Cradle of Filth â The Manticore and Other Horrors (Peaceville Records)
The latest album by UK metallers Cradle Of Filth was released at the end of last year. So here’s what can only be described as a very belatedÂ review byÂ Louder Than War’s Nick Wood.
OK, first of all, a confession. I havenât heard a Cradle of Filth album since their debut all those years ago. And I didnât like that. But I am always willing to give any artist the benefit of the doubt and so I was actually looking forward to hearing this. And the excitement lasted all of two songs.
Firstly, with advances in technology progressing quicker than a fire in a pile of dry kindling, I donât understand how the keyboards can still sound like a Mortiis album from the early 90âs. And secondly, how can your songwriting not progress one iota from 1993? It really does sound like nothing has progressed.
The album is not without its redeeming features. Production is excellent & the drums sound excellent, however theyâre not a patch on Nick Barkerâs abilities behind the kit. The guitar tone is crunching and I really do love Dani Filth’s (Titter) ability to scream like he does.
So how about highlights? âFrost on her Pillowâ is almost prog rock with its time changes and ability to be both confusing and coherent at the same time. âPallid Reflectionâ has a clever time signature but apart from that Iâm struggling. I hate to say it about an English band but I just donât think it works. Itâs too samey. All the songs seem to descend into the same sub-par Gothic tinged Black Metal. And I use the term Black Metal in its loosest term, although I appreciate the band themselves have never really considered themselves such.
What I will say is if you have liked MR Filth and his cohorts since the first album then youâll find loads here to keep you interested. Choirs, Midi-classical instruments, catchy choruses and they do a fine line in amusing covers (Surreal to turn on Radio 5 drive time and hear Peter Allen giggling live on air at their version of Heaven 17âs Temptation. He struggled to get the words out.)
I do wonder if this would be better in the live environment, and Iâm tempted to review them live to see if things improve any, but Iâm afraid itâs a no no from me this time.
All words by Nick Wood. You can read more from Nick on LTW here.