CRADLE OF FILTH — The Principle of Evil Made Flesh (review)

CRADLE OF FILTH — The Principle of Evil Made Flesh album cover Album · 1994 · Melodic Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
1/5 ·
Warthur
Cradle of Filth's debut album sees them playing, for the most part, in a black metal style heavily influenced by the Norwegian scene but not really matching the standards attained by the bands they were imitating. There's little here of the Filth's distinctive gothic-decadent personality; though the lyrics regularly allude to the focus on Goddess-worship and eroticism which would make the band a stalwart of the lace, latex and corsets scene, it's delivered in a textbook black metal style which fails to impress me.

Dani Filth's vocal delivery on the later Cradle albums may bug some people, but I much prefer his poetic recitation style to the imitation black metal shriek he provides here, which falls far short of the work of the likes of, say, Dead or Varg Vikernes or Attila or any other influential and individual black metal vocalist from the early years of the scene. Likewise, the band themselves play in rote repetition of ideas already explored by the Norwegian scene, and often apply these ideas without much understanding of the underpinnings behind them. Whilst, for instance, lo-fi production values lent a curious aesthetic atmosphere to albums such as Darkthrone's Transilvanian Hunger or Burzum's pre-jail works, here it just makes the album sound like a mess.

In short, I wouldn't even recommend this album for Cradle of Filth fans, since I suspect many of them will find little commonality between this album and their much more accomplished later works. As for everyone else, there's so much better early 1990s black metal out there that there's no compelling reason to bother with this one. Completists only.
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J-Man wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I'm not a big fan of this one either. Their later albums are substantially better IMO.

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