The dark, cinematic orchestration and trademark screech that open The Manticore and Other Horrors are pure Cradle of Filth, but there is something different in this tenth release from the English metallers. Note by note, blast by blast, it becomes clear that they have skinned back the frills and uncovered the band of old, circa 2000’s Midian, but with punk fangs.
Be warned, though; naysayers will still find the brazen theatrics, dark themes, and vampiric attitude throughout The Manticore and Other Horrors. But they will also find punchy arrangements, less of Dani Filth’s shrill shrieks, and even – dare I say – intriguing guitar solos. “For Your Vulgar Delectation” is fueled by dynamic guitar themes that rev with a hot throttle. “Frost on Her Pillow” layers soaring guitar above dramatic drum fills, and “Succumb to This” gallops like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse amid melodic shifts and jabs.
Cradle of Filth are no strangers to critical praise and public crucifixion. They seem to be met with both upon the release of each new album, particularly their more recent catalog. The Manticore and Other Horrors is proof positive that these aren’t one trick demons; Cradle of Filth have reshuffled the deck, and they are playing one of the strongest hands of their career.
The Manticore and Other Horrors is out now on Nuclear Blast Records.
Rating: 4/5 Stars