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Album Reviews : Cradle of Filth – Cryptoriana: The Seductiveness of Decay

By on October 7, 2017

Cradle of Filth, one of the most polarising bands in metal’s history. From their symphonic black metal roots in the early 90’s, to their more Gothic even mainstream rock sound of recent times, they have been simultaneously loved and loathed throughout their lengthy, quarter century plus career. Their latest offering, ‘Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay’, in my opinion, will further divide the Metal community towards the negative. The theme of the album is Victorian Gothic Horror focusing on Victorian’s literary and cultural obsession with the supernatural, the macabre and debauchery. The album, to me, sounds like a soundtrack to the television series “Penny Dreadful” populated by anthems of the fin de siecle and this is both a good and a bad thing.

Dani Filth is, of course, once again at the helm. Richard Shaw and Marek”Ashok’ Smerda are on guitars, Daniel Firth on bass, the ubiquitous Martin Marthus Skaroupka provides drums, keyboards, and orchestration whilst Lindsay Schoolcraft provides narrative vocals. The album is released under the formidable Nuclear Blast label, who, in my opinion, has been instrumental in revitalising Metal throughout this decade but sadly, this album will not be seen as a laurel to add to their impressive wreath. I mean it starts out well with the storming tracks Heartbreak and Seance and Achingly Beautiful, with galloping riffs, pounding percussion and a fine display of Filth’s harrowing vocal range but it soon peters out and become very bland and monotone in its musicianship and vocal delivery. The album is 53 minutes in length, but over 30 minutes of Cryptoriana is quite forgettable. It is hard to distinguish the difference in tone and arrangement from the tracks Wester Vespertine, to You Will Know the Lion by His Claw and Death and the Maiden is only memorable because, to be honest, is quite terrible.

This album may improve with repeat listens but like McDonald’s, it is not something I wish to return to. Cradle of Filth have been in the metal game for a long time but I personally think they have come to the end of the line and will need something akin to the McDonald’s gourmet truffle burger to bring the old heads back.

Band: Cradle of Filth
Album: Cryptoriana: The Seductiveness of Decay
Year: 2017
Genre: Extreme Metal
Label:  Nuclear Blast Records
Origin: United Kingdom

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