I am the biggest fan of Cradle of Filth I know. That’s how I realized I am so badass. I was listening to Filth in junior high, while I was listening to Third Eye Blind and Sugar Ray. Metallica and Megadeth didn’t introduce me to metal. Dani Filth did.
In late 1997, when I was in 8th grade, just before “Cruelty and the Beast” was released, I stumbled upon the mp3 of ‘A Gothic Romance (Red Roses for the Devil’s Whore)’ from “Dusk and Her Embrace,” CoF’s second album. It was completely different from what I was listening to at the time, and I became immersed in black metal without really even knowing what metal was. It was before Tool, In Flames, Metallica, Children of Bodom, and Arch Enemy. I downloaded the rest of the album, and even their first album before it, “The Principle of Evil Made Flesh.” I listened to both for the next few months, and purchased “Dusk,” as well as “Cruelty and the Beast” when it released.
Since then, I’ve bought every album; EPs and LPs, all three DVDs, the “Cradle of Fear” movie, shirts, and posters. The only CD I never justified buying was the EP “Vempire or Dark Faerytales in Phallustein,” considering it was $23 for six songs (which I just downloaded instead). I brag about all of this for a reason. ‘True fans’ of Cradle of Filth over the years have drifted from each release since they ‘left’ black metal, and went for a cleaner sound. I’m referring to ‘elitists’ who claim the first album, or first few, of a band are the only worthwhile efforts, and any subsequent attempts are sell-outs.
This is interesting in Cradle of Filth’s case, considering the arguably best effort was in 2003’s “Damnation and a Day,” a concept album based around the devil’s fall from Heaven, his temptation of Man, and the events following. “Damnation” featured "the 40-piece Budapest Film Orchestra and 32-piece Budapest Film Choir and is partly based on John Milton's epic poem 'Paradise Lost.'” Definitely sold-out.
Ignoring the fact that they could simply keep “Prinicple” or “Dusk” in their CD players, they continue to bash each release more and more without giving any of it a chance. Ironically enough, some of Filth’s best work musically has been the ones that come under so much fire: “Midian,” “Damnation,” Nymphetamine,” and “Thornography,” the latter being the most recent and the most hated. So it’s no surprise that “Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder,’ which releases at the end of this month is already despised by these cunts who claim to be fans of metal.
So I downloaded the torrent for it today. I still buy good music, like today, when I bought Amon Amarth’s newest, “Twilight of the Thunder God.” So fuck off. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, because it’s true that their sound has been changing lately, but that’s not to say that it’s horrible or it’s not metal. What I found out for myself was that “Godspeed” is the best music they’ve put out since “Damnation.”
“Godspeed” is a concept album, “based on the life of the infamous 15th century French nobleman, Giles de Rais, who fought alongside Joan of Arc and accumulated great wealth before becoming a serial killer, sexual deviant and Satanist.” Concept albums are well-known to Filth: “Cruelty” being based on Elizabeth Bathory, “Midian” being based around Clive Barker’s work, and like I mentioned before, “Damnation” being based around the devil’s fall to earth.
Just like some of their previous work, many songs feature the voice of Doug Bradley of “Hellraiser” fame, having him narrate the story while playing Giles, who the music is based upon. Without having all of the lyrics to the CD yet, I can still say “Godspeed” has some amazing penmanship, which is where Filth has always shined. Few can match Dani's singing abilities either. Musically, it compares best to their last effort of “Thornography” with the (somewhat) recent addition of Rosie Smith’s keys easily noticeable. My personal favorites from the album are ‘The Death of Love,’ ‘The 13th Caesar,’ and ‘Darkness Incarnate,’ but then again, I rarely dislike too many of their songs.
So in summary, fuck most Cradle of Filth fans, except me, and if you’ve never given them a chance before, you could. But I doubt that if you’ve never heard them before that it’s you’re kind of music. I hear Oasis has a new album out finally. Just go listen to that instead. “I saw the silver lining hidden in a mushroom cloud.”
"Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder" comes out October 28th. To hold you over, here's a guy playing a piano solo version of 'Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids' from the "Cruelty and the Beast" album: