nowhere. Theirs alot of weakness in Dani's vocals too. 7/10
6. Decieveing Eyes - Great intro. The song does have some nice twists and turns, and the melodic moments are pretty interesting. 8/10
7. Lillith Immaculate - I remember hearing this song in the build up to its release. I was actually quite excited about this album...shame it's a let down. Epic orchestration. Great female vocals, with some sexy parts and some sexy lyrics too. Amazing arrangement and a killer chorus. 10/10
8. The Spawn Of Love & War - Nice arrangement and time chages throughout. Some pretty kiler riffs and atmospheric keyboards. Some really kick ass moments at times. 8/10
9. Harlot On A Pedestal - Filler and unremorable really. 5/10
10. Forgive Me Father (I Have Sinned) - Pop black metal...if thats possible. The poppy feel at times does help the song, and when it does change into a big evil song, it makes it more enjoyable. Great arrangement and interesting moments throughout. 10/10
11. Beyond Eleventh Hour - The most dramatic song on the album. I love how the song changes throughout, and how it comes full circle at the end. 9/10
CONCLUSION: I'm being quite generous with the score. The album is ok, really nothing special and a big disappointment. If any other band released this, it might be quite good, but because its Cradle, it's a big let down.
5.4/10 (I've decided to do this now :D)