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3.67 | 11 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2008


1. In Grandeur and Frankincense Devilment Stirs (2:27)
2. Shat Out of Hell (5:03)
3. The Death of Love (7:13)
4. The 13th Caesar (5:35)
5. Tiffauges (2:14)
6. Tragic Kingdom (5:59)
7. Sweetest Maleficia (5:58)
8. Honey and Sulphur (5:37)
9. Midnight Shadows Crawl to Darken Counsel With Life (8:58)
10. Darkness Incarnate (8:55)
11. Ten Leagues Beneath Contempt (4:58)
12. Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder (5:36)
13. Corpseflower (2:41)

Total Time: 71:21

Bonus disc
1. Balsamic and Anathema (6:05)
2. A Thousand Hands on the Maid of Ruin (8:04)
3. Into the Crypt of Rays (4:10)
4. Devil to the Metal (6:17)
5. Courting Baphomet (5:17)
6. The Love of Death (remix) (5:13)
7. The Death of Love (demo) (7:16)
8. The 13th Caesar (demo) (5:27)
9. Dirge Inferno (live) (6:45)
10. Dusk and Her Embrace (live) (5:46)

Total Time: 60:26


- Dani Filth / Vocals
- Paul Allender / Guitar
- Ashley Ellyllon / Keyboards
- Dave Pybus / Bass
- Martin Škaroupka / Drums

Guest musicians:

- Stephen Svanholm / Baritone Voice
- Doug Bradley / Lead Narration
- Carolyn Gretton / Lead Female Vocals
- Sarah Jezebel Deva / Spoken Voice, Harmonies
- Luna Scarlett Davey / Child Narration
- Elissa Devins, Julie Devins, Leanne Harrison, Carolyn Gretton, Tonya Kay, Rachel Marshall-Clarke, Liz Willgoose, Laura Willgoose / Choir
- Charles Hedger / Live Guitars
- Rosie Smith / Live Keyboards

About this release

Label: Roadrunner Records
Release Date: October 27, 2008

Limited edition includes bonus disc.

Thanks to Stooge for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

When it comes to Cradle of Filth, the general consensus within the metal community is that their earlier output is far superior to anything they've done in more recent years. That's not to say that most folks will claim that their newer albums are horrible - in some cases, it's quite the opposite - but most of the attention is often given to the band's first handful of records. As a result of this common mindset, many newcomers to the band may be inclined to initially skip over 2008's Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder - a real shame, as I'd actually consider this to be one of the Cradle's finest moments. Complete with a chilling, bombastic, and downright evil story focused around the life and wrongdoings of infamous French serial killer Gilles de Rais, this masterpiece showcases Dani Filth and company at the absolute top of their game. If gothic atmospheres, symphonic overtones, and overblown arrangements are what you crave in extreme metal, it's tough to go wrong with Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder.

Cradle of Filth's sound has become more polished over the years, but their core mix of symphonic black metal and gothic metal has more or less remained in tact since day one. Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder is undoubtedly an acquired taste, as the overblown and pompous nature of the album is likely to turn away quite a few of the more conservative 'purists'. If you're open to the idea of having a choir, loads of keyboards, and classical flourishes in your metal, however, you'll find that symphonic gothic/black metal doesn't get a whole lot better than this. Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder is an exceptionally well-made album, and it's clear that the band put a lot of thought into the compositions and arrangements of this observation. The crystal-clear production allows the listener to easily experience every small detail in the music, and upon repeated spins, many subtle intricacies do begin to come to life. Everything from the eerie choir arrangements to the brilliantly intertwined recurring themes just reek of sheer perfection, and coming up with complaints for an album this good is quite a challenge. A cinematic overture in the form of “In Grandeur and Frankincense Devilment Stirs” instantly sets the mood for the entire album, and the subsequent dive into sinister symphonic black metal on “Shat Out of Hell” is simply enthralling.

Thankfully, the band maintains this level of intensity throughout all of Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder; although the album will be playing for over 71 minutes before it ends, it never feels stale or drawn out. The epic interludes, crushing metal riffs, and chilling narration always mix things up, and this is truly one of Cradle of Filth's finest moments from a compositional standpoint. There's really not a weak song in sight, and the musicianship is also among the finest in extreme metal. The drumming from Martin Škaroupka (or Marthus) just blows me away every time, and his chaotic mix of blast beats, frantic fills, and technically demanding rhythmic patterns never cease to amaze me. The man is simply a monster, and a complete treat to listen to for any drum nut.

Though I am in a rather small minority, I consider Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder to be one of the best albums from Cradle of Filth. The chilling concept about an absolutely vile human being is brilliantly realized to its fullest potential on this observation, and the riffs and arrangements are among the best in the band's discography. Music this pompous is bound to sound a bit cheesy at times, and although this does happen in a few instances on Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder, I wouldn't say that it necessarily detracts from my overall experience. If I'm in the right mood for it, Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder always scratches my itch for bombastic and overblown extreme metal; and, in reality, that's all it really needs to do. A very effective, well-produced, and brilliantly composed album, Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder is an essential listen for anybody curious about Cradle of Filth's music.
To my ears, Godspeed On the Devil's Thunder sounds like a throwback to the sound of Cruelty and the Beast, which I suppose makes sense since you could see it as a spiritual sequel to the earlier album. Both pieces are concept albums based on extremely fanciful retellings of the lives of medieval nobles accused of serial murder, witchcraft and Satanism; Cruelty was about perennial black metal muse Countess Bathory, whilst Godspeed finds Cradle of Filth telling the tale of Gilles de Rais, former companion of Joan of Arc turned murderous pedophile.

Whilst it isn't an especially original piece, there are some improvements over the earlier album; the production is better, as are the performances, and the poetic lyrics are much less clumsy and verge on being genuinely clever at points. On the other hand, the clumsiness and bad poetry of Cruelty and the Beast was part of its charm, and the band seem to be a bit self-consciously going through the motions this time around.
After Thornography, Cradle fans (like myself) were left this the new Cradle sound, will this always be the case. And of course our doubts were led to be nothing but nonsense and poppycock.

Cradle have always done interesting things with their sound, either for the better or worse...and this is for the better.

When this album was coming out, I was incredibly excited (although I'm always excited to hear anything these guys put out). I was also incredibly fascinated to hear the album was a concept album...about Gilles De of the most barberic and sadist serial killers to ever have existed. Now the concept is a big focus on this album, in fact, out of all their concept albums, this is the album thats the most conceptual...and it works so well to its advantage. The story is just so interesting and amazing, that you can't help but wan't to listen to it more. It's kind of like a really epic movie...with this as its soundtrack (I wonder why a movie hasn't been made about Mr De Rais yet...would be a great horror movie). Dani's lyrics, being more conceptually honed, really are amazing, and paints this story with such a mad dark gothic world. The artwork also helps alot too.

Now sound wise, the album is dramatically different too Thronography. Lets just say those black metal elements are back. Now some of the poistive sides of Thornography still rub off on this album, especially the focus on the gothic elements. But the album also has its own original spark, with the use of choirs and what have you not. It's a new sound for Cradle I thought (Darkly Darkly sadly seemed to move away from this sound). I also feel that even though Dani's voice isn't what it used to be, this album prooved what his voice still can do (their were moments where I literally nearly shat myself, his voice is that good). Their is also a good amount of guitar solos on this album, which really isn't a major Cradle highlight.

The album also contains some really cool narration from Pinhead himself, Doug Bradley, playing the part of Gilles De Rais. Although, usually Doug speaks with his Pinhead voice on Cradle narrations, but on this album, he seemed more relaxed, which was cool, cause don't forget Mr. De Rais was human. But even Doug speaking normally is creepy, in fact maybe even more creepier than Pinhead (I love Hellraiser by the way, in fact, Cradle got me into these movies).

The album also just sounds like the band really cared for this album. No stone is left unturned, every bit is pretty eye opening. Concept wise, Dani also seems to have really focused on this story, mainly because it shows his complete fascination with this man.

1. In Grandeur & Frankincense Devilment Stirs - Nice intro with some great narration. Great start to the album. 8/10

2. Shat Out Of Hell - This is one of their most perfect songs in ages. It's so so exciting...and incedibly epic. I love how the lyrics are a summary of the whole tale. 10/10

3. The Death Of Love - This song is very King Diamond (apparently the album was widely influenced by him). A beautiful song thats arranged amazingly. The female vocals are really pretty too. I love the twists and turns, and the lyrics are amazing. 10/10

4. The 13th Caeser - An amazing chorus, with a great build up to it. Reminds me of The Damned, with the punky feel with gothic stabs. 10/10

5. Tiffauges - Great build up throughout, and it's very eerie. 9/10

6. Tragic Kingdom - Great intro. Their is some really kick ass riffs in this song. I love the ending too, I think it builds up to an amazing climax. 10/10

7. Sweetest Maleficia - Great guitar solo in the middle. I love the dark tones throughout. The lyrics are pretty always. 9/10

8. Honey & Sulphur - Probabbly one of my favourite Cradle chorus', and the choir only adds to its wonder. I love how the song builds up, and how recognizable patters that you love hearing come back. 10/10

9. Midnight Shadows Crawl To Darken Counsel With Life - This has to be their darkest song in a long time, probabbly since Damnation & A Day. I love the arrangements and the build up throughout. The riffs harken back to their earlier stuff too, which is a really cool thing to hear. 10/10

10. Darkness Incarnate - I love the punky feel. Great lyrics. The ending is pretty epic too, although it could have been cut down a little. 9/10

11. 10 Leagues Beneath Contempt - The most melodic song on the album. This song goes back to the slower gothicy moments. It's quite dramatic too. 9/10

12. Godspeed On The Devil's Thunder - Very evil, with some really epic twists and turns. Great ending to the album. 9/10

13. Corpseflower - A nice evil ending. 9/10

CONCLUSION: I wouldn't say this album is a masterpiece...but it's so so so close. Not alot of people got this album, but I did, and I will always love it.


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