As you know by now, this is one of my favourite all time bands. Their early material is some of the strongest in metal and they are one of the most unique extreme metal bands on the planet. For a while, everything these guys touched turned to gold.
I noticed a slight failing with Thornography. I did enjoy a lot of it, but I could hear a weakness. Same with Godspeed On The Devil's Thunder. And then the weakest spots where shown on Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa (the band's worst album in my opinion).
Cradle where aware of this...so upon making this album, they decided to go back to their roots a little and make what I would like to think of as Nymphetamine Part 2. Ok, that's a bit of a big step, but I can see slight similarities, especially in the pacing of the songs.
One example, is the storytelling nature of the songs. Probably one of the most enjoyable features on the album. Another is the impact of the guitar on the album. The keys and orchestra has been turned down, and the riffs are now the driving force of the song.
Now...I do prefer Nymphetamine by a long shot, but this album didn't deserve half the criticism it got. Don't get me wrong, it's far from being their best, but it's also not their worst either.
Some of the biggest flaws on this album are some ailments that Cradle have been suffering from for a while now. Dani's vocals are never gonna be what they used to be, so he really is limited to what he can and can't do. On this album, his delivery is very limited, with him only staying in a certain register for the most and only doing highs and lows on random moments, rather than showing the full range of his vocal prowess. The vocals are also a bit too low in the mix as well.
Instrumentally, the band are now down to a 3 piece, with Paul being the soul guitarist, and Martin now playing drums and playing all the keyboard parts. The songs can be a bit over the place at times, with a very odd structure. In a progressive way, it's kind of cool, but with an extreme metal band, having a good structured song can always make them more enjoyable.
Also...the album is worth the price for the amazing artwork inside the booklet (the front is a bit lack lustre). Also, the booklet smells nice (what...I love the smell of a good booklet).
1. The Unveiling Of O – An introduction really. 5/10
2. The Abhorrent – One of the albums most interesting songs on the album. A real hellride and a great introduction. 9/10
3. For Your Vulgar Delectation – The first song I heard off the album. A rather enjoyable song, that should have had a video. One of the best songs on the album. 9/10
4. Illicitus – The most black metal sounding song on the album. Some nice use of choirs and orchestration. 8/10
5. Manticore – A brilliantly paced and extciting song, with some pretty cool and vivid lyrics. Some nice twists and turns throughout. 8/10
6. Frost On Her Pillow – I really don't know why they decided to release this song as a single. It's the band's most forgetful song. I will never hum along to this cause I really just don't care about it. One of the worst things these guys have done. Generic as can ever be. 4/10
7. Huge Onyx Wings Behind Despair – Weird synths...starting off a Cradle Of Filth song? Yes I was taken back, but I did rather enjoy the punky and fast paced feel to the song. 8/10
8. Pallid Reflection – What Frost On Her Pillow should have been. A slower song, with hooks and melody. This should have been one of the possible video/single songs. 8/10
9. Siding With The Titans – The strongest lyrical moment on the album. Spme really killer crushing riffs on this song, and of course, strong images being presented by the lyrics. 9/10
10. Succumb To This – One of the best and most catchiest Cradle songs I have heard in a while. Nice hooks and it's also good to hear female vocals returning to the album. Some interesting lyrics as well. 9/10
11. Sinfonia – A nice little instrumental to end of the album. 6/10
CONCLUSION: A slight return to form and a step in a new direction. I was going to give up on this band after that last album, but this album has given me hope. A quite enjoyable listen, short and sweet and something a little different. I do wish they would see sense and return to their glory days, but because the band are so topsy turvy these days, it's hard to keep an eye on them. I am looking forward to whatever they do next.