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Live Reviews : Cradle of Filth (Melbourne) – 26/05/2009

By on May 27, 2009

Cradle of Filth

w/ Eye of the Enemy and Naetu

The Palace – Melbourne, 26th May 2009.

***Click here to view more photos***

If there is one thing I enjoy about Black Metal gigs it is most definitely the fashion, which can range from morbid to just plain fucking weird. Cradle of Filth’s first Australian tour in many years was sure to provide myself and my cynical friend with much needed amusement required to remain entertained for the evening. Supports for the evening were Melbourne’s Eye of the Enemy and Perth’s Naetu.

After enjoying a quick beer at the corner pub waiting for the line to die down I ventured into ‘The Palace’, I use quotations because this venue could not be anything further from resembling a palace. Naetu had just commenced their opening slot and I was greeted by black leather, corpse paint, spiked leather cuffs you know, all that kind of good stuff that makes an entertaining black metal band. I find it hard to take this paraphernalia seriously unless it’s by some of the pioneers of the genre such as Bathory or Immortal but none the less it makes for a good show and it was nice to see how obviously confident they were in themselves to pull it off.

I did however giggle from time to time as one of the members paced back and forth in his black hooded cape as I kept thinking of Monty Python and expected him to announce “It was the salmon mousse” at any minute. That being said they played a pretty tight set of fairly generic black metal and kept the crowed pleased. One of their songs I thoroughly enjoyed was Avenging the Fallen which took a less intense approach, overall I think they most definitely did their part in warming up the crowded.

Wearing my new 5 inch stilettos definitely proved to be a mistake so I made my way up stairs to the balcony so I could sit as I waited for Eye of the Enemy. You may remember how I mentioned that the fashion at these gigs can range from morbid to plain fucking weird? Well what made it hard to concentrate when Eye of the Enemy took the stage was this Furby backpack that a, what I assume was a girl, was wearing that was staring straight into my soul. Once I had blocked this disturbing creature from my view I was able to enjoy the performance put on by Eye of the Enemy.

The vocal style is not my favourite and that is just a pet peeve of mine however the music was good and they played a very tight set. It was also nice to see a bass player that contributes some enthusiasm to the live performance as a lot of bass players don’t tend to do that. This guy was jumping around and running from one side of the stage to the other and it made the set more enjoyable to see the band interacting with one another and the audience. Towards the end of their set I had moved back downstairs to the edge of the stage and they received a pretty good response from the crowed for a local support act. They even had a few people ask for some photos as they left the stage which would have been quite the rock star moment I am sure.

There is nothing worse than the waiting around that takes place when the headliners are due to perform and Cradle of Filth kept us waiting for a good half hour. However one thing that tided me over in the meantime was to see none other than Paul Allender standing by the side of the stage having a casual chat with the few people that actually recognised him.  I found this amusing that had half the people in this venue known he was standing there they would have come running like a fucking stampede but none of them had any clue.

Finally around 10:30 the lights went out, the screen lit up and first to take the stage was Martin Skaroupka followed by the rest of the band and lastly by none other than Dani Filth himself. Another pet peeve of mine is opening with a single or any song for that matter from the new album and this is exactly what they did, opening with the horribly titled Shat out of Hell.

Now as it will become obviously apparent throughout this review I am not the biggest fan of the newer stuff but I try to be as open-minded as I can. Second on the bill was Guilded Cunt which I enjoyed until some horrible noise which sounded like a fuck up with the keyboards polluted my ears, this fuck up reared its ugly head again later in the set during Her Ghost in the Fog.

Overall I wasn’t that impressed with the sound but I think that has been the case at most gigs I have been to at The Palace. Cradle of Filth are known for their over the top live show and it is always disappointing when we miss out on the theatrics that they get in England or America. To compensate Dani had his stage at the back as per usual and they had a large screen depicting images from past and present albums and good lighting.

I was very disappointed to say the least in the first half of the set, aside from Dusk and Her Embrace as I don’t think it was a good selection of songs. When they returned to the stage after a short break I was relieved to hear Cthulhu Dawn as Midian is my favourite album and Cthulhu Dawn is a great track. The encore also included Her Ghost in the Fog and Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids which helped to redeem them somewhat.

Mid way through the show the quality of Dani’s vocals seemed to lessen, the absence of Sarah Jezebel Deva was fairly obvious during the female vocal parts and the keyboards during Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids sounded completely wrong in some parts however I thought that the drums sounded fantastic throughout the night. Finally the show ended with From the Cradle to Enslave which did go down pretty well with the crowed and had quite the epic ending. I don’t think that the band played terribly but that being said I don’t think they played that well either.

Overall I think a lot of the younger fans would be really happy with this show, but for those hoping to hear some of the older stuff it was very disappointing. Having been absent from Australia for quite some time since last touring here I think it was safe to say that the older fans were hoping for a better set list and obviously an overall great performance, in this instance I think they would be sadly disappointed.

After just recently hearing that Dani walked off stage during their show in Adelaide, to this I will say I am not surprised. Maybe my expectations were too high or maybe it is unrealistic to hope that a band will play a sizeable amount of older tracks, but nonetheless this was one show not worth paying $85.00 for.

For more information on any of the bands visit the following websites;

Cradle of Filth – OR
Eye of the Enemy – OR
Naetu –

Review by Holly McBride
Photographs by Anwar Rizk


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.