CRADLE OF FILTH – Thornography

While CRADLE OF FILTH stirs up a variety of opinions and accusations with the mere mention of their name, one can always count on them to continue forging ahead with reckless abandon regardless of criticisms and praise from the fanfare. Their newest release, Thornography, is written to be much more visceral than the previous release, Nymphetamine, but CRADLE OF FILTH put a different twist as always to their already twisted sound. Dani Filth experiments with some different vocal stylings such as more spoken word phrases, heavily processed vocals, and an attempt at cleaner singing in the same ball park as artists such as Anders Friden of IN FLAMES fame. The end result is a mixed bag. Credit should be given where credit is due for the band’s continuing attempt at evolving its sound, but such creative direction used on this album would have been better spent developing more complicated song structures and time signatures. Tracks such as “Tonight in Flames,” “The Byronic Man,” “The Foetus of a New Day Kicking,” and “Temptation” that actually employ the use of Dani‘s new vocalizations come off as trite commercialism instead of progressive songwriting. However, they do add catchy elements to the album. A number of tracks also make use of a rock and roll influence that, although simple in approach, contains guitar hooks that persist in your head long after listening to the album. Fans of post-Midian era CRADLE OF FILTH will also be pleased by the hard rocking tracks, “Dirge Inferno,” “Libertina Grimm,” “I am the Thorn,” “Under Huntress Moon,” and the instrumental track “Rise of the Pentagram.”

Ultimately, this album is superior to CRADLE OF FILTH‘s previous release, but some of the creative decisions behind the songwriting will fail to execute for long-time fans. (Universal / Roadrunner Records)

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