Cradle Of Filth

Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa

Written by: PP on 03/12/2010 02:59:19

Although very similar in sound, the main difference between the two symphonic black metal heavy weights Cradle Of Filth and Dimmu Borgir is within the level of artistic ambition. Whereas the latter believes in forging ever-growing symphonies to their music with a megalomaniac attitude (100-strong orchestra for their latest album, anyone?), Cradle Of Filth has (to my knowledge) always been content in simply utilizing synth-based symphonies instead, focusing more on the interplay between extreme metal riffs and brutally shrieked vocals rather than some overall grandiose and pompous big picture. Most times, this has resulted in an inferior product, but with their ninth album "Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa", I feel like they've taken a step further than Dimmu Borgir, which becomes first apparent after several active listening sessions to both, preferably one after the other.

Now, stylistically these two bands share so much in common that a review of CoF straight after a Dimmu one is almost automatically going to read in a similar way: big, dramatic soundscapes tightly held together with black metal riffs, pummeling drum patterns and gruff lead vocals. One of the few differences is found within the vocal department. Dani Filth, love him or hate him, is capable of some seriously tormented high pitch shrieks that recall the most extreme and underground of 'shoebox' black metal bands. These moments are as surprising as they are welcome on each Filth album, and in the end I'm only left wishing these would be utilized to a greater extent. Why? There's just something about hearing a brilliantly produced symphonic black metal album reach into the incredible depths of the real black metal scene for inspiration.

In the end, you'll already have decided whether or not you like CoF before reading this review. "Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa" is simply more of the same, standardized, some say commercial melodic black metal that the band is known for. It doesn't touch the new Carach Angren release either, but it feels like a small step ahead of the latest Dimmu Borgir album in my mind. Not surprising by any means, but still a good album in the genre.


Download: The Persecution Song, Lilith Immaculate
For the fans of: Dimmu Borgir, Carach Angren,
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 01.11.2010
Peaceville / Nuclear Blast

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