Beating on the same dead cat for the last decade, today we have Cradle of Filth and their latest release “Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa”. As you can expect, this release is as consistent as their last few, not bad, not great, and just average enough to keep the band’s fans pleased for a couple years. Continuing where they left of with “Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder”, CoF has crafted 11 songs of their trademark Symphonic Black Metal.
It’s interesting to see that a band that pushed the envelope so much in the 90’s, has been very stagnant when it comes to add anything else into their music. While we don’t complain much about ‘sticking to what works’, we are getting tired of CoF re-doing what they did on their previous album every time.
Dani Filth’s voice seems to be losing some of its power and you can hear it dragging a bit in this release, but thanks to the production behind this release it still sounds appealing enough for fans of the band. The layering of the different styles (growls, howls, clean vocals, etc.) works wonders as always to create a very dynamic sound, the use of choirs also adds a bit more to the overall experience of this album in some very eerie passages scattered around the album.
With the addition of Ashley Ellyllon we expected more from the keyboards and arrangements, but they are not bad at all. However, they do not come close to their masterpiece album “Dusk and Her Embrace”, but the atmosphere is typical of CoF. Ashley also provides some nice backing vocals and while not an extremely talented singer, she does an ok job, too bad that Sara Jezebel Diva is not taking part in this release.
In terms of the guitar work, Paul Allen and James McIlroy do a pretty good job in creating catchy riffs and some aggressive guitar sections, but nothing out of the ordinary, just plain old CoF. Songs like “Deceiving Eyes” and “Harlot on a Pedestal” as good examples of solid guitar work. Dave Pybus bass guitar is always pounding is way through the music and sometimes sounds a bit too high on the mix.
When it comes to the orchestration and arrangements, Cradle of Filth, like always, excel in creating very rich and different textures songs, creating truly haunting and dark atmospheres in almost all songs. One of favorite songs is “Lilith Immaculate” with its interesting keyboard arrangements and vocal harmonies. “The Persecution Song” also has intricate keyboard parts and good melody to it; however the vocals sound a bit weak at some points. However you look at the album, the magic of CoF lies in their ability to craft dark and perverse songs, and they do a great job on this release.
Love them or hate them, Cradle of Filth is a quality band that can still put out a solid release. While this album is somewhat far away from their best, it still is a pretty epic release. Hopefully the band shakes things up a bit in the future and retains their musical quality in order to produce at least one more very memorable album.
|Band: Cradle of Filth||Album: Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa|
|Label: Peaceville Records||
Release: November 9th, 2010
|Genre: Symphonic Black Metal||