Archive for Cradle Of Filth

Valk-Fest venue change plus final line-up details

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 4th October 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Shades Nightclub in Bridlington will be the host for this year’s Valkyrian Festival, following the closure of The Lamp in Hull earlier this year. The annual event, organised by Bridlington-based webzine Valkyrian Music, is in aid of UK charity Autism Plus.

Valkyrian Festival will take place on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th November, with doors on the Friday night opening at 6pm and at 2:30 pm on the Saturday. Bridlington’s own deathcore titans in the making Sea Of Giants will headline the Friday night, with support from Riff-X, Illflower, Dead Pools and Gloomlurker, whom supported ex-Cradle of Filth backing vocalist Sarah Jezebel Deva, earlier this year in Grimsby.

Saturday will be headlined by Birmingham prop-power metallers Dakesis, who supported Edguy earlier this year and played an exclusive acoustic set at Bloodstock back in August. Joining them, as main support will be Ziyos and fresh from Bloodstock’s New Blood Stage, will be Hull’s premier misanthropic black metal outfit Infernal Creation, who blasted their way through Bloodstock this year on the New Blood Stage, along with special guests Sanguine,whom rocked Download back in June. North-west metal bands Nitronein and Shades of Avalon will also be joining Dakesis as supports, along with female fronted operatic metal outfit Aonia who will be playing a rare and exclusive acoustic set. Engraved in Blood and Organized K-Hos will be completing the line-up for Saturday, as well Apparition, who will be playing with their new frontwoman, following the break after their tour with ex-CoF backing vocalist Sarah Jezebel Deva.

Weekend tickets are priced at the low, low, low price of £4 and are available here. Day tickets will be available on the door. All proceeds will go to Autism Plus (Register charity no. 518591). The event is all ages, with alcohol available from the pub above the venue.

Poster designed by Dark Creative 32.

God Seed to tour Europe in November & December

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 21st September 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

God Seed are heading out to tour Europe in November and December with Cradle of Filth on the Creatures From The Black Abyss Tour 2012! You don’t want to miss this! Check out the dates below.

God Seed release the new album I Begin October 22nd in North America, October 26th in Norway & GAS and October 30th in the rest of Europe.

Creatures From The Black Abyss – European Tour 2012:

07 Nov – Holland, Haarlem – Patronaat
08 Nov – Holland, Leeuwarden – Romeein
09 Nov – Germany, Osnabrück – Hyde Park
10 Nov – Denmark, Aarhus – Train
12 Nov – Sweden, Gothenburg – Trädgarn
13 Nov – Sweden, Stockholm – Klubben
15 Nov – Finland, Tampere – Klubbi
16 Nov – Finland, Helsinki – Nosturi
17 Nov – Estonia, Tallinn – Rock Cafe
19 Nov – Belarus, Minsk – Re:Public
20 Nov – Ukraine, Kiev – Bingo
22 Nov – Poland, Warsaw – Progressja
23 Nov – Poland, Krakow – Kwadrat
24 Nov – Czech Republic, Zlin – Winter Masters Of Rock
26 Nov – Italy, Bologna – Estragon
27 Nov – Italy, Milan – Alcatraz (Small Hall)
29 Nov – France, Montpellier – Rockstore
30 Nov – Spain, Bilbao – Santana 27
01 Dec – Spain, Santiago De Compostela – Capitol
02 Dec – Portugal, Porto – Hard Club
04 Dec – Spain, Madrid – La Riviera
05 Dec – Spain, Barcelona – Salamandra
07 Dec – Germany, Geiselwind – Musichall
08 Dec – Germany, Bochum – Matrix
09 Dec – Switzerland, Pratteln – Z-7
11 Dec – Czech Republic, Prague – Meet Factory
13 Dec – Slovakia, Bratislava – Majestic Music Club
14 Dec – Germany, Munich – Theaterfabrik
15 Dec – Austria, Wels – Schlachthof
16 Dec – Germany, Berlin – C-Club
19 Dec – UK, London – Forum

The Manticore and Other Horrors tracklisting unveiled

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 12th September 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Cradle of Filth have revealed the track list for the band’s upcoming 10th studio album, The Manticore and Other Horrors, due out October 29th (Europe) via Peaceville Records and October 30th (North America) via Nuclear Blast Records.

1. The Unveiling of O
2. The Abhorrent
3. For Your Vulgar Delectation
4. Illicitus
5. Manticore
6. Frost On Her Pillow
7. Huge Onyx Wings Behind Despair
8. Pallid Reflection
9. Siding With The Titans
10. Succumb To This
11. Nightmares Of An Ether Drinker
12. Death, The Great Adventure *Deluxe Edition Digipak
13. Sinfonia *Deluxe Edition Digipak

Recorded in eight weeks at both Springvale and Grindstone studios (where it was also mixed by Scott Atkins), Suffolk, the album is a testament to the longevity of The ‘Filth, as not only does it reek of Cradle’s (feared or revered) brand of delicious metal vamperotica, but this thoroughly modern album places the band firmly in fresh killing fields anew.

The Manticore and Other Horrors itself possesses an altogether new atmosphere for the band, incorporating a heavier, faster NWOBBM punk vibe that is both current and cruel, blended with ornate orchestration and the quirky immediateness of 2000’s Midian opus.

The album’s title can be likened to a bestiary, a collection of stories on monsters –  personal demons, Chimeras, literary fiends and world-enslaving entities to blame but a few.

Artwork for the impending release comes courtesy of Matthew Vickerstaff of Darkwaveart.

Commented the band’s infamous front man, Dani Filth, “This is our 10th commandment in metal. We have diversified and kept alive the spirit of this band and breathed it into something that I can proudly say, slays like an absolute motherf**ker. The Manticore is coming… Long live the filth!

Interview: Liv Kristine

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , on 10th September 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Liv Kristine is one of the most prominent songwriters and performing artists in both the Norwegian music scene, as well as the international music scene. Beginning her musical career with Theatre of Tragedy, where she pioneered the use of beauty and beast vocals, Liv soon moved onto bigger things when she formed Leaves’ Eyes with the five musicians from Atrocity, including her husband Alexander Krull. Aside from her work with Leaves’ Eyes, Liv is well known for her solo project, with her fourth solo album being released today. Luckily, Nico was able to have a chat with Liv regarding her solo career, her inspirations, influences and the progress of her musical career.

Nico: Do you feel that your new album; Libertine; differs from your previous releases?

Liv: Dues ex Machina was very atmospheric, reminding you a bit about Irish Enya, a real pop-album. Enter My Religion was more guitar-based and earthly with many interesting exotic folk influences. Skintight had some influence from Johnny Cash, which sometimes gives the listeners a warm and here-and-now camp-fire feeling experience. Libertine is a back-to-the-roots album, containing the most emotional ballads I’ve ever composed for a solo album, it even has a dark but sweet feeling to it, through both the piano, the dark bass lines and guitars. I see every album becoming more and more individual. Talking about genre, I would say all of my albums are somehow indie, pop, rock or metal.

N: Regarding the lyrics on the new release, are there are any stories behind the lyrics?

L: Libertine is full of wonderful moments that remind you of being in love, with someone, freedom, a scent, chocolate, or with life itself. As you might have guessed, I am myself a collector of those special moments in life when you feel love and happiness. This is what I want to give my listeners through my art. Skintight was very much connected to my childhood, therefore it was dedicated to the children of this world. However Libertine, as mentioned above, shares moments from my whole life so far, not only my childhood. Most songs are actually related to my life being a young woman, a mother, wife and lover of my husband. Libertine is dedicated to my sweet, wonderful younger sister, Carmen.

N: You’ve done a lot of vocal work in different bands and on different releases, which one would you say was the most enjoyable for you to partake in?

L: Except from my own bands, Leaves’ Eyes and Liv Kristine, it was the guestvocal appearances for Atrocity [Work 80] and Cradle of Filth [Nymphetamine]. Atrocity went straight into the charts, and the Cradle-duet was even nominated for the US Grammy. Motörhead won the Grammy… They deserved it, but I’m hoping for a second chance some day.

N: What song do you feel defines your career as a vocalist?

L: Silence, i.e. one of the tracks on Libertine. Just how much I love music and composing, I love the silence of nature even more. I grew up by the sea in complete peace and calamity. I need it, silence, to gain new inspiration, come up with interesting ideas, and, most of all, to recover.

N: When it comes to writing, where do you draw your inspiration from?

L: From my inner self, especially from my past experiences or, as already mentioned before, those special, little moments in live which you will remember for a lifetime.

N: You’ve been an active musician on the metal for almost 20 years now, do you feel that the scene has changed over the years? If so, how?

L: Generally, it’s funny considering the fact that back in in the mid nineties there were no such huge casting shows on TV. When we formed Theatre of Tragedy back then, we recorded a demo tape of four tracks, the whole thing lasting one day by the price of $50. Within the same month we had three offers for a record deal from different record labels. All we had to do was to choose. Remember we were a gothic doom metal band from a small place far out in Norway. That’s a dream coming true so quickly that some of the band’s original members left before the first album production. Too much excitement and pressure all of a sudden. Can you believe that? Signing a record deal, being a metal band is so much more complicated, expensive and difficult today, outstanding artists, headbangers or not, attend casting shows to get “somewhere”; to get a reaction from “someone”. Theatre of Tragedy just had this great “beauty [angelic voice] and the beast [growls]” idea, before anyone else, and we were awarded for it. No casting shows or music business machinery behind it, just a superb idea.

N: Given the years you’ve spent as a vocalist, do you feel as if there’s more you can learn about yourself? Or do you feel that you’ve learnt everything there is to learn about yourself?

L: I am learning all the time! Standing still, stagnation, is too me the worst thing that could happen being an artist. Libertine is a huge step forward for me in my career. I only follow my musical instinct and heart. I believe I was born with a creative heart and mind and I do need to develop, to spread my wings within music and art generally, which also means to be involved with different musical styles. There are no limits for me except for my own “stomach feeling”, that is that inner voice that helps me make my decisions and find my own ways. My wide experience has made me become the artist I am, and I feel completely free to spread my wings. Thanks to my friends and fans supporting me throughout all these years, and having faith in my natural-given talent. Some day, I will take my first singing lesson.

N: Do any of your personal beliefs or philosophies influence your writing?

L: Only one: do what you feel is the right thing to do, follow your musical instinct, and heart. But listen to advice, if it comes from a well-meaning, open-minded person.

N: A large portion of our readers are musicians and are in bands, from your own experience, do you have any advice you’d like to share with them?

L: Choose band mates who have both their legs safely situated on the ground. Theatre of Tragedy went down the drains because certain band members couldn’t handle the great and sudden success of the band. All of a sudden it was all about “being important” and NOT becoming a better-trained and intelligent artist, moreover, keeping loyalty and friendship safe within the band.

N: How did your journey into the world of music begin?

L: I started to sing even before I could walk or talk, however, I never had any musical education, and I never studied music – I studied linguistics, German, English and historic languages. It was my inner voice that told me that singing is a part of me, it just comes from the heart. Actually, when I was little, I thought that every human being could sing! Well, I guess I’m lucky, having a kind of perfect hearing. Coming to influences, I grew up with Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Edvard Grieg and Tschaikowsky, and female singers like Enya, Madonna, Kate Bush, Abba, Tori Amos and Monserrat Caballe. From the very beginning, I’ve followed my musical instinct: I wanted to combine a romantic, female, angelic voice with powerful, impressive music. Then suddenly, when I was 18 years old, I found myself in the middle of writing music history with Theatre of Tragedy.

N: Before we finish up, is there any you’d like to say to the readers?

L: I thank you for being there for me all these years, with Theatre of Tragedy, Leaves’ Eyes and my solo work. I hope you enjoy Libertine as much as I did composing and recording it. I can’t wait to play it live for you!

Don’t forget that Liv Kristine will be doing signing sessions for her new album Libertine on tour with Leaves’ Eyes this month and expect another interview from Liv as we’ll be interviewing her in Manchester on Friday.

Cradle of Filth announce European tour dates

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 5th September 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

UK extreme metallers Cradle of Filth have just announced a mammoth run of dates across Europe, including a one-off UK show at London’s Forum on 19th December. Happy Christmas! The band’s ringleader Dani Filth of the forthcoming touring event commented: “We are obviously enraptured at the prospect of ditching our Manatee suits and sweating it our night after night on tour across Europe. We have seemingly morphed into an American band of late, having toured there quite extensively, so it’s going to be awesome playing some of the places on our home continent we haven’t visited in a while. It’ll bring some much needed culture back to our humble frames. On the live front we have some great new ideas for our show, a new setlist, a new bassist and a new album, so expect, with the addition of Godseed and Rotting Christ, the tour to be a tentacular Dracula spectacular of rare and dizzying heights. Europe beware! The Manticore is coming! Long live the ‘Filth!

Cradle of Filth are set to release their new masterwork The Manticore & other Horrors this Hallowe’en on Peaceville Records.

The title of this, Cradle Of Filth’s tenth studio full-length, can be likened to a bestiary, a collection of stories on Monsters; personal demons, Chimeras, literary fiends and world-enslaving entities to blame but a few, Manticore being the ravening title track. It is a song about a beautiful mythological horror that comes to be feared as the disfigurehead of foreign occupation in the Indian provinces.

The songs Illicitus and Pallid Reflection bare the sweet ingredients of vampirism and lycanthropy; the wicked For Your Vulgar Delectation and Frost On her Pillow are woven perversely into grim fairytales, whilst classic, monumental tracks like The Abhorrent and Siding With The Titans both extol tentacular Lovecraftian values.

The album itself possesses an altogether new atmosphere for the band, incorporating a heavier, faster NWOBBM punk vibe that is both current and cruel, blended with ornate orchestration and the quirky immediateness of 2000’s Midian opus.

Recorded in eight weeks at both Springvale and Grindstone studios (where it was also mixed by Scott Atkins), Suffolk, the album is testament to the longevity of The ‘Filth, as not only does it reek of Cradle’s (feared or revered) brand of delicious metal vamperotica, but this thoroughly modern album places the band firmly in fresh killing fields anew.

Vocalist Dani Filth had this to say on the new album: ‘This is our tenth commandment in metal. We have diversified and kept alive the spirit of this band and breathed it into something that I can proudly say, slays like an absolute motherf**ker. The Manticore is coming… Long live the filth!

Cradle of Filth is also set to spread their darkness upon European lands with a tour throughout November & December.

07 Holland Haarlem, Patronaat
08  Holland Leeuwarden, Romeein
09 Germany Osnabrück, Hyde Park
10 Denmark Aarhus, Train
12 Sweden Gothenburg, Trädgarn
13 Sweden Stockholm, Klubben
15 Finland Tampere, Klubbi
16 Finland Helsinki, Nosturi
19 Belarus Minsk, Re:Public
20 Ukraine Kiev, Bingo
22 Poland Warsaw, Progressja
23 Poland Krakow, Kwadrat
24 Czech Zlin, Winter Masters Of Rock
26 Italy Bologna, Estragon
27 Italy Milan, Alcatraz (Small Hall)
29 France Montpellier, Rockstore
30 Spain Bilbao, Santana 27
01 Spain Santiago De Compostella, Capitol
02 Portugal Porto, Hard Club
04 Spain Madrid, La Riviera
05 Spain Barcelona, Salamandra
07 Germany Geiselwind, Musichall
08 Germany Bochum, Matrix
09 Swiss Pratteln, Z-7
11 Czech Prague, Meet Factory
13 Slovakia Bratislava, Majestic Music Club
14 Germany München, Theaterfabrik
15 Austria Wels, Schlachthof
16  Germany Berlin, C-Club
19  UK London, Forum

Dark End – Grand Guignol – Book I

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 4th September 2012 by izaforestspirit

Dark End
Grand Guignol – Book I
Released in February2012
Symphonic Black Metal
Self-Released

‘Grand Guignol – Book I’ is the third album from the Italian symphonic black metal band Dark End. The band describe their style as “extreme horror metal” and have recently been confirmed as a support act for Cradle of Filth during their European tour.

Symphonic, atmospheric and theatrical seem like the best words to describe the opening track, an eerie instrumental called ‘Descent/Ascent (II Movement)’. Then it’s straight into symphonic black metal with ‘Æinsoph: Flashforward to Obscurity’, which comes complete with melodic keyboards and shrieking vocals that Dani Filth would be proud of. They have even managed to throw in a few guitar solos to spice up this blackened, gothic-horror opera.

‘Spiritism: The Transfiguration Passage’ and ‘Grief: Along Our Divine Pathway’ really do cement the band’s position as Italy’s answer to Cradle of Filth. All the elements are here; from the gothic, orchestral keyboards to the vocals which are a combination of black metal shrieks, part-growls and creepy whispers. In fact, I reckon that if these guys decided to do a cover of COF’s ‘Her Ghost in The Fog’ nobody would even notice the difference…This pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the album as the subsequent tracks offer more of the same; lengthy ballads of gothic horror in all its theatrical, symphonic keyboard-infused glory. The only exception is ‘Pest: Fierce Massive Grandeur’ which features some decent guitar riffs and solos making it stand out as only the song on here that isn’t entirely dominated by the keyboards.

3/5 – If Cradle of Filth isn’t your thing then there’s a good chance that you will hate these guys even more!

Iza Raittila

Cradle of Filth unveil new album artwork

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 23rd August 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Extreme Gothic outfit Cradle of Filth has revealed the cover art for its upcoming 10th studio album, The Manticore and Other Horrors, due out on October 29th in Europe via Peaceville Records and October 30th in North America via Nuclear Blast Records. Artwork comes courtesy of Matthew Vickerstaff of Darkwave Art.

Recorded in eight weeks at both Springvale and Grindstone studios (where it was also mixed by Scott Atkins), Suffolk, the album is a testament to the longevity of The ‘Filth, as not only does it reek of Cradle‘s (feared or revered) brand of delicious metal vamperotica, but this thoroughly modern album places the band firmly in fresh killing fields anew.

The Manticore and Other Horrors itself possesses an altogether new atmosphere for the band, incorporating a heavier, faster NWOBBM punk vibe that is both current and cruel, blended with ornate orchestration and the quirky immediateness of 2000’s Midian opus.

The album’s title can be likened to a bestiary, a collection of stories on monsters – personal demons, Chimeras, literary fiends and world-enslaving entities to blame but a few.

Commented the band’s infamous front man, Dani Filth, “This is our 10th commandment in metal. We have diversified and kept alive the spirit of this band and breathed it into something that I can proudly say, slays like an absolute motherf**ker. The Manticore is coming… Long live the filth!”

Iron Monkey’s Our Problem to be released on vinyl for the first time

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 17th August 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Our Problem, the classic 1998 album from UK aggro-doomsters Iron Monkey, is due to be released on limited edition vinyl for the first time ever on September 10th.

Our Problem was produced by Andy Sneap (Megadeth, Machine Head, Cradle of Filth, Testament, Exodus, Nevermore) and, along with the band’s self-titled debut album, single-handedly brought the US sludgecore sound to the UK underground.

The release is part of the First Time On Vinyl campaign, which plugs the gaps in the Earache catalogue that have never before been released on LP.

Our Problem will be released on double vinyl housed in a deluxe gatefold sleeve, and includes three bonus tracks taken from the deleted We’ve Learned Nothing split with Church Of Misery.  All profits will be donated to the UK National Kidney Federation in memory of the band’s late frontman, Johhny Morrow.  For more information, click here.

Our Problem is available to pre-order now in these strictly limited colours:

100 – Skol Super Gold (SOLD OUT!)
200 – Weed Green (ALMOST GONE!)
300 – Primate Brown
800 – Black

Pre-order the OUR PROBLEM vinyl now in Europe here or in North America here.

The full track listing for the OUR PROBLEM vinyl is as follows:

SIDE A:
01. Bad Year
02. Supagorgonizer
03. Boss Keloid
04. IRMS

SIDE B:
05. House Anxiety
06. 2 Golden Rules
07. 9 Joint Spiritual Whip

SIDE C:
08. Omi Bozu (Wisdom of Choking)
09. Sleep to Win *

SIDE D:
10. Arsonaut *
11. Kiss of Death *

* Bonus tracks

Iron Monkey‘s self-titled debut album is also available now on limited edition coloured vinyl from the Earache Webstore.

Damnation sponsored by Peaceville Records

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 24th July 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Peaceville Records is proud to announce that, to coincide with celebrating 25 years of the label’s existence, we will be joining forces with Yorkshire’s own Damnation festival, as sponsoring partners. Damnation Festival, based in Leeds, UK, has brought a high-caliber of extreme metal’s finest & most diverse acts from around the globe to the north of England since launching in 2005.

Representing Peaceville on the night will be local doom heroes and heroine My Dying Bride – themselves a long-standing act on the label over a 20 year period of metallic tyranny – as the band return to the stage in support of their upcoming album due on Peaceville.

Since its inception in 1987, Peaceville Records has brought consistent quality & evolution to the metal universe, from early crust punk releases, to the death metal of Autopsy & At the Gates, through the black metal of Darkthrone, to being a leader of the gothic doom movement with the ‘Peaceville 3’; namely Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride & Anathema – all cementing the label’s legendary reputation as the home of doom. Later years saw numerous internationally renowned acts such as Katatonia & Opeth brought to the fold, & more recently the UK’s own Cradle of Filth.

“Damnation Festival are thrilled to be partnering up with Peaceville Records for the 2012 edition of the festival. It’s a killer label with an amazing history and we wish them a very happy birthday. Damnation fans will benefit from this fantastic partnership in the form of a free CD sampler featuring some of the best Peaceville tracks from the past two and half decades. There will be 2000 samplers on offer, so don’t forget to collect one alongside the complimentary programme courtesy of Terrorizer magazine. Here’s to the next 25!”

SJD set to tour Europe with Tristania

Posted in News with tags , on 21st June 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Former Cradle of Filth backing vocalist Sarah Jezebel Deva is set to tour Europe with Tristania in September. The tour is presented by Zillo Magazine and dates are as followed:

14th Sep, Holland, Bibelot, Dordrecht.
15th Sep, Belgium, Onair Studio, Mons.
16th Sep, Holland, Boerderij, Zoetermeer.
17th Sep, England, The Underworld, London.
18th Sep, France, Glaz art, Paris.
20th Sep, Spain , Tunk, Irun.
21st Sep, Spain , Carasol, Madrid.
22th Sep, Spain , Mephisto, Barcelona
23th Sep, France, Poste a Galane, Marseille.
25th Sep, Germany, Bastard club, Osnabruck
26th Sep, Germany, K17, Berlin.
27th Sep, Switzerland, Z7, Pratteln.
28th Sep, Germany, Nachtleben, Frankfurt.
29th Sep, Germany, Turock, Essen.

Interview: Sarah Jezebel Deva, Dan Abela and Damjan Stefanovic [20th May 2012]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , on 23rd May 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

I was fortunate enough to be able to catch an interview with former Cradle of Filth backing vocalist Sarah Jezebel Deva and a couple of her band mates at Yardbirds in Grimsby, where we chatted about music, the tour, mythology and ctaching flights to and from Endor on a goose’s back.

Nico: You alright guys? Right, my first question is the most generic question, and one I’m so sick to death of asking bands but how’s the tour gone so far?

Dan: Yeah. It’s gone great, actually. We’ve had three gigs so far, so it’s going alright.

Sarah: One cancelled.

Dan: Yeah, one cancelled.

Sarah: Because of the promoter, being a… Well, you know. All the promoters we’ve had so far have taken chances on us and been so lovely to us, they’ve helped us, they know the situation, they know how hard it is for all the bands out there, people taking chances, people not taking chances and some of the promoters have had us back like Rob from here [Yardbirds, Grimsby] and Sal from Whiplash Productions in Liverpool. They’ve had us before, it didn’t go successful before, but they loved it and seem to believe in us and that’s what we’re happy with. And the fans, they believe in us, they’ve supported us and what more could you ask for? Of course, being anally screwed everyday isn’t good but if it wasn’t for the niceness of the fans and the promoters.

Dan: Don’t stay at Travel Lodge. Use Premier Inn.

Sarah: Oh no, some of the Travel Lodges have been really, really nice.

Nico: Eh, moving on, your new EP Malediction is due for release at the end of the month [28th May], what would you say are the biggest influences behind it?

Sarah: Madonna. Prince. Boyzone. Serbian rap artist that I can’t pronounce the name of. Our influences? If I could answer this before you [Dan] say something stupid like Nightwish and…

Dan: I was gonna say Lacuna Coil.

Sarah: I actually don’t think our influences shine majorly through our music. We are predominantly into extreme metal. Apart from him over there who likes Beatles and Chas and Dave but we are predominantly a band that are into extreme metal and we try to let that shine through. We do not want to be the typical female fronted band. We try to make sure it’s not the typical female-fronted band. We don’t sing about dragons, butterflies, getting a flight from Endor on a goose’s back.

Nico: You’ve just pretty much described Nightwish’s lyrics there.

Dan: Over the hills and very far away.

Sarah: So, if I was going to say what our influences are on this album, mostly me and Dan wrote the EP but I would say our influences are just extreme metal and we don’t try to copy anyone. Though there’s going to be loads of people, because we’ve had Dani Filth on one track, "oh, it’s Cradle of Filth!" – No, it’s not. It’s SJD. Having Björn Strid [Soilwork] on one of the songs, it doesn’t sound like Soilwork but people are still gonna label you so, yeah, our influences are basically whatever happens happens.

Dan: I like black metal and I know you do too, Sarah, but I mean that’s the thing. It’s a funny old one, I would say it is predominantly like the old black and death metal scene.

Damjan: I think it depends on who writes the riffs, like the song with Björn on it, Dan basically wrote all the riffs for that.

Sarah: Actually that’s not completely true.

Damjan: Dan wrote of the riffs for that. Anyway, from my point of view on the drums, I’m not as into death metal as these guys are, so when I heard the riffs and stuff, it was more about listening to them and thinking "How am I going to make this feel and sound the best it could be? How am I going to make sure it’s not a repetitive thing over and over again? And when it changes section, how do I make sure each section stands out without having to over play it or over complicate it?".

Sarah: As he [Damjan] says, he’s not into the same type of stuff as us which is great because you have the diversity.

Damjan: There’s a bit of crossover but not as much. So for me, it’s just about writing stuff that’s going to sound memorable that I’d wanna listen to again and I think we managed that.

Sarah: And we’ve got to give the bassist, Ablaz, some credit as well. He predominately wrote When It Catches Up With You. Dan just made it sound better. No, not like that. Obviously when I come up with a song, like Silence Please and The Eyes That Lie, I present them to Dan and he changes a few bits, just like Damjan has produced a song, for the next album but we’ll change little bits to suit his playing and the way I sing and the way the others play. So we all contribute but up until recently, it’s been predominately me and Dan.

Damjan: I think that’s really to do with the line-up and it changing as much as it has.

Sarah: Yeah, the line-up has changed but as a band, and I know we’re totally straying away from the question now, but as a band we have totally gelled together. We just need to get Damjan into some good music.

Nico: Going back to what you’ve just been saying about the song writing, since you and Dan are the main songwriters, how does a song writing session go between you two? Do you go off into separate rooms and do your own thing or do you get together and jam?

Sarah: We write really well together. It’s a bit hard for me sometimes because I don’t play guitar. But when I’ve got a riff, I sing it to him and he spends a week working it out but me and him gel and it’s hard to break away from that when we know other people wanna get involved. It’s funny because we’ve had the argument before that no one gets involved and now they’re all wanting to get involved. It’s always relaxed, really, isn’t it?

Dan: Basically, all we do is go into the studio and start working. We always go in with the intention of writing a new song, it’s never one of those things where people say "oh yeah, phoned them in the middle of the night and told them I have an amazing riff". We always go in there and get our ideas together and present. We always do it in the studio, which I find helps because obviously I run it, so we just set up and get going.

Sarah: Legacy London Studios.

Dan: And that’s what good because we always put it from the point of view that we are going to play these songs live as well. We’re not one of those bands goes "let’s go do something that’s completely…" and then you can’t do it live. It’s what I hate, especially when you see certain bands and hear their albums and you think "Fuck me, that’s incredible!" but you know you’ll never hear it.

Nico: That’s true. Going back to what I was about influences earlier, where do you find the influence for your lyrics?

Sarah: Life, people, shit people, good people. I find it easier to write about shit people than good people because they’re really boring. All the shit experiences I’ve had in life, situations, circumstances, situations that have affected the people close to me. I’ve done a few kind of mythological songs, like Sirens and Silence Please. Silence Please is about a banshee, but you know, the evil banshee.

Nico: I thought banshees were always evil. If you look into the Irish mythology…

Sarah: Well, you’ve got the sirens of the sea, which are theoretically banshees as well, since they signify death.

Nico: I always thought the sirens were different to the banshees, with one being Greek and the other being Irish, unless I’ve got something mixed up.

Dan: Yeah, they invented the euro.

Sarah: Sirens lead sailors to the rocks, they use their beauty to lead them to their deaths. But yeah, there’s a few other songs I’ve written about mythology and fantasy. I’m Calling by Angtoria for example, I know this isn’t Angtoria but I’m Calling is about when I used to go into the bathroom and roleplay.

Dan: [suppressed laughter]

Sarah: Don’t laugh! You know like kids have imaginary friends, well I had an imaginary boyfriend who would whisk – Okay, this is what happened. Basically, instead of washing, I would have this thing in my head of this evil man feeding me evil pills and then this prince would ride up and save me from the evil guy. They were little fizzy kinda pills, could have been sterogen for false teeth, I don’t know but I swallowed. That’s what it’s about, just fantasising as a kid. But as I was saying, most of my lyrics are based on shit people, shit in life, bad things. I just cannot sing about good things, I find it very, very difficult. And I can’t sing about things I know nothing about either, like even, Silence Please – My bed use to be near the window and you know foxes make that – beautiful as they are are – make that horrible sound and it’s a scary fucking sound. And I read about banshees once and I was convinced that sound outside my window was a banshee. Used to scare the shit out of me. So, that’s what that’s based on, a nightmare and such. But yeah, I just write about things I know about. As I said, I can’t write about dragons and fucking Endor and…

Nico: So, basically you can’t do the whole Nightwish lyrical concept?

Sarah: I just can’t.

Damjan: I personally have never been into that, so I prefer this kind of thing.

Sarah: I just think you need to sing about what you know, I’m not saying I’ll never expand.

Damjan: I find as a musical listener, that’s the kind of thing you relate to more.

Sarah: And I’ve been very lucky, the fan connection has been phenomenal. The amount of people that come to me and who can relate to my lyrics. I’m glad I can do that. I’m glad I’ve lowered the suicide rate.

Azz: Going back to what you said about lyrics and singing about things you know about, I don’t see how anyone can put emotion and energy into anything that’s bullshit fantasy stuff anyway.

Sarah: Exactly, exactly. I think you need to connect with your audience and you know, a lot of my lyrics are depressing. Like, This Is My Curse is about the fur industry. And I was saying to Dan when I was writing the lyrics, I didn’t want it forced into people’s faces. Most people won’t know it’s about the fur industry, until you read it and see what Dani Filth contributed lyrically. These animals are raised and are treated like absolute shit and then skinned alive for fur, for fashion. And I would loved to have said that in a song but it doesn’t come across and it would have sounded crap. So, you have to find a poetic way to get your message across. And as I said, you gotta have feeling for that audience to believe what you’re singing about, that you have passion about your music. You have to really feel and know to get that message across and I think we do. I know these guys don’t write my lyrics but they know that I am quite a big person but take A Matter Of Convenience, that’s based on people who like to shag around.

Nico: Sounds like the population of Brid to be truthful… Anyway, moving on, you guys have been confirmed to tour with Tristania in Europe later this year. How are you feeling about it? Like going from headline tours of the UK to support act in Europe?

Sarah: Azz isn’t doing the Europe tour and it’s a bit of a sour subject, so he’s sitting out for this one but he will be doing everything else over here over us, which is as equally important but it’s a brilliant step for us because it goes up.

Dan: We’ve met them a few times before as well and we get on really well with them. So, that’s going to be on the things that’s cool about it is the fact that it won’t be strangers walking into the same room together.

Sarah: We just hope this is a step up for us. We’ve got some stuff going on in December and obviously the Female Metal Voices Festival in Belgium as well. We’ve had some amazing things go on this year but the last three weeks has obviously knocked some of us down. Me and Dan mostly, because we’ve put so much into it, that’s not to say no one else but because me and Dan predominately run as much as we can because other people have got other stuff going on. So, it’s affected us more, so hopefully what’s going on the end of this year will set us up for next year.

Dan: And you’re definitely going to see a big change for the next album.

Nico: Sounds good, sounds good. Right, this next question is for you, Sarah. Back in December, you announced you would be featuring on the new Cradle album: Midnight in the Labyrinth, which obviously came as a shock to a lot of us. How did that come about? Because obviously for a while you’ve said you wouldn’t be working again with Cradle of Filth.

Sarah: Nostalgia. I love the old Cradle albums, love the old Cradle songs. To be able to sing those songs again and because I knew it would make a lot of older Cradle fans happy. I thought it would be good for us. I think that me and Dani go well together, vocally.

Nico: Well, to be honest, in my opinion, I think Cradle’s sound, in the female vocals, has drastically gone down hill since you department. No disrespect to your replacement.

Sarah: There’s been a few.

Nico: Really? Why doesn’t anyone tell me these things?

Sarah: Well because it’s band lies. Like when we fire Damjan, it will be due to unforeseen circumstances but really, I don’t think any band really do tell the truth, I don’t think many bands tell the truth. I think some bands find it unprofessional to tell the truth but we try to always tell the truth because in the end you need a fucking good memory to lie. It’s lovely that a lot of people do think that but there’s probably are the same number of people who think I’m shit. But in my defense and I’ve said this in loads of interviews, when you’re just a backing singer in a band, you don’t have any rights and you can’t control how you sound and no one takes you seriously. I’m sure if you flick through YouTube, you’ll find lots of videos taken from mobile phones and other footage of me sounding like I’ve got my head up a cow’s arse. Some of it is atrocious, it’s because if you can’t hear yourself, you can’t pitch and that’s one of the reasons why I was glad to not be with Cradle of Filth any more because I’m a singer. It’s my life and I’ve spent fourteen years doing oohs and aahs and now I can prove I actually have a voice. Going back to do the Cradle album is no big deal and I enjoyed. I said nostalgia but there’s a lot of rumours going around that I’m going to join them. Would I go back? I’ve had this question with Dan, as in Dan Abela. If the circumstances were right, I would do some stuff. But at the end of the day, they also have to want me back. It’s got to be a mutual thing and for the right reasons.

Nico: Speaking of the rumours, I’ve had several e-mails from my readers and your fans, basically asking if there’s ever going to be the possibility of you doing  a tour or a one-off live show with Cradle sometime in the future. doing tracks from the albums you’ve featured on?

Sarah: I can’t answer that. Whatever will be, will be. Under the impression that they 100% don’t have a female singer and they’ve got Wacken coming up. I’ve said to Dani, if you want help, I will step in. Let’s see what holds. But this band comes first! I will not sacrifice anything for this band. This band comes first.

Nico: Going back to what you’ve been saying about Cradle, at the same time you announced that you’d be featuring on the next Cradle album, you said you’d be going back to work with Angtoria at some point in the future, so, what is happening with Angtoria at the moment? When can we expect something from Angtoria?

Sarah: I think again it’s a case of when it happens, it happens. Chris has a studio and he’s so busy working for other bands. We did try put a timeline of May on it but it’s just not gonna happen. It’s gonna be when it happens. I hope we have something by the end of this year. It will happen because me and Chris are close, we get on well and we’re on the same page. It’s the same kind of relationship as me and Dan. It’s really just a case of when it happens and I hope it does.

Nico: Well, I know a lot of your fans, my brother included, want it to happen. So obviously, there’s a lot of people looking forward to any news about Angtoria – Well, any good news about Angtoria. My next question is for you, Dan. Now, obviously you run your own studio, Legacy London, as a studio proprietor, producer and sound guy, how do you feel that home recording is affecting the face of music, compared to studio recording?

Dan: It’s a very hard question because in terms of people doing their own recording, I think there’s nothing wrong with that. I think it’s a good thing that people are embracing technology and I think they’re getting better as song writers but a lot of the time I think they’re getting lazier as players, being brutally honest with you. But I don’t think that people realise the amount of time it takes for a band to a good album and this is what you see a lot of these days and people that go into a good studio and spend a good amount of time working on a professional album. You can always tell when a band has a good album and when they’ve half arsed it. Even with bigger bands. You see a lot of bigger bands these days: "Yeah, we decided to self-produce it" and they’ve done a massive record before and funnily enough that massive record before sounds amazing and the next one sounds shite. Fucking shite. The guy who runs the studio with me, Joe, me and him literally spend the best part of the whole day, every day, working with bands and you need that other person’s input, you really do. You need someone else to tell you what’s right, what’s wrong, even like, I’m in my own band and I’m recording it, you lose sight, always. You always lose the goal, you need someone whose got that extra set of ears to tell you where you’re going wrong and where you’re going right and obviously Joe does that for us. But bands need that.

Damjan: I think that really depends on the specific band or person you’re thinking about because one of my other bands, we recorded the drums with Dan and the rest at home but we still had that input from Dan and we’ve been recording with him for years, like EPs and stuff. But I think it depends on what you want out of music and your own personal music and for some people, it’s a money issue as well. It depends what direction you wanna take it.

Nico: Alright, next questions. What would you say is the most challenging thing about being a musician?

Sarah: Most challenging thing? As long as we communicate with each other, there’s nothing that is challenging, as long as we’re honest with each other. We’re not always going to agree with one another, I’m not always going to like his riff and he’s not always gonna like my melody, we’ve just got to make sure we don’t lie to each other and that we communicate with each other and I think a lot of bands have lost that. Now, I do know that the bigger the band gets, the more politics are involved, money, managers. The bigger the bands get, the greedier people get. The more people want a cut of what you do. It’s all us that put in the fucking hard work and as long as we don’t lose sight and are all open minded. I wouldn’t say this is challenging, I’m just saying that we all have to pull our shit together and make it work.

Nico: Last couple of questions now. Where would you like to see the band in five years time?

Dan: I don’t mind where we end up, so long as it’s a natural progression. It’s like I think we have the potential to carry on for another five years but we’ll just see where it ends up really. Maybe in a bin. Hopefully next year, you’ll see a few progressions in the tours and maybe some festivals and another album as well. It should just carry on as it is.

Nico: Alright, before we finish up, do you guys have anything to say to the readers?

Dan: Thank you for your support.

Sarah: Just give us a chance, whether you’re a fan or not. Whoever’s reading, you’ve got to give new bands a chance. So, forget what you think you know. If you’re judging someone on their image, or a bit of footage on YouTube that’s been filmed on a mobile phone, make up your own mind by actually leaving your house and checking these bands out because you could be missing a real gem.

Dan: Put it this way, any band you name, be it In Flames, Soilwork, Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, they all started off playing in a pub somewhere. Go support local bands because if you want your next Metallicas and your next Iron Maidens, they’re always going to start in these small venues, so go down and support local metal.

Sarah: Yeah, you have to because all these bands started somewhere with a chance and I know that people don’t have the money and sadly you do have to pay to see a band but nothing’s free. Just because you’re payign a ticket of £6 doesn’t mean the band is getting that money and then off down to the pub later. It’s that ticket price which is helping the bands to play your local area. Without the support and open mindedness of the listener, the scene is going to die and after the conversations with certain good promoters, who are struggling, who are not going to be promoting, the good promoters leave and the little kid promoters come in thinking "Ah, I can make some money from this band" and the moment when that’s what you’ve got in every city, goodbye to the scene, I’m telling ya. We’ve dealt with that, a few kids, even on the first tour with The Dead Lay Waiting, a kid thinking "I’ll charge £9 on the door, this and that, gonna do really well", he lost shit loads of money because he got greedy and cancelled the next show, fucking over the people that were gonna go to that show. I know it costs to do these gigs but it’s not about money, if you believe in the scene, you’ve got to take chances. Don’t read rumours, make up your own mind, you know? Even album reviews, it takes a year…

Dan: He reviews albums…

Nico: Don’t worry about it.

Sarah: What I mean is that it takes us, as a band, a year to write an album, to produce it, to mix it, to master it, to sit down. It takes a reviewer less than five minutes to rip it apart. There’s good productive journalism and there’s fucking lazy journalism that goes "sounds like this band, sounds like that band". Again, there’s a large amount of journalists who want their five minutes of fame. Reviewers need to remember that they have the capability of influencing thousands of people with their opinion and it’s your opinion if you think we’re shit or not. It’s up to the listener to think "This review thinks it’s shit but you know what, I’m going to go check it out". I think we’re losing that ability to think for ourselves and allowing ourselves to be dictated by magazines and adverts.

Nico: Very true. Well, thanks for that, guys and have a great show tonight.

Cradle of Filth – Midnight in the Labyrinth

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 24th April 2012 by tobiasgray

Band: Cradle of Filth
Album: Midnight in the Labyrinth
Release date: April 21st 2012
Genre: Orchestral/Soundtrack
Label: Peaceville/Nuclear Blast

One of Britain’s most successful and controversial bands of the last twenty years return with their first full length album since 2010’s Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa.

Never a group to rest on their laurels, Cradle of Filth have meandered through various facets of metal in their long career.  From the early gothic and epic ‘black’ metal, to later thrash and conceptual themes, Cradle have never been afraid to experiment.  This time they have delivered yet another surprise with orchestral reinterpretations of tracks from their first four albums, stripped of guitars, drums, keyboards and the trademark higher register shrieks of the incomparable macabre poet – Dani Filth.

Midnight in the Labyrinth‘ is a two CD collection, with disc one containing 10 tracks, narrated by Dani (in his low, gutteral, spoken voice), and with the welcome return of Cradle of Filth operatic vocal goddess, Sarah Jezebel Deva.  Disc 2 contains the same tracks, sans vocal narration.

Cradle of Filth don’t make it easy on their fans.  Oldtimers reminisce about the earlier raw, yet highly structured works up to and including ‘Cruelty and the Beast‘.  While passionate newer followers, introduced to the band from ‘Midian‘ through to ‘Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa‘ maintain their major label, commercial success.  This bold release unfortunately fails in its ambitions however…

Epic orchestral scores have freedom throughout their creative process.  Themes can be introduced, teased, then unleashed as the music ebbs and flows. Harmonies and counter melodies are woven through the supporting instruments, and important moments can be ‘suspended’ to increase their dramatic impact.  It feels as though Mark Newby-Robson (Mark de Sade) has been constrained with just how much freedom he was allowed to change these classic tracks.  The structures are identical to the originals and so supporting sections, where the vocals should be the focal part, drag into repetitious themes.

The arbitrary ‘narrations’ serve to guide lost listeners as to where in the track they are up to, but drop in sporadically at random intervals.  The recording is excellent and familiar riffs played on strings is interesting to hear, but I was disappointed that more harmonies and counter melodies could not have been introduced, or the song structures edited to provide a more stimulating overall production (ie: ‘Funeral in Carpathia‘ at close to nine minutes!).

That being said, when the experiment works – it works well.  Opener  “A Gothic Romance (Red Roses for the Devil’s Whore)” has the variety to really engage the listener.  Memorable riff after riff is thrown at you and the note perfect accompaniments of Sarah Jezebel Deva raise the music to euphoric heights.  Other classics such as “Summer Dying Fast” and (album highlight), a blistering, energetic rendition of “Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids”  truly demonstrate what this genre is capable of.  The sublime vocal talents of SJD lead me to wonder how these tracks would sound with operatic lead vocals, though a Cradle of Filth album with Mr Filth is arguably not a Cradle of Filth album at all!

‘Midnight in the Labyrinth’ is an album Cradle fans, especially those already familiar with the first four albums, owe it to themselves to listen to.  A vastly different proposal, and more effective as background or ambient music than something that demands your full attention…but if that’s what you wanted – listen to ‘Dusk…And Her Embrace’ instead!

Ambient – 4/5

Metal – 2.5/5

Tobias Gray

Exclusive Two-Disc Cradle Album Available On Record Store Day

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 13th March 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Midnight In The Labyrinth is the latest, inspired work, from the UK’s most successful extreme act, traversing an ethereal cinematic landscape of classical and symphonic darkness; a style the band has always woven seamlessly into their compositions.

Midnight in the  Labyrinth is available to coincide with Record Store Day on April 21st in participating countries, and sees a general release across other countries, as a strictly limited edition 2-disc set of delectable magic, with disc 1 containing narrated nightmares courtesy of Dani Filth, plus additional vocals from former Cradle backing vocalist Sarah Jezebel Deva, whilst disc 2 contains purely orchestral and symphonic recordings.

Taking the most requested tracks from the first four official releases, Cradle of Filth have fulfilled audience desire by creating an album based on their most popular older tracks, but one that is delivered orchestrally to create a rich, haunting sonic landscape in the vein of soundtrack composers such as Jerry Goldsmith, Danny Elfman and Hans Zimmer.

Ten songs make up this 78 minute masterwork including the addition of a thirteen minute exclusive aural séance on CD1, indulging such COF classics as Funeral In Carpathia, The Twisted Nails Of Faith and Summer Dying Fast, which has already been showcased on last year’s Evermore Darkly EP to a more than rapturous audience response.

Cradle Of Filth also return this Halloween with their new studio  album.

SJD To Continue ANGTORIA Project

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 25th December 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

On Christmas Eve, Sarah Jezebel Deva announced that she and Chris Rehn [Co-founding member & co-song writer of Angtoria] will be continuing from where Angtoria left off some five years ago. According to the update, the project will follow in the same vein as “God Has A Plan For Us All”. The full update reads as followed:

Chris Rehn & Sarah Jezebel Deva, both founding members & songwriters of the band Angtoria, will be continuing where Angtoria left off some 5 years ago. The music will continue in the same vein as “God Has A Plan For Us All”, blending the world of epic IMG_4433orchestral music with metal, HOWEVER!, we sadly have to change the name due to reasons beyond our control. Writing for the new album will start in January and of course, we will update you with the new name & our progress.

In other SJD related news, Sarah also announced that she will be working with her former band, Cradle of Filth, on the orchestral album “Midnight In The Labyrinth”. Sarah stated the following in her the update on her official Facebook:

In 2008, I parted ways with COF, to pursue a life in Australia, bum some Kangaroos & to go it alone as a solo musician. I know a lot of fans were disappointed with the departure & until now, when ever a fan asks “Will you ever work with COF again”?, the answer has been NO!! Well, last week, Mr Filth sent me an email & after many chats, I have decided to take him up on his offer to participate on the new Orchestral album “Midnight In The Labyrinth”

For more updates and news about Sarah Jezebel Deva, head on over to her official Facebook page. Don’t forget that SJD will be touring the UK again in May. Dates will be announced in January. SJD’s latest album “The Corruption Of Mercy” is also available through Listenable Records.

Don’t forget to read our interview with SJD’s bassist, Ablaz, by clicking here.

Photo by David Taylor.

Cradle Of Filth – Evermore Darkly [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 15th October 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Cradle Of Filth
Album: Evermore Darkly EP
Release year: 2011
Genre: Extreme Gothic/Extreme Metal

Cradle Of Filth have been dubbed the most successful British metal band since Iron Maiden and have forever been the subject of controversy regarding their genre. Following the 2010 release of “Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa”, the new EP “Evermore Darkly” is the companion piece to the 2010 album release, featuring two new tracks and some alternative versions of some of the tracks from “Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa”.

The first track of the EP is none other than “Transmission From Hell”. It really does leave the listener wondering what the point in the track is as it’s nothing than the sounds of electricity and someone talking about copies of “The Sounds From Hell” – a hoax regarding Russian scientists and a supposed “well to hell”. “Thank Your Lucky Stars” carries on from “Transmission From Hell”, beginning with a typical Cradle Of Filth styled intro. The vocals are mediocre and weak sounding but you can easily tell that it’s Filth. The higher pitched screams of Filth sound very strained. The guitars favour melody over heaviness, not that that there is much melody in their playing. The drums are the part of the track that actually keep any sort of excitement flowing through in the music though the guitar solo does offer up some enjoyment for the listener’s ears.

The third track is the “elder version” of “Forgive Me, Father”, the final track from “Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa”. The guitars sound like fingernails being dragged down a chalkboard. Dani’s vocals don’t sound that much better compared to the album version of this song. One key difference is the female vocal sections being performed by Filth, which, put in the nicest way possible, is like being forced to listen to Black Veil Brides. The lack of keyboards gives the song a more raw feel but takes away the symphonic element that COF fans are used to.

The extended version of “Lilith Immaculate” follows after. The keyboard and orchestrated sections perhaps offer the most pleasurable sound to the listener’s ears as the vocals sound like Justin Bieber attempting metal. The female vocals sound oddly like those of Sarah Jezebel Deva’s, which is strange as she’s not been apart of COF since the recording of “Godspeed On The Devil’s Thunder”. The guitars don’t seem as aggressive as they could be. The long symphonic break halfway adds a faux-dark touch to the song before the guitars come back into the song. The guitar solo causes a flurry of exhilaration for the listener’s ears though it unfortunately, does not last long. The elder version of “The Persecution Song” is next. The song is virtually stripped of a lot of the symphonic elements, leaving a bare, raw sound of guitars, bass and drums mixed with the far-from-extreme vocals. The song is definitely better with all the symphonic elements included.

“Forgive Me, Father” makes another appearance on the EP, only this time it is the “I’m In A Trance” version. The listener will be in for a shock with this one as it is a trance remix of the original song. It’s weird how Filth’s vocals blend well with the music. The beats are very hypnotic and would definitely go down well in a rave of some description. So far, this one is the only decent track on the EP. Coming towards the end of the EP is the elder version of “The Spawn Of Love And War”. Like the elder version of “The Persecution Song”, this song has been stripped bare of most, if not all, of its symphonic elements except for the introduction leaving the song sounding barren. Filth’s vocals sound strained in several parts, leaving the listener disappointed. The guitars bring very little zest to the song as well.

The EP comes to an end with the orchestrated rendition of “Summer Dying Fast” which is the “Midnight In The Labyrinth breadcrumb trail” version. The song is better than what one would originally expect it to, containing emotions that haven’t haven’t been felt in a Cradle Of Filth song since the Midian era. For an orchestrated track, it is perhaps one of the darkest things ever put onto a Cradle release.

One can’t help but feel that “Evermore Darkly” was released for the sake of lining COF’s pockets some more, as well as the pockets of their label. The EP is a poor excuse for a release, being as bad as “Thornography”. If Stephanie Meyer were to release an album it would probably sound something like this – With faux-darkness and teenage depression included.

2/5

Nico Davidson

Interview: Ablaz [2011]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , on 30th August 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Nico has a chat with Ablaz [Bassist for Sarah Jezebel Deva and Gods Army] about the upcoming SJD tour, his career with SJD and Gods Army and alcohol.


Nico: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today, Ablaz. I hope you’re in good health. You’re due to tour the UK with Sarah Jezebel Deva in October. How are you feeling about this? Excited? Nervous?

Ablaz: You’re welcome. I feel good and I can’t wait to hit the stage again! Our last show was in June in Germany on the Wave-Gotik-Teffen and that’s way too long ago. I’m nosy on how the fans react to our new songs live. We only played some of them on a few festivals and I loved that feeling.

N: Sounds like the stage is like your second home then. Do guys have any plans for festivals next year?

A: Oh yeah it really is and I guess you can see that when you watch our live show. I couldn’t be a studio musician, there’s no special feeling for me – I do music because I love to play gigs and for the after show parties of course. Even after a lot of live shows the feeling is still unbelievable. When I write new songs, I always imagine how they work live. Unfortunately I don’t have any news about festivals next year, but I hope we’ll play some nice ones! Guess the planning starts after our UK tour in October.

N: Well, the tour sounds like it’s going to be awesome. This next question is from one of our readers. What’s it like playing music with Sarah?

A: I guess Sarah will read this, so I have to be careful… [laughter] – I’m joking. This is one of the most asked questions and I have to admit Sarah really is a nice person. Before I ever met her, I was a bit unsure if she may is arrogant, complicated or whatever. But when I met her and especially when we spent a lot of time on our first tour together, I just realised that my fear was unnecessary. I love to work with Sarah and of course also with the rest of my band. I was listening to Cradle of Filth when I was 14 years so at the  beginning it was a kind of strange feeling, playing with someone you  know from other well-known records. But now it’s more than just a musician relation, it’s friendship, too. And when I listen to her old Cradle of Filth stuff now, I always think, that OUR new songs with real lyrics fit much more to Sarah then “ohhh” and “ahhhh”.

N: That’s true. It’s good to know that Sarah is able to use her vocals more freely now. Speaking of music, do you feel that the music you play with Sarah is different to the sort of stuff you play with Gods Army?

A: Yeah it definitely is! With SJD we’re doing Symphonic Metal, God’s Army is a kind of Industrial Rock. Also in God’s Army I don’t play bass, I play the guitar. So there are no overlaps, nor in the music style nor in song writing. And I love doing both.

N: Speaking of Gods Army, a quick Google search on them usually provides our readers with information about the band written in German – A language that not all of our readers can understand. Is there any information you could give to our readers about the band?

A: The most important point: We definitely should do our new homepage in German and English… I joined Gods Army in 2007, but due to BIG line-up problems and a few female vocalist changes we still haven’t released our first album. In 2010 I was very busy with SJD, but now we’re working again on our GodsArmy release and hopefully will have a release next year. If you like to be up-to-date just add us on Facebook: “GodsArmy”.

N: I’m sure your fans will be eagerly awaiting any news on the GodsArmy release – As will us [Valkyrian Music]. This next question is a bit random, on the official SJD website, your favourite beer is listed as “Traugott Simon”. How does British beer compare to it, in your opinion?

A: [laughter] The people who know that German beer will have a laugh now. It’s one of the cheapest beer in Germany – 8 litres for about 5 Euro, that’s about 4 pound – and I love it. Your next question is an easy one: Never ever compare German beer with others, in my opinion the others can’t win. When I came to our very first SJD tour, I tried a lot of new British beer in the pubs every night. At the end of the tour I was asked which is the best British beer. I answered: “There really is one beer I like. It’s much better then the rest…it’s called Foster’s”…  For those who don’t know: Foster’s is an Australian beer. But every beer is better than “no beer”.

N: I’ll drink to that! Or at least I will when I go to the pub. Just a few more questions now. This is one is somewhat random, if you could take the soundtrack from any movie and replace it with your own music, which movie would it be? And why?

A: I guess I wouldn’t replace any film soundtrack or at least I have no idea right now. If  I would, the music and the lyrics should fit into the movie. And I love Zombie movies most, but Sarah’s lyrics are not about zombies [laughter]. But I think “The Corruption Of Mercy” would be a great soundtrack for a sad movie, with a lot of rain.

N: Hmm, true. Okay, final question and once again, thank you for taking the time to talk with us. Are there any bands on the UK and German underground music scenes that you’d recommend to our readers?

A: I have to admit, I don’t listen much to the underground scene at the moment, except for some black metal bands [Nargaroth and Fäulnis]. But I guess I will see some nice supporting bands on our next UK tour in October and I also hope to see many of you there!

Ablaz will be touring with Sarah Jezebel Deva in October. For tour dates, click here. More for info on the upcoming tour, check out the Official Sarah Jezebel Deva Facebook page.

Also, to check out Ablaz’s other band, GodsArmy, click here.

Old Corpse Road – The Bones Of This Land Are Not Speechless [2010]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 4th August 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Old Corpse Road
Album: The Bones Of This Land Are Not Speechless
Release year: 2010
Genre: Black Metal/Folk Metal


Old Corpse Road are a blackened folk metal band hailing from Darlington located in the north-east of England. Throughout the years they’ve been together, they’ve shared the stage with the likes of Windrider, Skyclad and Hecate Enthroned as well as creating musical history by being one of the first British black metal bands to do produce a spilt with another black metal band [The Meads of Asphodel]. Their most recent release, “The Bones Of This Land Are Not Speechless”, is the first part of the previously mentioned spilt.

The eerie and dramatic piano medley of “Hob Headless Rises” comes first which is slowly replaced by the shredding guitars. The vocals are strong and raw, with a hint of a Cradle of Filth sound in them. The keyboard sections are beautifully played and add a very tense atmosphere to the music. The drums are masterfully and intelligently played but retain a certain ruthless aggression at the same time. The guitars are impressive, being both shredding and heavy. The acoustic sections brings a very folk-like element to the track which works well with the rest of the track. The clean vocals also help bring about a folk-like element.

“The Devil’s Footprints”, named after an incident in 1855, begins with sound of fast-faced guitars fading in before the introduction of the drums. The spoken vocals add a very archaic and epic feel to the song whilst the screams and grunts bring the aggressive element to the track. The keyboards, blending well with the guitars, bring a certain mystique to the track whilst the drums slowly become more rage-fuelled in their playing. The keyboard sections are both enchantingly and beautifully played, add a dash of calm of the furious metal storm within the song. The softer played guitar and drum sections also bring a touch of calm to the song as well.

The final track is “The Witch Of Wookey Hole”, named after the infamous witch. The song begins with a dark, haunting synth intro which is gradually accompanied by the sound of acoustic guitars and drums. The track turns brutal with the introduction of the feral guitar riffs and the beast-like vocals. The drums are almost machine-like in their playing, very precise yet savage at the same time. The synth sections bring an immense eerie sound to the track as well, helping the music fit in with the lyrical theme of the song. The vocal-keyboard-drum section is simply brilliant, adding a fresh sound to the sound. The narration, which quotes the words spoken by the priest who confronted the Witch of Wookey Hole, adds a very epic and sagaic sound and feel to the song. the choir-like vocals that follow place emphasis on the epic feel.

“The Bones Of This Land Are Not Speechless” may only be three tracks but it lasts long enough to make it feel more like an EP. The way that Old Corpse Road mix narration with screams and grunts is amazing and the music is masterfully composed. “The Bones Of This Land Are Not Speechless” greatly demonstrates the talent and ability of Old Corpse Road. the production values are astounding as well. It’s certainly a release that fans of folk and black metal should get their hands on.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Sarah Jezebel Deva – The Corruption of Mercy [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 12th July 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Sarah Jezebel Deva
Album: The Corruption Of Mercy
Release year: 2011
Genre: Symphonic Metal/Gothic Metal

Sarah Jezebel Deva, well known for her work with bands such as Cradle Of Filth, Therion, Mortiis and Angtoria, is certainly one of the most impressive vocalists within the Gothic Metal and Symphonic Metal communities. Following the success of “A Sign Of Sublime”, Sarah is back with her second solo album “The Corruption Of Mercy”.

”No Paragon Of Virtue” starts the album with an electro-symphonic introduction which is soon replaced by a brutalising guitar section combined with a dramatic orchestrated section. The vocals, as expected, are strong, powerful and immense. The orchestrated medleys blend well with the heavy barrage of drums guitars and bass. “No Paragon Of Virtue” certainly leaves the listener wanting to hear more. “The World Won’t Hold Your Hand” follows after. The intro, for a few short seconds, sounds to be a very slow, calm medley but turns out to be the calm before a terrorising and violent guitar section. The drums are precise to the beat working well alongside the guitar and bass. The orchestration can only be described as epic. Again, the vocals are powerful, which is to be expected. The guitar solo, however, completes the track, making it one of the best on the album.

The third track, “A Matter Of Convenience” starts with a more softer riff compared to “No Paragon of Virtue” and “The World Won’t Hold Your Hand” and it is more synth-heavy as well. The vocals match the softness very well, bringing a very solemn feel to the track. The drum and guitar sections are well composed. “Silence Please” comes next with a very dark, symphonic intro, setting a very tense and dramatic atmosphere for the listener. The vocals sound eerie alongside the orchestration which adds to the tense atmosphere. Unfortunately, the guitars and drums are faded to begin with, struggling to make themselves heard. As the track progresses the guitars and drums can be heard more and more, fortunately.

Like the previous album, “The Corruption Of Mercy” also features a cover. This time the cover is a song called “Zombies”, originally by “The Cranberries”. It is a brilliant cover and Sarah has worked well to make it sound like her own. “Pretty With Effects” follows after being entirely composed of a beautiful piano medley combined with some very impressive vocal work. It certainly is a perfect example of Sarah’s vocal talent. “What Lies Before You” is the only interlude on the track, bringing a touch of eeriness to the album with its orchestration and choirs.

”Sirens” begins with an aggressive and somewhat violently fast paced riff. The drums are precise and intelligently played, while the vocals are still going strong and the guitar sections are most impressive. The second to last track is “The Eyes That Lie”. The intro is different to the rest of the album, beginning with a barrage of double bass pedals and vocals. The track eventually turns heavier with the introduction of a more bloodthirsty guitar riff. However, this track seems lacking compared to the rest of the album. The final track, which is also the title track, “The Corruption Of Mercy” begins with a heavy yet calm intro. The vocals are still going strong and the drums are as good as they have been on the rest of the album. The use of a piano and vocal section about half way through is both unexpected and brilliant. The track does go back to being heavy, which is fortunate for those who prefer heavy riffage compared to calm medleys. “The Corruption Of Mercy” is a perfect end for the album.

It’s clear that Sarah Jezebel Deva has been able to establish her own sound since leaving Cradle of Filth and this album is proof of that. It mixes her wide vocal range and talent with an immense mix of Gothic and Symphonic Metal to create a masterpiece of an album. Hopefully, there will be more releases from Sarah in the near future.

5/5

Nico Davidson