Monday, 17 October 2011

Review: Cradle of Filth - Evermore Darkly

 While last Novemebr's Darkly Darkly Venus Aversa was a good album, it was clearly far from being the finest piece of work from Suffolk's number one icons Cradle of Filth. The main reason for this is that all in all , it just felt a bit lacking. Lacking in the sense that that it felt less grand and spectacular throughout, particularly compared to 2008's Godspeed On the Devil's Thunder and when an album is proclaimed to be a concept album that "concerns itself with Lilith, Adam's first wife and mistress of Hell", you expect the full immense symphonic and theatrical treatment to be accompanying the blistering metal. However in terms of such factors, Darkly Darkly Venus Aversa delivered nothing truly astonishing and nothing we hadn't heard before. It also felt lacking in a literal sense. The best moments of Cradle of Filith albums are often found within their grand openings featuring the segueing symphonic intro track paired with the hard hitting black metal asault. The short but mind blowing moment in which intro track Satyriasis erupts into the bludgeoning Gilded Cunt on 2004's Nymphetamine has become one of my favourite moments of modern metal. However Venus Aversa lacked this traditional feature instead opting for a lame spoken intro from frontman Dani Filth, which was on the whole fairly disappointing. So the idea of an EP of featuring extended versions and "elder versions" of material from Venus Aversa puts me in something of a negative state of mind. So, is Evermore Darkly still as lacking as the album or does it create an improvement?

Well, the answer is quite clearly the latter because the one new track on which this EP opens Thank Your Lucky Scars is better than anything from Venus Aversa. With a fresh sounding and pummeling explosion and symphonic and metallic glory, it is a clear sign of Cradle at their most energetic and dangerous, creating a sound closer to their 2008 material. Better still is the feeling on intense climax when paired with the EP's intro track, Transmission From Hell, again a spoken intro, however more extreme with more of an intent to scare.
 Elsewhere on the EP, "elder" versions of tracks reveal themselves to be live studio versions of various Venus Aversa tracks, including Forgive Me Father (I Have Sinned), The Persecution Song and The Spawn of Love and War. While capturing the extreme-ness with which they were played on the album, they are there simply to serve as live versions of tracks without really doing anything to reinvent them.
 Of course when you look at the re-invention that has taken place on this EP, the results are... well... you get Forgive Me Father (I'm In a Trance) which is exactly what the title suggests, and I suggest you continue to pray for forgiveness after allowing this to exist Dani. Yes, it is a trance remix of Forgive Me Father (I Have Sinned). Now I'm not really into trance music, but Dani's guttural put to music to dance to at a club is something that I really couldn't imagine appealing to anyone.
 An interesting track is the extended version of Lilith Immaculate, arguably the best track on Venus Aversa, which is made even better here. This eight minute version of the track with some changes of lyrics also has the addition of an extra bridge played entirely on various classical stringed instruments. It effectively adds an extra sense of atmosphere, one that is extremely chilling.
 The main thing that Evermore Darkly really shows is that if you thought Cradle of Filth were starting to weaken on 2010's release, well Thank Your Luck Scars ought to prove you otherwise.

 Cradle of Filth's Evermore Darkly will be released on the 18th October via Peaceville Records.

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