CRADLE OF FILTH

Symphonic Black Metal / Gothic Metal / Death Metal / Black Metal / Non-Metal / Melodic Black Metal • United Kingdom
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Cradle of Filth is an extreme metal band, formed in Suffolk, United Kingdom in 1991. The band consists of Dani Filth (vocals), Paul Allender (guitars), Charles Hedger (guitars), Dave Pybus (bass), Sarah Jezebel Deva (backing vocals), Rosie Smith (keyboards), and Martin Skaroupka (drums).

In 1994, Cradle of Filth was signed to Cacophonous Records, on which they released their first album "The Principle of Evil Made Flesh". Cacophonous also pressed the "Vempire or Dark Faerytales In Phallustein" EP in 1996. After this the band were signed to Music For Nations, for whom they produced three of their most prominent full length CD's to date: "Dusk and Her Embrace", "Cruelty and the Beast", and "Midian". The "From the Cradle to Enslave" EP and a compilation dubbed "Bitter Suites to Succubi" also featured many original songs, as well as some covers and re-recordings of old songs. Then in 2003, they signed to Sony
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CRADLE OF FILTH Discography

CRADLE OF FILTH albums / top albums

CRADLE OF FILTH The Principle of Evil Made Flesh album cover 3.02 | 23 ratings
The Principle of Evil Made Flesh
Melodic Black Metal 1994
CRADLE OF FILTH Dusk and Her Embrace album cover 4.20 | 37 ratings
Dusk and Her Embrace
Symphonic Black Metal 1996
CRADLE OF FILTH Cruelty and the Beast album cover 3.83 | 34 ratings
Cruelty and the Beast
Gothic Metal 1998
CRADLE OF FILTH Midian album cover 3.81 | 23 ratings
Midian
Gothic Metal 2000
CRADLE OF FILTH Damnation and a Day album cover 3.70 | 18 ratings
Damnation and a Day
Gothic Metal 2003
CRADLE OF FILTH Nymphetamine album cover 3.62 | 19 ratings
Nymphetamine
Gothic Metal 2004
CRADLE OF FILTH Thornography album cover 3.23 | 12 ratings
Thornography
Gothic Metal 2006
CRADLE OF FILTH Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder: The Life and Crimes of Gilles de Rais album cover 3.67 | 11 ratings
Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder: The Life and Crimes of Gilles de Rais
Gothic Metal 2008
CRADLE OF FILTH Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa album cover 2.69 | 10 ratings
Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa
Symphonic Black Metal 2010
CRADLE OF FILTH Midnight in the Labyrinth album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Midnight in the Labyrinth
Non-Metal 2012
CRADLE OF FILTH The Manticore and Other Horrors album cover 3.08 | 4 ratings
The Manticore and Other Horrors
Symphonic Black Metal 2012
CRADLE OF FILTH Hammer Of The Witches album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
Hammer Of The Witches
Symphonic Black Metal 2015
CRADLE OF FILTH Dusk... and Her Embrace - The Original Sin album cover 5.00 | 3 ratings
Dusk... and Her Embrace - The Original Sin
Symphonic Black Metal 2016
CRADLE OF FILTH Cryptoriana - The Seductiveness of Decay album cover 4.57 | 3 ratings
Cryptoriana - The Seductiveness of Decay
Symphonic Black Metal 2017
CRADLE OF FILTH Existence Is Futile album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Existence Is Futile
Symphonic Black Metal 2021

CRADLE OF FILTH EPs & splits

CRADLE OF FILTH A Pungent and Sexual Miasma album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Pungent and Sexual Miasma
Black Metal 1992
CRADLE OF FILTH V Empire or Dark Faerytales in Phallustein album cover 4.07 | 17 ratings
V Empire or Dark Faerytales in Phallustein
Symphonic Black Metal 1996
CRADLE OF FILTH From the Cradle to Enslave E.P. album cover 2.85 | 10 ratings
From the Cradle to Enslave E.P.
Symphonic Black Metal 1999
CRADLE OF FILTH Bitter Suites to Succubi album cover 3.45 | 9 ratings
Bitter Suites to Succubi
Gothic Metal 2001
CRADLE OF FILTH Evermore Darkly album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Evermore Darkly
Gothic Metal 2011

CRADLE OF FILTH live albums

CRADLE OF FILTH Live Bait for the Dead album cover 3.38 | 4 ratings
Live Bait for the Dead
Gothic Metal 2002
CRADLE OF FILTH Eleven Burial Masses album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Eleven Burial Masses
Gothic Metal 2007

CRADLE OF FILTH demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

CRADLE OF FILTH Orgiastic Pleasures Foul album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Orgiastic Pleasures Foul
Death Metal 1992
CRADLE OF FILTH The Black Goddess Rises album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Black Goddess Rises
Death Metal 1992
CRADLE OF FILTH Invoking The Unclean album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Invoking The Unclean
Death Metal 1992
CRADLE OF FILTH Total Fucking Darkness album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Total Fucking Darkness
Black Metal 1993
CRADLE OF FILTH 3 Song Sampler album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
3 Song Sampler
Gothic Metal 2004
CRADLE OF FILTH Devil Woman album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Devil Woman
Gothic Metal 2005
CRADLE OF FILTH Thornographic album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Thornographic
Gothic Metal 2006

CRADLE OF FILTH re-issues & compilations

CRADLE OF FILTH Lovecraft & Witch Hearts album cover 3.33 | 6 ratings
Lovecraft & Witch Hearts
Gothic Metal 2002
CRADLE OF FILTH Limited Edition 4 CD Slipcase album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Limited Edition 4 CD Slipcase
Gothic Metal 2006

CRADLE OF FILTH singles (5)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Twisted Nails of Faith
Symphonic Black Metal 1998
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
No Time To Cry
Gothic Metal 2001
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Babalon A.D.
Gothic Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mannequin
Gothic Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Heartbreak and Seance
Symphonic Black Metal 2017

CRADLE OF FILTH movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
3.50 | 1 ratings
PanDaemonAeon
Gothic Metal 1999
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 1 ratings
Heavy, Left-Handed and Candid
Gothic Metal 2001
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Peace Through Superior Firepower
Gothic Metal 2005

CRADLE OF FILTH Reviews

CRADLE OF FILTH The Principle of Evil Made Flesh

Album · 1994 · Melodic Black Metal
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British extreme goth metallers Cradle of Filth released their first album The Principle of Evil Made Flesh in 1994, following a handful of demos and a botched attempt at releasing their debut full-length (Goetia, whose tapes were erased by the recording studio when the label withdrew the funds to pay for it). Although much of the line-up that recorded Principle had been together for quite a few years, their future will be short-lived. After the album came out, keyboard player Benjamin Ryan and guitarists Paul Ryan and Paul Allender all left the band (though Allender will return later on in 2000) to form the short-lived goth/doom project The Blood Divine, leaving drummer Nicholas Barker, bassist Robin Graves and singer Dani Filth to carry on on their own.

Principle is a somewhat different beast compared to much of the rest of Cradle of Filth’s discography. Some of the classic trademarks of their sound are already here, such as the romantic and gothic undertones, the use of female recitations and symphonic keyboards, and a guitar approach that sits halfway between extreme metal and classic heavy metal, with ample concessions to melodic leads. But all these traits are just at an embryonic stage on Principle, which is instead characterized by a more extreme and savage stylistic approach, putting the album more firmly into black metal territory than most of their other records. The level of aggression remains high from the opening (post instrumental prelude) title-track through most of the rest of the album, with some songs showcasing an almost punkish bellicosity. Dani Filth’s vocals also sound quite different on this album relative to the vocal style he will develop later on. His voice is raspier and more guttural, the high-pitched shrieks that will soon become his controversial trademark are almost completely absent here. While some may prefer the more standard approach Dani uses on this album, I find it a tad too unidimensional as well as somewhat tentative and strained, as if Dani weren’t fully comfortable with his own performance (which I guess is not unusual for a debut).

Although I vastly prefer their later 1990s and early 2000s output, Principle is a pleasant album to listen to. Its main shortcoming is that it does not contain many stand-out moments and even the best tracks are characterized by a certain compositional clumsiness that bogs them down somewhat. Cradle of Filth’s music is characterized by a very progressive approach to songwriting, with multiple parts segueing into one another often without being repeated more than once, layered guitar and vocal melodies, hyperactive drumming, continuous tempo changes, and sudden alternations of fast and furious episodes with more relaxed and melodic parts. To write such complex compositions while retaining a smooth flow is a difficult art and Cradle of Filth here succeed only in a couple of occasions, like on the moody and majestic “The Black Goddess Rises” and what is probably the best song of the record “Summer Dying Fast” (which is preceded by another great track “A Dream of Wolves in the Snow”, a little atmospheric spoken piece featuring Anathema’s Darren White on vocals). Elsewhere, the songs feel rather messy and overindulgent and they fail to hold my attention through their entire duration. The title-track and “The Forest Whispers My Name” are also decent tracks, although they are played a bit loosely and chaotically, which detracts from the listening experience. The sound production does not particularly help either. The album has a low-fi sound that, if on the one hand it gives the music a nice underground feel that matches well its brutal, punkish energy, on the other hand it makes the sound muddy, which is a problem when one writes complex and articulated music.

Overall, The Principle of Evil Made Flesh is a worthy debut album, foreshadowing the band’s impending success, but not fully reaching the level of quality of their later output. The album does contain some good tracks, though, which indeed will be re-recorded and re-released in different guises in later albums and EPs. If you can get past some of its defects (slightly clumsy compositions, tentative vocals, low-fi production), it can be a pleasant record to play once in a while.

CRADLE OF FILTH V Empire or Dark Faerytales in Phallustein

EP · 1996 · Symphonic Black Metal
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V Empire is the second studio release by British extreme goth metallers Cradle of Filth. Released in 1996, it is an EP that was recorded to set the band free of their contractual obligations with their record label Cacophonous Records (the band will soon sign a deal with Music For Nations to release their second, and immensely successful, full-length Dusk … and Her Embrace). Given this background story, one may expect V Empire to be a sub-par, throwaway release, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. V Empire is actually an excellent record, much superior to the band’s debut album The Principle of Evil Made Flesh, and at times capable of competing with the impending heavyweight Dusk … and Her Embrace.

Relative to the band’s debut full-length, Cradle of Filth sport a new line-up on this record, with guitarist Stuart Anstis and keyboard player Damien Gregori joining drummer Nicholas Barker, bassist Robin Graves and singer Dani Filth after the demise of half of the band following the debut record (a second guitarist, some Jared Demeter, is mentioned in the CD booklet, but it turns out this was just to give the impression that the band still had two guitar players, when in fact Anstis recorded all guitar parts on the record). This is the same line-up that will record Dusk … and Her Embrace and indeed the sound of the album is closer to Dusk than to the debut. The gothic and melodic elements find more space on this album and so do the female vocals that here are not just used in the form of recitations but also to sing melodies. The brutality and aggression are toned down a notch. The guitar work is more melodic and closer to classic heavy metal than to black metal. Nicholas Barker’s drumming, although always furious and hyperactive, is more nuanced, using fills and breaks and a more varied and less relentless approach. Dani’s vocals have also improved. His performance is more varied and sophisticated and his voice does not sound so strained and tentative as on the debut.

The songwriting and production also show clear signs of improvement. The production is cleaner and more nuanced. The drum sound is vastly improved compared to the debut, and one can now hear all the subtleties in Barker’s playing that were totally lost on the previous record. The guitar tone is also quite good, powerful but not too harsh. Perhaps the EP sounds a bit too loud, but this is a minor issue. The songwriting approach is still complex and multi-layered as on the debut, but Cradle of Filth have now learned to streamline their compositions to make them more accessible and memorable. This is particularly the case on “Queen of Winter, Throned”, by far the best track of the EP and one of the greatest songs ever written by the band. The use of a catchy and melodic chorus that is repeated a handful of times is a useful signpost that greatly helps the listener to orientate among the whirlwind of tempo changes and alternations between fast and furious segments and melodic episodes. The track lasts more than 10 minutes, but the music is so adventurous and smoothly composed that time flies by as one listens to it.

The other tracks included in the EP are two short semi-instrumentals pieces, a re-recording of “The Forest Whispers My Name” from the debut, and two new compositions, “Nocturnal Supermacy” and “The Rape and Ruin of Angels”. All tracks are enjoyable, albeit none reaches the level of quality of “Queen of Winter, Throned”. “Nocturnal Supermacy” is probably the song that gets closer to it. It’s a slightly more aggressive piece, similar to some of the material that had appeared on the debut, but it has some great, memorable moments and a good level of energy. “The Forest Whispers My Name” was a good, but slightly chaotic track on the debut. The new version improves it, especially since the playing is tighter and the vocals are better. “The Rape and Ruin of Angels” starts with the most furious and fastest episode of the EP before plunging into a moody mid-tempo, only to accelerate then again. It feels like this is a track written using the same template of “Queen of Winter, Throned”, albeit less successfully.

Overall, V Empire is a strong sophomore recording, showing that the band is on a clear upward trajectory. Indeed, in the same year when this EP came out, Cradle of Filth will release what many consider their crowning achievement, the LP Dusk … and Her Embrace. V Empire is not at that level, but it does come close especially in its best tracks. It is not by chance, after all, that a song like “Queen of Winter, Throned” will become a staple of Cradle’s live concerts for years to come: it is that bloody good! In sum, give this EP a chance and don’t be discouraged by the fact that it was released as an escamotage to fulfill the contractual obligations with Cacophonous. Highly recommended!

CRADLE OF FILTH Dusk and Her Embrace

Album · 1996 · Symphonic Black Metal
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Released in 1996, Dusk … and Her Embrace is an album that had an enormous impact on the impressionable psyche of the then-16 year old me. Having largely ignored most of the Scandinavian black metal scene at that time, Dusk was one of the heaviest, most extreme and exciting things that I had ever listened to back then. The combination of furious aggression, profanity, sensual gothic undertones, and dark, sinister atmosphere was simply impossible to resist and I found myself literally obsessing over this album, which I must have listened to hundreds of times in those years. Fast forward 25 years, and here I am, still enjoying Dusk … and Her Embrace almost as much as I did back in 1996. This is not something that happens to me with every album that I used to adore back in my teens. Some of those records turn out fairly disappointing when I listen to them today with my 41 year old ears. But Dusk’s enjoyment has not at all diminished with time, and I like to believe that this is because the record truly possesses the rare qualities of a timeless classic.

The album has a curious backstory. Most of its material (except the opener instrumental Humana Inspired to Nightmare and Malice Through the Looking Glass) was initially recorded by the same line-up that had written Cradle of Filth’s debut album The Principle of Evil Made Flesh. That line-up, however, split in two in the midst of the album’s recordings: Paul Allender (guitar), Benjamin Ryan (keyboards) and Paul Ryan (guitar) left the band to form The Blood Divine, while Nicholas Barker (drums), Robin Graves (bass) and Dani Filth (vocals) continued under the Cradle of Filth’s banner. The original recordings of Dusk were therefore scrapped (they will see the light of day only in 2016 when the band will release them as Dusk and Her Embrace - The Original Sin), as the band took time to regroup and change recording label (from Cacophonous to Music For Nations). Cradle of Filth eventually found the right substitutes in guitarist Stuart Anstis and keyboard player Damien Gregori and the 5-pieced Cradle of Filth headed to D.E.P. International Studios in Birmingham to re-arrange and re-record the tracks of Dusk … and Her Embrace (Gian Pyres is listed in the CD booklet as second guitarist, but apparently all guitar parts were actually recorded by Anstis).

The record is superbly balanced between black metal fury and gothic romance, aggression and atmosphere, melody and speed. Each single track is meticulously structured to give equal emphasis to the two sides of the band’s sound. Songs that start slow suddenly change gear and plunge into accelerations of uncompromising ferocity (“”Heaven Torn Asunder”, “A Gothic Romance”). Viceversa, the songs that commence at breakneck speed eventually open up into emotional mid-tempos and memorable melodies (“Haunted Shores”). The flow between the different sections and tempos is masterfully arranged. This constitutes a massive improvement over Cradle of Filth’s previous compositions, where the band often failed to find the right connection between the different segments of their songs.

The improved songwriting comes together with a huge step-up in individual performances. Dani Filth’s voice is miles better than on the debut album, exploring a full gamut of styles and vocal techniques, from deep baritone spoken-word vocals, to enraged snarls, to ear-piercing shrieks. His performance is technically astonishing as well as emotionally charged, and really elevates the album’s material to a whole new level. Nicholas Barker’s drumming is phenomenal as always, and it is greatly exalted by the smooth and clean production. Speaking of production, this is probably one of the best sounding Cradle of Filth’s album ever recorded. Producer Kit Woolven (Thin Lizzy, Anathema, Cathedral) strikes a fantastic balance between rawness and detail, letting each instrument fully come through in the recordings (even Robin Graves’ bass, which on other records often ended up buried behind the bass drum). Stuart Anstis’ guitars have a fantastic tone, thick and wet and, together with Damien Gregori’s richly symphonic keyboard arrangements, contribute to the record’s lush and velvety feel that suits perfectly the gothic overtones of the album. Anstis’ guitar work also deserves huge praise per se. His melodic twin leads and counterpoints are fantastic: simple, tasteful and extremely effective in giving the music extra depth and texture.

Song after song, Dusk is an unstoppable collection of extreme metal masterpieces. Among these, the three tracks in the middle of the record really stand out for me. “Funeral in Caprathia” is one of the most iconic and best songs ever written by Cradle of Filth. From its epic beginning to its languid ending, the song is a treasure trove of great musical moments that do not simply amaze from a technical viewpoint, but are also capable of stirring up emotions and excite. The track is followed by another fantastic song, the gothic masterpiece “A Gothic Romance”, where Stuart Anstis’ guitar is particularly impressive. “Malice Through the Looking Glass” completes the exceptional trio. This is one of the newer songs that was not recorded with the old line-up. The track builds on a poignant mid-tempo and is instrumentally richer compared to the rest of the album material. Cleverly placed in the middle of the album, this gives the listener some respite from Dani’s hyperactive vocal lines, which can at times feel a little overbearing. I also want to mention “Beauty Slept in Sodom”, which is another slightly unusual track that feels different from the rest of the material. The music is doomy, dissonant and almost hallucinated, giving the song a vaguely experimental and progressive feel.

In summary, Dusk … and Her Embrace is an exceptionally strong album. Packed with incredibly well written and balanced material, and gifted by a strong production, the album goes from strength to strength across its 9 songs. There is no filler or weak spot here, everything sounds fresh, captivating and exciting. It received a fantastic response when it was released back in 1996, which projected the band to the top of the extreme metal movement, making them one of the best known acts in the genre. Deservedly so, I would add, since this is arguably the best album that Cradle of Filth have recorded to date and indeed one of the best records in the whole extreme metal scene.

CRADLE OF FILTH From the Cradle to Enslave E.P.

EP · 1999 · Symphonic Black Metal
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lukretion
Written and recorded between Cruelty and the Beast and Midian and released in 1999, From the Cradle to Enslaved is a transitional EP that finds Cradle of Filth with an incomplete line-up (Nicholas Barker had left the band and had not yet been replaced by a new full-time drummer) and, generally, going through a sort of inspiration drought, which is also reflected in the content of this record. The EP is comprised of two new songs, two covers, a techno (!) remix of one of the two new songs, and a re-recording of “Funeral in Carpathia” from their 1996 LP Dusk … and Her Embrace.

None of the material is truly exceptional and in fact most of it is rather mediocre. The two new songs leave me fairly cold. They are written more in the style of the forthcoming LP Midian than in the majestic, romantic style of Dusk or Cruelty and the Beast. The tempos are faster, the guitar riffs thrashy and aggressive, and so is the vocal approach, while the keyboards engage in elaborated arrangements that push the music even more in symphonic territory. The drums are less in-your-face compared to the Nicholas Barker era, both on the title track (where drums are played by December Moon / The Blood Divine drummer Was Sarginson) and on “Of Dark Blood and Fucking” (where the drummer is Adrian Erlandsson from At The Gates). The latter song is probably the one that resembles the most the material that will appear on Midian, where indeed Erlandsson will play drums as full-time member of the band. While there is nothing particularly wrong with either track, they come across as somewhat run-of-the-mill, lacking strong melodies or arrangements that can make them stand out from the other dozens tracks Cradle of Filth have penned through the years. In other words, on a LP like Midian these would have been easily the weakest songs.

The cover of The Misfits’ “Death Comes Ripping” is also somewhat lackluster. It’s a short, punkish piece that is as savage as it is unremarkable. The cover of Anathema’ “Sleepless” is much better, and probably the main reason to buy this EP. The original (from The Silent Enigma) was already dark and sinister, and Cradle’s treatment accentuates even more the morose nature of the piece. It has that haunting quality that one can find, for instance, on “A Dream of Wolves in the Snow” from the band’s debut The Principle of Evil Made Flesh.

The other two tracks of the EP are alternate versions of the EP title track and “Funeral in Carpathia” from Dusk … and Her Embrace. The techno remix of the title track is a curio more than anything else. I remember that at the time it stirred quite some controversy in the specialized press and among fans, as people started fearing that also Cradle of Filth had been “infected” by the electronic malaise that was running through much of extreme metal at the time (Paradise Lost, Theatre of Tragedy). It turned out not to be the case and we can look back at this little piece as a small, extemporaneous experiment that does not add much to the Cradle’s catalogue. The new version of “Funeral in Carpathia” (with Nicholas Barker still on drums) is faster (as per the track’s subtitle “Be Quick or Be Dead), less embellished and romantic than the original. It moves the piece closer to the Midian material than the original set of songs contained in Dusk. The song is one of the best Cradle have ever written, so it is hard to dislike it, but I am afraid that in this new vest it loses a lot of its original allure, at least for me.

Overall, From the Cradle to Enslaved is a fairly disappointing EP, probably the first record in the chronology of band’s releases to feel really superfluous and unnecessary. Cradle of Filth have a strong tradition of releasing good material on EPs between full-lengths (think of V Empire), but this EP fails to deliver the goodness. I’d say this one is for fans and collectors only!

CRADLE OF FILTH Bitter Suites to Succubi

EP · 2001 · Gothic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
lukretion
Bitter Suites to Succubi continues Cradle of Filth’s tradition of releasing material in between their main full-lengths via smaller-sized EPs. This EP was released in 2001, one year after their highly successful full-length album Midian. Recorded with the same line-up of Midian, the EP actually contains a healthy amount of material, clocking in at nearly 50 minutes overall. Some of the tracks are new songs (2 instrumentals and 4 songs with vocals), while the rest are re-recordings of material from the band’s debut The Principle of Evil Made Flesh (3 songs), and a The Sisters of Mercy’s cover (“No Time to Cry”).

Most of the new material follows the same style of Midian. The music is fast and aggressive, revolving around thrashy guitar riffs and heavy drumming, but it also sports rich and elaborated keyboard arrangements. Dani’s vocals rely more on snarls and mid-range growls than on those high-pitched shrieks that featured heavily in earlier albums. Perhaps unusually, most of the new songs are fairly compact and do not overindulge in too many tempo changes or complex, multi-part compositions, but go straight to the point. I believe this is actually their saving grace, because in most cases these songs are not exceptional, but the fact that they are short and to the point helps making them impactful and pleasant to listen to.

There is one exception, which is the nearly 7 minutes of “Suicide and Other Comforts”. This is actually a great song, which compares favourably to some of the best tracks from Dusk … and Her Embrace, Cruelty and the Beast, and Midian. It has all the hallmarks of the great Cradle of Filth’s material. It is a complex, multi-part beast that is cleverly anchored around an epic riff that repeats throughout the song. The gothic undertones are as present as ever (much more so than on many Midian tracks), and so are the majestic mid-tempo sections. The song also features a surprising electronic twist in the coda, which I find really well placed and exciting. Overall, this song alone is worth the purchase of the EP.

The re-recordings of The Principle of Evil Made Flesh tracks give the music a stronger symphonic identity compared to the original. The experiment is only partially successful. The three songs included on the EP are among the best material from the debut (the title track, “Summer Dying Fast” and “The Black Goddess Rises”), but the re-vamped keyboard arrangements feel somewhat forced. Moreover, I am not sure they actually help elevate the material to the standards of later Cradle of Filth output. The problem I have with the early material is that it often feels chaotic from a compositional point of view (the different parts of a song do not flow well together), which is something that the new versions inevitably also suffer from. Having said that, tracks like “Summer Dying Fast” and “The Black Goddess Rises” are high-quality pieces of music and therefore re-listening to them in this new guise is nevertheless a pleasure.

The other track included on the EP is a cover of English goth rock band The Sisters of Mercy, “No Time to Cry”. Cradle of Filth have a long tradition of releasing excellent covers (think of “Hallowed Be Thy Name” by Iron Maiden or Anathema’s “Sleepless”), but this isn’t one of them. It’s a little gothy piece that Cradle of Filth coloured with more sinister undertones, but it does not do much for me. In fact, this song stands out a bit like a sore thumb in the context of the (vastly more extreme) material of the EP.

In summary, Bitter Suites to Succubi is a decent album, with at least one grandiose song and a handful of other good ones. Its main weakness is that it is perhaps too heterogeneous, collecting together new material with a strong Midian flavour, songs that have a much more gothic allure (harking back to the Dusk … and Her Embrace era) and re-vamped versions of the debut LP material. But it has its moments and it ensures nearly an hour of fun extreme music, which sometimes it’s all one really needs.

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UMUR wrote:
more than 2 years ago
You´re welcome to make suggestions in the Errors & Omissions thread: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=60&title=report-errors-omissions-here
Junkiemaxxx wrote:
more than 2 years ago
CoF belongs to: Death Metal (early), Symphonic Black Metal (mid), Gothic/Extreme Symphonic Metal, not gothic metal ONLY!!! Please fix it!

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