As one of the biggest surprises of 2015, today we have the infamous Cradle of Filth and their 12th full-length release “Hammer of the Witches”. Bringing us back to when the band was turning heads left and right with their “Dusk and Her Embrace” and “Cruelty and the Beast” releases, this is by far the best release from them in over 10 years. Delivering 11 punishing tracks of lush Symphonic Black Metal we are sure that most old fans of the band will come flocking back to them.
After the warm-up intro, things are blown wide open with the intense drumming of “Yours Immortally…”, courtesy of Martin Škaroupka coming quite close to the glory days of the band with Nick Barker. The mood is as magical as on “Cruelty and the Beast” with crushing tempo changes and the howling of Dani Filth. The band finally got back to their mojo of crafting songs with tons of tempo changes and perfect combinations of howls, growls and clean male and female vocals as in “Enshrined in Crematoria” and “Deflowering the Maidenhead, Displeasuring the Goddess” (one of our favorites).
Greatly exploiting the band’s new female keyboardist/singer Linsday Schoolcratf, they can craft eerily brutal tracks like “Blackest Magick in Practice”. Featuring a very seductive vibe, this is one of the types of songs that the band captivated people with back in the days they skyrocketed into stardom. The album’s first single “Right Wing of the Garden Triptych” delivers the classic CoF game of cat and mouse with pummeling riffs, crushing drums and those diabolical magical howling of Dani. This track also has a very distinctive and ‘retro’ vibe from the band borrowing from their “Vempire”/”Dusk and her Embrace” days.
As the band pummels trough “Onwards Christian Soldiers” we are reminded that the band can get nasty and brutal when they so desire and the massive drumming and killer riffing on this track is perfect testament for this. The band’s two new guitarists Ashook and Rick Shaw have brought back the old CoF with their talents and they should be greatly applauded by setting the band back on its course. If you are a fan of any of the band’s pre “Midian” stuff, this release will bring back those days. If you just like Symphonic Black Metal, this is THE release to buy in 2015. We are glad that CoF is back and we are able to rock out their old shirts in public again.
|Band: Cradle of Filth
|Album: Hammer of the Witches
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release: July 10th, 2015
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal