A Tribute to Cradle of Filth (Deadline)
by Scott Hefflon
Cradle of Filth are at the top of their game. Signed to Sony, playing Ozzfest for the first time, “mainstream” metal audiences ain’t gonna know what hit ’em. Trouble with this tribute, aside from being mostly “up-and-coming” bands (aka “unknowns” or “nobodies,” depending on how generous yer feeling) and the fact that it’s released by Deadline (who’ve put out some of the worst/unnecessary tributes ever [ill-]conceived), is that, well, Cradle of Filth is simply the most dynamic, truly insane and freaky black/extreme metal band on the planet. They’re (decapitated) head and (bloody) shoulders above the other top-tier extreme bands out there, so trying to cover their songs to such a standard is damn near impossible.
But sure, some of the bands on Covered in Filth do some pretty good covers, most notably Born of Thorns, Chronzon, Dark Army and a couple of others. For those who’ve never heard CoF, black metalheads and Goths both revere the band because, while often galloping metal, Dani Filth’s varied vocal styles are unmatched and truly distinctive. His goblin ranting and shrieks and bassy demon growl are instantly recognizable. And while Gothy/creepy intros and shredding guitarwork are par for the course in the real metal world, CoF and only a handful of others (say, like Emperor) dare to travel at such high speeds over the twisted roads. They take hairpin turns without skidding or slowing in the slightest, and they doubleback and forth between frantic flight and brooding skygazing in tight formation, perhaps somewhat like being torn apart by bloodthirsty wolves, and then having them lick and nuzzle you, then, without warning, set upon you again.
Covered in Filth, while not the breathless experience of hearing the originals, is a damn fine tribute. No one can write or perform like CoF, but the production here is great, the performances lightning quick and highly-respectable, and it’s kinda cool to hear 13 bands try to sound like Dani’s many voices. And the bonus track by Indonesia’s Kekal was a brave inclusion. They sound completely different from the rest of the slavering pack, are quite diverse and versatile in their own right, and offering them as a bonus is one of the few times I’ve seen a bonus track used properly, not just “another song tacked on at the end” or “and this demo version kinda sucks, but we thought we’d include it anyway.” Congrats to Deadline for releasing the best tribute they’ve even done. Others covered in filth: Wehrwolfe, Serpents Aria, Mirzadeh, D.D.T., Veil of Anguish, Kaul, Noctuary, Lucifer, and Willow Wisp.
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