CRADLE OF FILTH — From the Cradle to Enslave E.P. (review)

CRADLE OF FILTH — From the Cradle to Enslave E.P. album cover EP · 1999 · Symphonic Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
2/5 ·
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EP that finds Cradle of Filth with an incomplete line-up (Nicholas Barker had left the band and had not yet been replaced by a new full-time drummer) and, generally, going through a sort of inspiration drought, which is also reflected in the content of this record.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!
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!


Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Paranoid Heavy Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
Buy this album from our partners
Rising Heavy Metal
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

Total Atmospheric Black Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Vacancies Progressive Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
An Altar In Mind Atmospheric Sludge Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Fractal Deathcore
Buy this album from MMA partners
Purging + Reinventing Metalcore
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions


Latest Metal News


More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us