Cradle of Filth clearly goes in the that category love them of hate them and after more than 25 years still proving to be relevant act in the metal scene with some casual bums on the road (cough, cough Roadrunner… cough).
Beside that, since the Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder album in 2008, the band released a string of very solid albums recovering their image with going back to their aggressive sound.
And there came Hammer of The Witches in 2015, a CoF album which was pretty much anticipated. Rejuvenated with the new line-up the album brought back in the spotlight. Being a longtime fan of these filthy fuckers I pretty much enjoyed the album, like all the previous works although their sound changed to a mellower, melodic sound in contrast to Paul Allenders thrashy, more aggressive sound.
Despite missing the in-the-face sound from albums like Godspeed or Manticore, Hammer was an interesting listen and to many a welcome change.
The main reason why I’m returning their last album it’s because Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay is very much a continuation of that style with some twists and turns along the way.
No orchestral intros this time, but a killer first track Exquisite Torments Await… in a similar vein of the song Ebony Dressed for Sunset from the their famed V empire EP. That’s one of the attributes of this album, it has a few comebacks of the older works. For example Achingly Beautiful which for some reason reminds me of the Dusk and Her Embrace era.
And then we have songs like Heartbreak and Séance, which besides having a few interesting parts and possibly the best production video the band ever had, track is kinda passable. With the last two albums and with this line-up, the band really embraced that romantic gothic sound. It’s not shy of aggressive parts and has so much going on in the song but personally it grows thin after a while.
Vengeful Spirit is another example, having Liv Kristine back as the guest vocals and totally wasted her talent. The worst track on the album. The rest of the songs are quite good, especially the already mentioned first track, Achingly Beautiful and Death And The Maiden with a killer main riff.
Objectively its nothing wrong of the album, fans of the Hammer of the Witches would feel like home with this one and enjoy every minute while the rest would be left a bit to desire for more.
Cradle of Filth has again released a very solid, quality album but nothing that I would go screaming to you to go pick it up. It’s a fine appetizer before the release Cruelty and The Beast remastered version early next year.