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Cradle of Filth
November 2000
Released: 2000, Music For Nations / Koch Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Having survived internal turmoil that would have derailed any other band, Dani and his revolving door of musicians have returned with their newest opus, Midian. As the ads for the album ask, "does the world really need another C.O.F. album?" As long as it's as good as Midian, hell yeah!

Midian is perhaps C.O.F.'s most focused and intense album to date. The reason for this is that they've got their best line-up ever. New drummer Adrian Erlandsson (ex-At The Gates) has no problem keeping up with the legacy of departed Nick Barker, obliterating his drums into dust. Incumbent Gian Pyres and new "despondent night chord"-er Paul Allender beautifully duel their axes, creating haunting riffs and angelic melodies. Check out the awesome (and long, for black metal) guitar solo in "Amor E Morte". Of course, most of the attention has focused on ex-My Dying Bride violinist Martin Powell joining the band as keyboardist. His own brutal mastery of the ivories is as exquisite as it is evil, a perfect fit.

And then there is the ringleader of C.O.F., Dani. As if you had to ask, Dani is in top screeching form, wailing away without any regard for his surely damaged vocal chords. This time however, Dani has added some new voices to his repertoire. Some are even higher and grating than before, while others are more crooning and tasteful. I have never figured out why Dani's vocals are always attacked by reviewers, his style is perfect to create the imagery and horror that his band strives for. Speaking of new voices, a number of welcome cameo appearances are made by none other than Doug Bradley, better known as PinHead in the Hellraiser movies. His creepy guttural drawl is the precise match for the horrors of the album.

After the slight misstep that was From The Cradle To Enslave, C.O.F. have created a black metal masterpiece. Songs like "Lord Abortion", "Tearing The Veil From Grace" and "Amor E Morte" are some of the band's best and most disturbing visions ever. Totally black and totally evil, C.O.F. have once again proved why they are the arguable kings of black metal.

Next review: » Cradle of Filth - Midian
Previous review: » Cradle of Filth - Lovecraft & Witch Hearts

Cradle of Filth
November 2000
Released: 2000, Music For Nations / Koch Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Joe

Often a center of controversy, Cradle of Filth have returned once again with their latest offering, Midian. From their cheesy vampiric image and anti-religious stance to critics arguing whether or not they even qualify as a Metal band, CoF do a good job of keeping themselves in the spotlight. I’ve been a fan of the band for nearly a couple of years now despite the silly facades and everything else that goes with the band. And I don’t care what anyone else may think, but they ARE a Metal band! I’ve been a fan of the genre for nearly eighteen years, so I think I have some idea as to what does and what doesn’t constitute as Heavy Metal.

EvilG recently sent me this promo, therefore saving me $20 (Thanks, buddy...) because I did plan on buying it. (Ahh... The perks of being involved in the media.) Unfortunately though, the promo disc does not include lyrics or info on the band, so I can’t tell you anything about the newest band members or if Dani’s lyrical style has changed any. (If you’re familiar with Dani’s singing style, then you’ll know it’s nearly impossible to decipher the lyrics by ear.) But if the song titles are any indication, then I think it’s safe to assume that the lyrics are pretty much in the same vein as those found on earlier albums such as Cruelty and the Beast and Dusk and Her Embrace.

Midian begins with a typical CoF, horror movie-inspired intro called "At the Gates of Midian" which segues directly into "Cthulu Dawn", a speedy tune that’s heavy on atmosphere. The band has continued to make use of female vocals, as on the multi-tempoed "Saffron’s Curse" and "Her Ghost in the Fog". All of the songs on Midian are very good and keep with the traditonal CoF style of songwriting. The only weak track is "Satanic Mantra", which is just Dani (with some vocal over-dubs) chanting "Archangel, dark angel, lend me thy light... Through death’s veil ‘til we have Heaven in sight...". Maybe it has some connection with the following track, "Tearing the Veil From Grace", but I’ll never know that without a copy of the lyrics. Thankfully, it’s only 50 seconds long.

So, in summary, if you like Cradle of Filth’s past work, then you’ll want to pick this one up. There are really no surprises, although there are a couple of places where the band does sound a little heavier, possibly even thrashier. And if you don’t know anything about the band and are interested in possibly getting something by them, then Midian is as good a starting point as any other CoF disc.

Next review: » Cradle of Filth - Midnight In The Labyrinth
Previous review: » Cradle of Filth - Lovecraft & Witch Hearts

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