Cradle Of Filth - 'Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa' (Peaceville) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by David Whistance   
Monday, 01 November 2010 05:00

COFIf there is one band in the metal community that is guaranteed to provoke opinion then it is our good friends and purveyors of the blackest of metal Cradle Of Filth. This has been perfectly displayed on various scene internet forums over the years and also more recently with the premature finale to the band's 2009 Bloodstock Festival when the Dani and Co were pelted with cricket ball sized gobstoppers by some idiotic "so called metal fans" ending what I personally thought was a pretty impressive performance.  And here I am a year later; on the (Hallows) eve of the band's ninth album release 'Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa'.


Back in 1998 Cradle Of Filth in no uncertain terms stamped their name firmly in the Heavy Metal history book when they released the phenomenal album 'Cruelty and The Beast', a concept album based around the Countess Bathory. A decade later they returned with another fine concept album in the form of 2008's sublime release 'Godspeed On The Devils Thunder' focussing this time on Joan Of Arc's associate, French noble man turned serial killer Gilles De Rais.  After that release frontman Dani Filth vowed to not repeat the concept album formula this time around, but then Dani was never going to let a good story get in the way of a great album which brings us rather neatly to the Filth's latest opus 'Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa'. Based around the mythological tale of Lilith who was believed to be Adam's first wife.


'Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa' opens with a spoken intro by Lilith portrayed wonderfully by Lucy Atkins replacing the now departed Sarah Jezebel Deva who does a fantastic job throughout the album, her beautiful theatrical tones being a perfect counterpoint to the demonic vocal stylings of Dani Filth. This light and dark contrast running throughout the complete album evokes images of dark and twisted theatre keeping the listener enthralled throughout.  You get pretty much everything you would expect from a Cradle Of Filth album medieval nuns, Greek mythology and plenty of sex, blood and occult to fill even the blackest of appetites.


During the making of the album I'd read reports this outing would be more extreme, brutal and faster than previous offerings yet after just a few listen I found 'Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa' to be far more accessible than many of the band's past accomplishments.  There are times here where the band wear their more tradional Heavy Metal influences on their sleeves, particularly on the album's lead single 'Forgive Me Father (I Have Sinned)' where there appears to be an almost Maiden-esque vibe to the proceedings and in Dani's vocals in particular which have never sounded quite so vibrant.  What I've always loved about Danni Filth apart from his sardonic tongue is that he has a wonderful talent of subtlety, adding some extremely dark humour to his band's proceedings as perfectly displayed on the wonderfully titled 'The Nun With The Astral Habit.'


Who would have thought eighteen years ago when this, at the time, unknown band from Suffolk released their first demo that they would still be creating such profound, original material nearly two decades later?  So whether you love or loathe the little man in black you cannot deny that the band remain leaders not followers, and although Cradle Of Filth may have continued throughout an ever revolving line up they still remain one of the most successful Britain Heavy Metal bands in recent history.


I'll leave you with this comment from the bands press release where Dani Filth reveals that "We can't wait to play this shit live", and I for one can't wait to see this shit live either.


"Long Live The Filth"