Lose your longest tenured guitarist? Lose your other guitarist to serious spine issues? No problem! CRADLE OF FILTH soldier on with their best album in recent memory. Hammer of the Witches catapults them back to sheer greatness.
With two new guitarists, Richard Shaw and Marek “Ashok” Šmerda, in the fold, CRADLE tear through their most aggressive, fist-in-the-face album to date. Melodramatics and grand symphonic keyboards take a step back to a guitar-driven attack. The new guitar tandem have not only created an endless array of great riffs but have introduced the element of guitar solos. To hear CRADLE with such godly lead work, this side of CARCASS, truly rejuvenates their sound.
There are magic moments all over Hammer of the Witches…too numerous to mention. There are also subtle nods to the band’s extensive back catalogue as well. CRADLE just have that special “it” factor that most other bands simply don’t have and it’s on full display here.
For fans of the band’s earlier work who haven’t listened to them in a while, it’s time to come back. Hammer of the Witches is the album that will renew your interest in CRADLE.
Hands down one of the best albums of 2015. Keep reigning. (Nuclear Blast Records)