Cradle Of Filth
At first glance, all of the outward stylistic elements are intact. Spooky record cover, doomy-looking lass on the back cover, song titles that echo the more outrageous reaches of Satanism and the occult, and even a vaguely familiar album title like Midian (read a book). Two songs in, and I’m comforted like I’m drifting in a big fuzzy blanket, or maybe a dark blanket of spikes. Or something. There’s still the spoken breakdowns and the mood interlude tracks, but for some reason Midian seems more restrained and controlled than earlier Cradle Of Filth releases. Maybe I’ve got a distorted view of ’em, based on past glories (theirs or mine? Theirs). I wanted, no, I needed more messiness, more anarchy. It’s all down to Dani’s voice — he’s the black metal equivalent of Liz Frasier — kinda, okay “heeeeeeeeere I gooooooooo — saatttttttttttttaaaaaaaaaneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen.” Pretty neat, huh? He’s a fucking treasure. If Cradle Of Filth would tone their chops just a bit, add a bit more drunken punk clatter, a bit less overt velvet-cape darkness, they could be the new Iron Maiden. Huge logo patches for denim jackets and all. I think I’ll keep the analogies floating and compare this record to Deicide’s Legion — they both tried out a bunch of new vocal tones, got a lot tighter on their instruments, a bit more reserved, a bit cleaner, but even though that new “vomiting” vocal tone is dead neat, you’re not sure if you particularly wanted to hear all this in the first place, y’know? And yet, it’s Deicide, err, Cradle Of Filth, so I’m gonna listen to it, and be thankful that metal like this still exists in a tightly sealed world of dark illusion where the so-called real world means less than shit. See, Cradle Of Filth can even survive meandering record reviews and remain one of the smartest and mightiest dark metal outfits out there.
Koch Records, 740 Broadway, New York, NY 10003