CRADLE OF FILTH: The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh CD
(Cacophonous Records, unplayed, long booklet with lyrics and images)
Cradle of Filth’s debut album, Principle… has a timeless quality, contrasting raw, violent, stripped down black metal with almost punk/grind overtones with an air of genuine majesty and mystery. Maintaining the fast, aggressive passages and catchy riffs of the Total Fucking Darkness demo that preceded it, it summons an almost unequalled mood and gravitas with its many atmospheric sections, the synths central record, evident not only in a number of haunting instrumentals but in the main songs. Yet despite this, it’s an element that is used in a more controlled and tasteful fashion than in the vast majority of classically-tinged black metal, with symphonic layering mostly eschewed and sparse and haunting organ and piano parts dominating.
This, combined with the clear but rather thin production and the insinuations of a hidden past and knowledge in the lyrics, results in a uniquely esoteric feeling of mystery and depth, as if the recording has somehow been recovered from the dusty crypt of some ancient undiscovered temple. Indeed, the material here is haunting and soaked in a very convincing occult/Satanic feeling, not least due to the input of occultists Frater Nihil and Andrea Meyer, both of whom also make vocal contributions. Dani’s caustic and searing vocals are accompanied by spoken pieces as well as a guest contribution by one Darren White (Anathema). Like Dimmu Borgir’s Stormblåst, this is symphonic black metal before the subgenre became polished or commercial and with its unusually sensual undercurrent and the many references to sex and doomed romance, it also largely justifies the tag of ‘gothic black metal’, without the less welcome connotations that conjures.
Cradle Of Filth are interviewed at length in the book 'Black Metal: Evolution Of The Cult', also available at this store.
1. Darkness Our Bride (Jugular Wedding)
2. The Principle of Evil Made Flesh
3. The Forest Whispers My Name
5. The Black Goddess Rises
6. One Final Graven Kiss
7. A Crescendo of Passion Bleeding
8. To Eve the Art of Witchcraft
9. Of Mist and Midnight Skies
10. In Secret Love We Drown
11. A Dream of Wolves in the Snow
12. Summer Dying Fast
13. Imperium Tenebrarum
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