CRADLE OF FILTH — Cruelty and the Beast — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of

CRADLE OF FILTH - Cruelty and the Beast cover
4.12 | 30 ratings | 2 reviews
Buy this album from MMA partners

Album · 1998


1. Once Upon Atrocity (1:43)
2. Thirteen Autumns and a Widow (7:14)
3. Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids (7:18)
4. Beneath the Howling Stars (7:42)
5. Venus in Fear (2:20)
6. Desire in Violent Overture (4:16)
7. The Twisted Nails of Faith (6:50)
8. Bathory Aria: Benighted Like Usher / A Murder of Ravens in Fugue / Eyes That Witnessed Madness (11:02)
9. Portrait of the Dead Countess (2:52)
10. Lustmord and Wargasm (The Lick of Carnivorous Winds) (7:30)

Total Time: 58:53

Bonus disc
1. Lustmord and Wargasm (The Relicking of Cadaverous Wounds) (7:58)
2. Black Metal (3:27)
3. Hallowed Be Thy Name (7:10)
4. Sodomy and Lust (4:47)
5. Twisting Further Nails (The Cruci-Fiction mix) (5:32)

Total Time: 28:57


- Dani Filth / Vocals
- Stuart Antsis / Guitar
- Gian Pyres / Guitar
- Robin Eaglestone / Bass
- Les Smith / Keyboards
- Nicholas Barker / Drums

Guest musicians:

- Sarah Jezebel Deva / Backing Vocals
- Danielle Cneajna Cottington / Backing Vocals
- Ingrid Pitt / Elizabeth Bathory Narration

About this release

Label: Music For Nations

Thanks to Stooge for the updates


More places to buy metal & CRADLE OF FILTH music


Specialists/collaborators reviews

Cruelty and the Beast is one of the best presentations of Cradle of Filth's musical vision of blackened gothic metal. The concept album tells an extremely fanciful, exaggerated, and romanticised version of the life story of Elizabeth Bathory - heroine of numerous black metal tributes prior to this - which gives the band plenty of scope to pursue their perennial lyrical themes of blasphemy, eroticism, vampirism and Goddess-worship.

The closing Lustmord and Wargasm, a defiant declaration of war on Christianity to avenge Bathory, is the closest the album ever gets to full-on black metal, but for the most part the disc continues down the path of poetic lyrics and liberal use of synthesisers established on Dusk and Her Embrace. At the epic climax of Bathory's story, the band get Ingrid Pitt to do some narration; this is an inspired choice in many ways, since Pitt played a character based on Bathory in Hammer Films' Countess Dracula and Cradle of Filth are in many ways the Hammer Films of extreme metal: yes, they might be tamer than some of their competitors, and yes they can be cheesy, but they offer a blend of fairly tame scares and sexual titillation which is distinctive and unique to them. Cruelty and the Beast illustrates this perfectly.
One of the greatest albums of all time!

Yes, this is in my list, somewhere in the top 10 I believe, and yea, this album is a marvel to behold.

This album marked aload of changes for Cradle, with their first concept album. Now the concept isn't a huge factor, but I think it only makes the album better. The concept is portrayed perfectly and very uniquely, in Dani's own poetic way, mixing dark fantasy, gothic imagery, sexual stuff mixed with really is amazing. I suggest you read the lyrics whilst listening to the album, because it's like an epic poem...being spat like acid at your face...but in a good way. The concept is also told really uniquely too.

Now for those who don't know Elizabeth Bathory, or Erszebet Bathory as she is more likely known, she was a Dutch countess, who apparently killed virgins and bathed in their blood. Now, this may be legend (as the film Bathory shows), but still, a great story for a concept album, and its pulled of extremely well.

The sound is a major progression from Dusk & Her Embrace, with the black metal sound almost completely gone, and their own unique gothic extreme metal sound really coming into audible territory. Now their is still a raw domestic sound from this album, although apparently, it was not supposed to be. Apparently the band where not happy with the production of this album, and really dislike it due to that fact. Now, their maybe a few problems with production, but to be honest, I never really had any problems with it, in fact I kind of like it, I think it adds a certain eeriness to the album. Although, its all a matter of opinion, and who knows, maybe if it was spruced up, it may even sound better. Also I think this is Dani's zenith of his vocal powers.

The material on this album I think is their strongest yet, and these songs just are their most perfectly composed. The sound these guys make is always awe inspiring, mixing dark riffs, with beautiful melodic parts, haunting shireks, beautfiful female vocals and blastbeats. Although, at times on this album, things can be slowed down, which make for dynamic and more interesting songs, thus them being slightly longer, with this album having their longest song to date.

1. Once Upon Atrocity - Great instrumental. Very eerie and atmopsheric. Always dark and evil of course. 9/10

2. 13 Autumns & A Widow - An incredible way to start an album...with a backwards orchestra...and blastbeats. Great melodic moments and some really kick ass riffs. And of course Dani's shireks are amazing. 10/10

3. Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids - ONE OF THE GREATEST METAL SONGS EVER...MAYBE EVEN ONE OF THE GREATEST SONGS EVER. I love this song so much. Dani's narrative is just amazing, with his pentemater always making the song seem lyrical, with drum like potential. This song has so many interesting twists and turns, and of course the epic middle section, where Dani's screams gives me orgasms with every listen (it starts of "and to her dead reflection was as if her palor gleamed") If you've never heard this song, please check it out. It is epic beyond belief. 10/10

4. Beneath The Holwing Stars - This song has one of Cradle's best riffs. This song again is epic, but their is also some really melodic points, and even a really beautful section with female vocals. 10/10

5. Venus In Fear - Screams, orgasms and discords. This is just creepy...but I love it! 10/10

6. Desire In Violent Overture - This song is extremely overlooked by the fans and band, yet I think its one of the best songs on the album. Amazing chorus, and arrangement. Dani really shows amazing versiatility in his vocals. 10/10

7. The Twisted Nails Of Faith - One of the most dramatic songs on the album. Great arrangement, with the instrumentation really peeking at its highest level. 10/10

8. Bathory Aria - This is their longest song to date, being over 11 minutes. At times this song ins incredibly beautiful, and at times can go into darker teritories, but the beauty is always present somehow, and it seems a massive paradox, having beauty and Cradle Of Filth in the same sentence. Incredibly epic, and just an unrelented classic. 10/10

9. Portrait Of The Dead Countess - This is actually quite a beautiful instrumental. Really odd to see, but it does fit really well. 9/10

10. Lustmord & Wargasm (The Lick Of Carnivorous Winds) - This song has nothing to do with the concept...I think, but it is an amazing song. This song maintains their black metal roots being very fast, with some epic blastbeats. Great chorus too. 10/10

CONCLUSION: This album is just perfect in my eyes, and makes all other black metal seem fetid in comparison. If you have never listened to this album, either kill yourself our buy it...that's your only 2 choics...and don't say cake!

Members reviews

No CRADLE OF FILTH CRUELTY AND THE BEAST reviews posted by members yet.

Ratings only

  • Caio2112
  • stefanbedna
  • Diricul
  • Necrotica
  • KatiLily
  • jahkhula
  • adg211288
  • Anster
  • milosshomi80
  • jsorigar
  • leechburton
  • contempt80
  • Zargus
  • Jan
  • jose carlos
  • Kingcrimsonprog
  • bassgeezer
  • Wilytank
  • jorgelog94
  • aecht
  • Tlön
  • Double-D
  • bratus
  • Tigergilles
  • earthworm
  • caligula
  • Bartje1979
  • aiylyn

Write/edit review

You must be logged in to write or edit review


Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
Buy this album from our partners
Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
Buy this album from our partners
Are You Experienced? Proto-Metal
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

No Sludge Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Truth and Ruin Stoner Rock
Buy this album from MMA partners
A Quiet Place to Die Nu Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Bitterness And Burning Hatred Death Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Curse Metal Related
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

Limp Bizkit - Counterfeit
Unitron· 8 hours ago
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

Buy Metal Music Online