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Cradle of Filth
Cryptoriana: The Seductiveness of Decay
Release Date: September 22, 2107
Since 1991, Cradle of Filth have proven over and over again that they are one of the British Metal elite. One of the few Extreme Metal acts to date a major label, Cradle of Filth have long been a band that values forward motion, adding in many progressive, symphonic, and darkwave elements over the years. And they have always been at the forefront of it. Cryptoriana: The Seductiveness of Decay is no exception to this rule, yet it somehow feels an old friend re-emerging from the mire.
After the obligatory mood-setter, the band launch into the epic and powerful “Heartbreak and Séance,” whose sad guitars quickly explode into a plundering musical rape. Dani Filth’s screech and bark approach is damn near perfected in this song (even sounding like the mighty King Diamond at times) as it sways between melodic heaviness and extreme brutality. “Achingly Beautiful” follows it up, introducing itself with spoken word before pummeling the listener with a rhythm section onslaught underneath an evil calliope and Filth’s powerfully strange vocals (intermixing this time with female vocals). This song is every bit as surprisingly memorable as “Nymphetamine.”
While there really isn’t a misstep here at all (perhaps the band’s best album since Nymphetamine), “You Will Know the Lion By His Claw” is a standout as well. It’s got a more rolling feel to it, and most of it features Dani’s bark, using the screech only sparingly. This causes pretty energizing feel when he lets loose. “The Seductiveness of Decay” is a fast-paced piece of Black Metal goodness as well, featuring the band at its heaviest since Damnation and a Day. The symphonic breakdown is about as cool as it gets in Extreme Metal. Meanwhile, “Vengeful Spirit” sees the return of ex-Theater of Tragedy vocalist Liv Kristine, a beautiful voice who has a long history with the genre and the band.
Overall, this is a milestone album for “the Filth.” Anyone that questioned Cradle of Filth’s relevance in 2017 will certainly eat their words upon the release of Cryptoriana. Over the last decade the band’s revolving lineup has affected their sound for better and for worse, but this lineup has solidified since the last album and you can hear that they gel better. This is easily one of the band’s most complete albums, never letting up or missing a step for even a second. Don’t miss out on this one if you love Extreme Metal!
Reviewed by mark1340