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Cradle of Filth – Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay

Cryptoriana - The Seductiveness of Decay is a great album full of wonderful melodies and an aura one would expect to find on a Cradle album.

Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay is the latest offering by dark metal legends Cradle of Filth. The hour-long runtime of the album is certainly not put to waste, as every track has its own unique and enthralling atmosphere and sound while retaining the poetic lyrics and fascinating subject matter for which I – and undoubtedly many others – adore. This album focuses on “Victorian-era gothic horror”; as stated frontman Dani Filth.

I greatly enjoyed the ominous orchestration that opens the album and leads us into the inaugural melody; I also feel that it led into the album’s first track “Heartbreak and Séance” very nicely. The song “Achingly Beautiful” features a music box section with accompanying gothic choirs and orchestration soon followed by the band – one of my favourite moments on the album. I really like the overall atmosphere of the album, but I feel its title track stands out in this regard particularly. The energetic guitar melody initially between 2:13 and 2:38 on the title track draws a comparison with that of Iron Maiden’s “Hallowed Be Thy Name” – which, coincidentally, Cradle of Filth covered on the special edition of their 1998 album Cruelty and the Beast.

The album sees former Leaves’ Eyes and Theater of Tragedy frontwoman Liv Kristine contributing female vocals for the record’s sixth track “Vengeful Spirit;” this marks her second appearance with Cradle of Filth since their 2004 album Nymphetamine. As a fan of Liv Kristine’s work, I was delighted with her appearance on the number. The tremolo-picked melodies on “You Will Know the Lion by His Claw” are very memorable, and add to the net flavour of the album’s sound and atmosphere as a whole. The track “Death and the Maiden” is one of my favourites on the album, but the closing orchestration and ambience stand out to me particularly, as they bring us back to where the album started. Not a strange concept to Cradle, as for example this had been done on their 2003 album Damnation and a Day. It makes an album feel more like a cinematic experience, and gives more feeling and depth to the over-arcing story of the album if present.

Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay is a great album full of wonderful melodies and an aura one would expect to find on a Cradle album. It features elegant orchestration, as well as obscure, dark lyrical subject matter which sparks intrigue. It also signals the branching of their sound into newer territory at times, while including elements of that from their first few initial releases. I am looking forward to seeing what enticing directions their sound and subject matter will take for their next release. It is recommended for fans of Cradle of Filth, as well as fans of Carach Angren, Dark Fortress, or Dimmu Borgir.

Tracklist:
1. Exquisite Torments Await
2. Heartbreak And Séance
3. Achingly Beautiful
4. Wester Vespertine
5. The Seductiveness Of Decay
6. Vengeful Spirit
7. You Will Know The Lion By His Claw
8. Death And The Maiden

Cradle of Filth is:
Dani Filth – vocals
Lindsey Schoolcraft – Keyboards, Vocals
Richard Shaw – Guitars
Ashok – Guitars
Daniel Firth – Bass
Martin Škaroupa – Drums

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