They’re constantly dubbed as one of the most controversial bands around and have perpetually divided people with their weird wonderland of twisted gothic fairy-tale and lavish theatrics. It’s safe to say Cradle of Filth will forever be a marmite band.
Last release Godspeed On The Devil’s Thunder illustrated exactly that, with extremely mixed reviews for an extreme band. So now you’re wondering where I stand?
Cradle of Filth have to be taken exactly for what they are. I know you might now be saying ‘come down from that fence you coward’! But it’s true. Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa doesn’t cover up their history of cheesiness, or their heavy orchestration and nor does it embrace a pure black metal sound, which has been a constant source of debate in fan circles.
There’s still a great deal of symphonic influence as per, and Dani Filth’s voice can still force out the squealing of an old-school kettle over-boiling, but on single release Forgive Me Father (I Have Sinned) we hear Filth sing quite melodically. Yes, you heard right. It may be as commercial as you’ll hear the Suffolk band, with some female vocal parts and irresistibly captivating guitar riffs from Paul Allender.
Even for those who long for the old Dusk And Her Embrace or Damnation of A Day, some of Allender’s work is noteworthy, with more marks of genius on the outstanding The Spawn Of Love And War.
The mark underneath these words isn’t reflective of any fence sitting but rather, I feel, representative of a relatively strong release that doesn’t have the potency of some of their older material. And so begins another debate, old COF vs new COF. I’ll leave that one for another day.