Cradle of Filth
by Scott Hefflon
Cradle of Filth are fuckin’ nuts, as any self-respecting metalhead already knows. Even if you’re not into their black metal/Gothic horror freakshow (art, music, twisted humor – damn near performance art, really, but not that artistically snotty, dig?), you have to appreciate the uncompromising aesthetic and respect ’em. Midian is eye-opening, but in a different way than previous albums. The most common response to hearing Cradle of Filth is to stare dumbly at the speakers, simply amazed at the onslaught of bashing and screeching going on. Even jaded black metal fuckers who use the evil blur of Darkthrone and early Emperor to fall asleep can’t help but arch an eyebrow and let a little smirk escape as vocalist Dani Filth scuttles and shrieks like a demented goblin in a b-rated splatterflick.
Surprisingly, there’s a lot of thrash going on here amidst the blastbeats and spooky Tim-Burton’s-a-pussy intros, and there’re narratives (notably a few appearances by Pinhead voice, Doug Bradley), skin-tingling black mass chanting, and female vocals often sounding more lunatic-witch-locked-in-the-dungeon than angelic. Imagine Therion’s classical and operatic theatricality on a bad, bad trip. Better yet, don’t… And to say that Dani can make his voice sound like a frighteningly wide assortment of demons and ghouls and flesh-ripping creatures and crazies, hell, that’d be an understatement. So in case you’re still impressed by the nü metal one-trick-ponies, check out Cradle of Filth and have your mind boggled.