Cradle of Filth have consistently released horror-flavored black metal opuses, almost to a fault. From the titles to the supernatural and occult themes to Dani Filth’s banshee wail, each album has been exciting in its own right, but predictable, nonetheless.
Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay threatens more of the same, but instead, it challenges listeners with a set of chorus-less, shape-shifting compositions. The intense blast of “Exquisite Torments Await” gives may to “Heartbreak and Séance,” quickly setting the tone with vicious blasts, Gothic vibes, and impressive guitar interplay between Ashok and Richard Shaw, who are the true standouts on Cryptoriana. They consistently provide epic and much-needed reprises to the madness that the band conjures, particularly on “Wester Vespertine.”
The album isn’t without its flaws, though, and Filth and his cohorts flirt with familiar cliches, particularly on “Death and the Maiden” and its well-trodden references to the “valley of the shadow of death.” Although today’s Cradle of Filth sound a bit like “black metal lite” when compared to more extreme acts like Watain and Slagmaur, Cryptoriana packs a sonic punch that overshadows many of the band’s recent releases, recalling the aggressive experimentation of Midian.
Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay is yet another entertaining ride through the darkness courtesy of the vampiric posse in Cradle of Filth.
Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay is out September 22 on Nuclear Blast Records. Buy it here!