Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cradle Of Filth

Godspeed On The Devil's Thunder

The most well recognized and popular gothic/black metal band returns with their most vile, horrific and blackest album yet. "Godspeed On The Devil's Thunder is a return to their older works in terms of speed and tempo, but still retains the clarity and more riff oriented elements of their previous release "Thornography." Never one to shy away from controversy, Dani Filth and his cohorts in foulness have outdone themselves this time. While a previous album (Cruelty And The Beast) enlightened us to the horrific crimes of the blood countess Elizabeth Bathory, we now are told the tale of one of the earliest serial killers history had all but buried in it's deepest dungeons; Gilles de Rais.
This 15th century nobleman fought along side Joan Of Arc, (and was rumored to have loved her) but after her death, he became dark, evil and immoral beyond words. After his vast fortune was exhausted, he delved into the occult, searching for ways to accumulate his wealth once again. This path took him into the black realm's of Satanism, child sacrifice and terrible sexual deviancy. His abominable deeds became the stuff of nightmares. After he was caught he did express remorse for his crimes and was pardoned by the church, but then hanged (and possibly burned). Cradle of Filth's take on this story is of course embellished to give it a sense of drama and tragedy, but none the less, one of their most thought provoking albums yet.
As I said before, the intensity is amped up and brings to mind earlier albums, but has a much better production quality I think. Paul Allender's guitar work is a raging inferno of wicked riffs, speedy single note lines, and fleet fingered solo's. Dani Filth's voice is just as blasphemous as ever, with ear piercing demonic screams, and raspy growls he has never sounded more in his element than now. Dave Pybus bass work along side Martin Skaroupka's drums are a thunderous force that conjures up the bowels of hell itself to hold everything together. Old friend and partner in darkness Doug Bradley ("Pinhead") once again provides narration between songs, as he plays the role of Gilles de Rais himself. He of course, is as the Brits say "spot on" with the part. Female background vocals are again done by Sara Jezebel Deva who has been part of the Cradle family for some time now. So I can say without a doubt, this is one best Cradle of Filth albums to come about in a while and assuredly their most disturbing.

- Craig Harvey

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