Archive for Dani Filth

Cradle Of Filth – Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 15th September 2017 by Nico Davidson

Cradle of Filth
Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness Of Decay
Released 22nd September 2017
Extreme Gothic Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast

If you’ve never heard of Cradle of Filth, you’ve most likely been living under a rock for God knows how long. Once hailed as the “most successful British metal band since Iron Maiden“, Dani Filth and and the band have proved their worth, despite various line-up changes throughout the years. Now the band are set to release their twelfth studio album: Cryptoriana: The Seductiveness of Decay. A bit of a mouthful, isn’t it?

The atmospheric invoking Exquisite Torments Await opens up the album with its sinister beginning, followed closely by the demoncially possessed guitars and banshee-like wails and guttural growls of Filth himself. Heartbreak and Seance glides in with the graceful sound of tragedy before the remorseless storm of guitars and symphonic sections come raging in as though a hurricane. Achingly Beautiful is a grandiose display of Dani Filth‘s vocals, charging through the tempest of unforgiving musicianship, while Schoolcraft’s narrative vocals bring a whole new dynamic to the track. The choirs and orchestration, however, truly make the song what it is – a dismal, ominous anthem.

Wester Vespertine is a furious blitz upon the ears, weaving Filth‘s, and occasionally Schoolcraft’s, refined vocals with cimmerian melodies and stout riffs. The title track, The Seductiveness of Decay, is a gloomy composition, weaving slow and fast riffs with dispiriting keyboard melodies and Gothic lyricism. Vengeful Spirit creates more of an atmosphere in its beginning, as the prophetic sound of guitar notes ring out, accompanied by Filth‘s voice. When the song comes into its prime, it is essentially a standard day in the office for Cradle Of Filth – agile, cumbersome and melodic. The part of the song that really stands out however is the guest vocal appearance from Liv Kristine, as her vocals soar majestically through the track.

You Will Know The Lion By His Claw is a swift, threatening and unwieldy track, leaving little room for prisoners as it bludgeons its way through, like a hunter chasing his prey. If you had to sum up Cradle‘s current sound with just one song, this would be it. Cryptoriana comes to its closing with Death and The Maiden, a track that is as weighty as it is shadowy, really embodying the sense of dread and darkness that one would expect to find within Victorian Gothic horror.

Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay is at the same level that Cradle‘s classic albums, such as Midian and Dusk… And Her Embrace, stand. It is a demonstration of the band’s current sound and displays their potential to keep writing awe-inspiring music.

4.8/5

Nico Solheim-Davidson

Devilment – II – The Mephisto Waltzes

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 12th December 2016 by izaforestspirit

Devilment
II- The Mephisto Waltzes
Released 18th November 2016
Symphonic Gothic Metal/ Groove Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast Records

It’s been two years since the release of Devilment’s debut album ‘The Great and Secret Show’. I’m guessing that most people (myself included) first discovered the band after reading about it being ‘a side-project’ of the Cradle of Filth frontman Dani Filth. The band was formed in 2011 by the guitarist Danny Finch and a group of friends in the town of Ipswich, England. Then a little later Ipswich resident, Dani Filth joined the ranks. Fast forward five years, a few line-up changes and the so called ‘side-project’ has developed into something far more serious. Since the success of their debut album, Devilment has been touring and this year their second opus ‘II – The Mephisto Waltzes’ saw the light of day.

I think that the biggest mistake that anyone can make with Devilment is to compare them to Cradle of Filth. Whilst both of the bands feature Dani Filth on vocals and share a fascination with horror themes, the similarities end there. THIS IS NOT CRADLE OF FILTH. You won’t find too many tales of Victorian Gothic horror here or lyrics such as “Evening minuetto in a castle by the sea.” What you will find though, are several references to horror movies, modern horror literature and art – most notably Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen King.  The surrealist artist Salvador Dali is also mentioned in one of the bonus tracks on the limited edition.

Hitchcock Blonde caught my attention even before the album was released thanks to the creepy video. The song itself is an entertaining piece of keyboard-heavy melodic metal with a touch of humour in the lyrics. They even went through the trouble of mentioning the names of the blonde actresses from Hitchcock’s films. Similar things can be said about somewhat Gothic-sounding Dea Della Morte; another song filled with horror film and TV show references . If you are looking for something more profound, perhaps with a touch of dark poetry then Full Dark, No Stars is the track for you. It’s a truly beautiful song which highlights the vocal talents of singer/keyboard player Lauren Francis whose angelic voice provides the perfect contrast to Dani’s harsh vocals.

Not all the songs are melodic and keyboard-driven though, for example Shine on Sophie Moone picks up the pace with the drums and the thrashing guitars glaring in the spotlight. This is by far the heaviest song on here. It is also the most complex one treating the listener to a wide range of styles ranging from the fast and furious, to the melodic via an experimental part in the middle.

In summary, Devilment have clearly had lots of fun composing and recording this album. No matter how dark and sinister the lyrical themes become, the music has a certain playful tone to it. As far as genre definitions go, it’s a total mish-mash – Gothic but not overly theatrical, symphonic but never quite reaching the orchestral let alone operatic level; with hints of groove metal and a slight experimental flavour added in just to keep you on your toes. So if you dare to dance with the devil then it’s time a for a waltz with Devilment!

4/5

Iza Raittila

 

Dani Filth to star in a horror movie

Posted in Misc., News with tags , on 22nd September 2016 by izaforestspirit

The Cradle of Filth frontman Dani Filth (also of Devilment),

is due to play the character of Dr Lon Carlson, an occult expert, in the upcoming horror movie, BAPHOMET, directed by Matthan Harris and released by Incisive Pictures.

Here is the synopsis and the official movie poster.

An American family celebrates their 28-year-old daughter’s pregnancy. The celebration is interrupted when a Satanic cult leader, Henrik Brandr, unexpectedly visits their ranch.
Henrik offers to pay the family a large sum for ownership of their land, claiming it is sacred to his congregation. Jacob Richardson, the father, rejects the offer due to the priceless sentimental value of the ranch. Henrik, displeased, begins to put devastating curses on the Richardsons, trying to force them off their land – even if it means murdering them.
After suffering unexplainable tragedies, the Richardsons seek help from Marybeth, a white witch high priestess. They soon discover a terrible secret about their house, revealing why their land is sacred to the cult. They realize they must protect their house from the cult at all costs, and a violent battle between good and evil ensues.

A short teaser trailer has also been released. You can check it out here:

For more information visit:

http://www.matthanharris.com/baphomet-incisive-pictures/https://www.facebook.com/baphometmovie

Behemoth announce co-headlining tour with Cradle of Filth

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 25th October 2013 by Nico Davidson

February 2014 will see, Polish metal overlords Behemoth and British extreme gothic act Cradle of Filth, two of the most iconic extreme metal acts of the modern era, unite on a co-headlining tour around Europe. The European crusade will take the two bands to London at the HMV Forum on 10th February for an exclusive UK show. The tour itself will take the two metallic titans through Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, France and Luxembourg and a few other locations.

In related news, Behemoth‘s next release The Satanist is scheduled for release via Buclear Blast in early 2014. Frontman Nergal comments:

We are immensely proud to start promotion of The Satanist on the release date of the album in such a noble company. It’s been a while since we toured Europe for the last time… The wolfpack grew stronger and hungrier and with new opus and stage production we have so much more to offer. This European crusade will be the catalyst of 2 years long tour so keep your eyes open!

This reign of darkness will be opened by Oslo based Svarttjern and the rest of the line up is completed by, Swedish heavy metal veterans In Solitude and Colombian black metallers Inquistion.

Behemoth online:

http://behemoth.pl
http://facebook.com/behemoth

Cradle of Filth frontman joins Devilment

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , on 13th March 2013 by Nico Davidson

Dani Filth, the infamous frontman for the UK’s extreme gothic act Cradle of Filth, has joined British band Devilment. Originally formed in 2011 by Daniel J Finch, in what is described as a “bout of religious delirium”, the band’s line-up consisted of Simon Dawson on drums (Steve Harris, ex-Dearly Beheaded), Justin Walker (13 Candles) handling bass duties and Kieron De-Courci (ex-The Voice) on keyboards with the band experiencing a number of problems holding down a permanent vocalist.

Dani Filth originally entered and agreed to help out on a couple tracks which then turned into a studio demo. With the departure of Dawson, Walker and De-Courci, Devilment collected Nick Johnson on bass, Dan Jackson on guitar alongside Aaron Boast on drums.

The Manticore and Other Horrors tracklisting unveiled

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 12th September 2012 by Nico Davidson

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!

Cradle of Filth announce European tour dates

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 5th September 2012 by Nico Davidson

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 Davidson

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!”

Sarah Jezebel Deva–Malediction

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 24th June 2012 by Nico Davidson

Sarah Jezebel Deva
Malediction
Released 28th May 2012
Symphonic Metal
Released via Listenable Records

virselis

Sarah Jezebel Deva is becoming somewhat of a household name in the darker netherworld of the symphonic metal scene and yet still somehow stays unknown at the same time, through no fault of her own. Malediction is the latest release in Sarah’s extensive discography and made its live debut during SJD’s UK tour back in May.

This Is My Curse is the starting point of the EP and what a way to start. The track unleashes some violent, extreme metal orientated riffs, along side some poetically performed symphonic sections. The drums adapt well to the ever changing sound of the song. The guest vocals, provided by Dani Filth, add a very grim and tragic sound to the track and it’s somewhat nostalgic to hear Sarah and Filth performing, vocally, together again – However, it’s Sarah’s vocals that really shine out the most.

The second track, Lies Define Us, which features Bjorn Strid (Soilwork) begins with a piano dominated section which works well with the guitars, before going into a vocal and piano section that really demonstrates the strength of Sarah’s vocals. Bjorn, surprisingly, works well, vocally, with Sarah. The guitars and drums feel more laid back throughout the song before still scream with some subtle extreme elements. The more obvious symphonic elements add a depth of character to the song, adding emphasis on both sets of vocals as well The final part of the EP, When ‘It’ Catches Up With You, seems to combine the best elements of the previous two tracks, excluding the guest vocalists. The symphonic references and extreme metal based riffs are ripe throughout the track, evolving the song into a masterpiece of powerful vocals and hypnotic music.

The sound that Sarah and her band create develops and evolves with each new release and Malediction is no different. I just wish it was a longer release, but nevertheless, Sarah Jezebel Deva has released yet another first class release.

5/5

Nico Davidson

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

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , on 23rd May 2012 by Nico Davidson

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 Davidson

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.

Cradle Of Filth – Evermore Darkly [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 15th October 2011 by Nico Davidson

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