Cradle Of Filth


Written by: AP on 23/10/2006 23:07:57

Cradle of Filth has the uncanny ability to romanticize everything evil. "Thornography" is no exception to this trend, exploiting gothic literature, poetry, mythology and horror films to craft what I like to dub extreme symphonic gothic black metal. Where Cradle of Filth's previous efforts have been characterized by smooth, orchestral compositions and epic atmospheres, "Thornography" combines the old with a touch of new.

"Under Pregnant Skies She Comes Alive", an elaborate title for an intro, nods towards the good ol' Cradle; a one and a half-minute epic symphony easily attributable to Cradle of Filth. What follows is far from it. "Dirge Inferno" and "Tonight in Flames" expose a new face of filth, featuring Entombed-style coarse guitarwork, bass- and guitar solos; and even some relatively clean vocals and piano arrangements. While these tracks fail to contain the sophistication and elaboration characteristic to the band's style, they are quite well composed and catchy. Of course, attention has been placed on maintaining the old style in parallel, and this becomes apparent in "Rise of the Pentagram". A well worded but dark poem by Douglas Bradley begins this breathtaking instrumental piece, the best of its kind from Cradle of Filth and prepares for the ancestry of old Cradle of Filth, namely "Under Huntress Moon".

"Thornography" also homes some unusual surprises. "Temptation" is in its purest form a duetto by Dani and Harry of Dirty Harry. This is not your average Liv Kristine chorus, but a female vocal with true passion and energy. Together with Dani's shrieks and deep growls the result is one of the best Cradle of Filth songs to date (whether or not it matters that it is a cover of Heaven 17's popular dance track - Susperia, anyone?). What is most surprising about "Thornography", however, is that "Byronic Man" features a guest performance by none other than Ville Valo. And it sounds amazing.

What ultimately differentiates "Thornography" from previous Cradle of Filth albums is the accentuation of guitars. Keyboards play only a minor role in this album, giving way for high-fret guitar melodies that carry the Dani-Deva duet choruses found in several songs. "Thornography" is in many ways experimental, but it is not an experiment. It houses all of the central elements of Cradle of Filth and elaborates these. Perhaps the correct notion would be to say that "Thornography" is the most commercial, most accessible album the band has ever released. Though this undermines the band's reputation as an extreme metal band, by no means does the album diminish it. Lynch me if you like, but this is the one Cradle of Filth album I would actually recommend to a multitude of fanbases and, while not perfect, the band's best album to date.


Download: Byronic Man, The Foetus of a New Day Kicking, Temptation
For the fans of: Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth
Listen: Myspace

Release date 17.10.2006

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