Cradle of Filth – Cryptoriana / The Seductiveness of Decay
Lucas Di Mascio
Cradle of Filth has always been one of those bands that you either love or hate, and while their latest musical offering, Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay, is quite possibly their most accessible (when it comes to fans of metal), it doesn’t deviate much from their past musical endeavours. The core of Cradle of Filth’s style has always been black metal aesthetics and guitar work with symphonic metal keyboard compositions and choirs, as well as beautifully haunting and gothic/horror inspired imagery and Dani Filth’s sometimes distinct vocal style. This is all still present on this album, but they have definitely ironed out some of the rough edges of numerous member changes over the years, and after twelve releases the production and songwriting on the album is as harmonious as it’s ever been.
Dani Filth’s signature high pitched shrieking actually seems less abrasive on this album- thankfully so since it’s one of the biggest divisive elements fans of the genre have with this band’s style. The vocals are a lot more raw than on earlier releases, at least in comparison to the high production quality of the rest of the music. It’s hard to say that this band has “matured”, because they are still doing the same old thing they’ve always done, but somehow their over the top nature fits really well with the music crafted on Cryptoriana. The solos are some of the best they’ve ever had- the solo on Wester Vespertine is nothing short of beautiful, and the lead lines on the single “Heartbreak and Seance” are nothing short of epic and catchy- it’s funny to say in this context, but the track “The Seductiveness of Decay” has an old school Iron Maiden guitar melody hook in the middle of the song.
Whether you find yourself enamoured with Cradle of Filth’s gothic imagery and lyrical themes, or find it too forced and catered to edgy Hot Topic demographic teenagers, they’ve seemed to find a perfect balance of it on this album. Where past album covers, album/song titles, and music videos seemed a little too cliche and were so edgy they were borderline ridiculous (Thornography, ugh!) this is actually Cradle’s most beautiful album cover and does the album justice. Their music video for Heartbreak and Seance a beautifully shot video, everything from the set design to the costumes are a total treat for the eyes.
If you haven’t given Cradle of Filth a listen before, and were put off by their imagery then you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not listening to Cryptoriana. The imagery is still gloriously over the top but it really meshes well with this record’s vibe. If you had listened to Cradle of Filth in the past and their sound didn’t do it for you, this album may not change your mind – but it would be the one that has potential to do so because of it’s amazing production and great lead guitar lines.
1. Exquisite Torment Awaits
2. Heartbreak and Seance
3. Achingly Beautiful
4. Wester Vespertine
5. Seductiveness of Decay
6. Vengeful Spirit
7. You Will Know The Lion By His Claw
8. Death and the Maiden
Cradle of Filth Line Up:
Dani Filth – Vocals
Martin Skaroupka – Drums
Daniel Firth – Bass
Lindsay Schoolcraft – Keyboards/Vocals
Richard Shaw – Guitars
Marok Smerda – Guitars