Sunday, November 4, 2012
Cradle of Filth: the Manticore and Other Horrors
Cradle of Filth have always seemed more fashion then function, like a black metal band for juggaloos. In recent years I have tried to give them a fairer shot as they have become more proficient at the instruments and Dani Filth continues to branch out from his annoying squeal. So since its Halloween day I figured I would sit down and give their newest album which I have listened to maybe three times a more careful listen.
" the Abhorrent" Hammers into things and I'm sure by far the hardest thing your are going to find on Vampirefreaks.com profiles this fall. They have narrowed liberally from Dimmu's play book when it comes to militant break down sections and the orchestral keyboard parts are just as if not more sweeping. The middle section which Filth leads in with the goth book on tape voice he does , is pretty decent as is the thrash riff that follows and I find my self not at all annoyed with this song. It has more twists and turns than I remember from the first few listens and is pretty ambitious. The lyrics do seem like a grab bag of whatever pseudo satanic verbiage that can be crammed into one song.
"For your Vulgar Declectation" is more straight forward than the first song very thrash oriented. Well executed it doesn't really have any hooks to snare me into side from the break down the two minute mark. The female vocals chime in and some of the quirky vocal layering reminds me of Therion. The riff that ends this in the final minute get props as well.
"Illictus" from the get go no new ground is broken and they waste no time defaulting to the blasty. The lack of hooks seems to be falling on Dani who spits his vocals around the guitar parts, the drums arent doing anything particularly interesting on this song either. For being so straight forward I have had to listen to this one a few times for,y ears to make a judgement call. The boring drums on this seem to be the most hampering is what stands out. Overall I think the guitar and keyboards have shown improvement. The vocal arrangement towards the end improves but this is still one of the albums weaker tracks.
"Manticore" Very Dimmu from the get go, though the more misplaced riff age favors the lush layers of gothic trappings, not sure how tragic neromantic fits in with a manticore, but other wise this song is pretty decent as the punches give it hooks,despite Filth's odd word placement. The drums work here leading me to believe heis just inconsistent. There are some nice iron maiden harmony guitars rolling over some of the post chorus sections and the arrangement on these is all over the place so when I say chorus I mean where I am guessing one would be if it existed.
"Frost on her Pillow" This song seems to click together more than the others , in some ways it might be Becuase they are scaled back in tone to give everything more room, though this is middle of the road for Cradle of Filth. The guitars get the spotlight they have deserved and it's not all about the twists and turns of the fun ride this album likes to take.
"Huge Onyx Wings Behind Despair" it leads me to believe the faster they play the more cluttered things get as this song utilizes varied tempos and the more deliberate ones work best. The blast beat to squeal feels more liked cop out when they default to it than a dynamic device. When this songs is given breath it rocks. The mix on this could stand to have more separation as once again they have a lot going on at once here,but not in a symphonic manner unless your were trying to cram a symphony orchestra into an elevator.
"Pallid reflections " gets of to a decent start, then the drums begin to weight the song down , despite some light double bass followed by thrash groove riff that saves the song
The spoken wordy female vocals on the breakdown bridge thing is a nice touch, they take a lot of elements they have been toying with and make them work here.
"Siding with the titans" almost feels like frilly short power metal at the beginning, the Hammerfall gallop runs amok into blasts for a second or three here and there before some Dimmu punk riffs barge in, the riff slows down to let the keyboards drive but for all of this the song is boring me, the goth pageantry begins to sound formulaic at this point. By the last minute and a half it gives me a headache but that could be my coffee wearing off.
"Succumb to this" the riff overs into the song and the execution is well down Filth's vocals are in the pocket but not really that interesting this could very well be a more symphonic version of what Slipknot does. I begin to accept the fct I might just not like he very runof the mill blst beat patterns this drummer plays, the female vocals in the songs later half are a well distraction. The drum production on this album could be hlf the problem while the playing it t times precise they sound very thing lacking thunder.
"Sinfonia" the final fantasy soundtrack but covered in roses, is thier any one with a penis and no magic the gathering cards in their hand who sees the need to listen to this outro piece?
This album had potential blown more often than not on over the top production that mixed the menace or heaviness right out of the album making this sound like Nightwish without the vocals that redeem this sort of thing. It's not something I find myself returning to as Dimmu has the symphonic black metal thing covered with more conviction. This one has earned its 4.5, I think if e band got over themselves they could do better, I'd your a fan round it up a point Becuase no new ground is broken here and this band is just handing you slicker versions of more of the same.