From the Cradle to Enslave
featuring Cradle of Filth
With one lone music video, for new single “From The Cradle To Enslave,” Cradle of Filth have revived all of the mystique and black humor that has been missing from Metal videos for way too long. It’s total wicked fun, complete with disfigured dwarves, an amputee, scantily-clad brides of Satan, pentagrams, each band member getting his gruesome comeuppance, and apparently, the most (fake) blood ever used in a music video. Terribly fitting for Cradle of Filth, a band that thrives on dark, over-the-top excess. And the video is total sensory overload, it revels in the Satan-on-a-tight-budget feel of past glorious from Iron Maiden, WASP, and King Diamond videos in the mid-Eighties, like “Two Minutes to Midnight” crossed with “Bark At The Moon.” Simultaneously, “From the Cradle to Enslave” revives the communal insular feeling that metal had in the 1980’s, through shutting out the rest of the world. Not everyone is going to like this video, if you’ve never worn a bullet belt you’re probably not going to like this video. But that is a strength, rather than a shortcoming, on the part of Cradle of Filth. They’ve refined their aesthetic, and there will be no compromise.
The song is incredible, probably Cradle’s best to date, and reminds me of the Carcass of “Necroticism,” my benchmark of extreme metal (un)godliness. So after the censored and uncensored version of the video, there is a ten-minute “making of” documentary, and a mini-live set, recorded at the London Astoria in 1988. This live set proves that, yes, Dani’s voice is probably going to blow out in about two days from all of the punishment he puts it through. What stands out most of all is that Cradle of Filth’s very English sense of humour pervades the whole affair, elevating what could have been po-faced bollocks in the hands of a lesser band to pure malicious glee. And when guitarist Stuart closes the video by admonishing viewers, “And don’t lend this to your mates,” all I can do is flash the devil-sign salute.
Metal Blade Records, 2828 Cochran St., Suite 302, Simi Valley, CA 93065-2793; http://www.metalblade.com