Scriptures and Screams: Review of Cradle of Filth’s 2017 album release Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay
With the amazing release of Hammer of the Witches in 2015, many people questioned whether or not Cradle of Filth could recapture the “lightning in the bottle” sound and feel that it generated. Needless to say, not only have they done that but they may have even surpassed it. With all of the band members returning from the previous album (as well as Liv Kristine adding the female vocals on “Vengeful Spirit”), you feel as if you are teleported back to the Victorian era where Death WAS an almost alluring aphrodisiac in everyday life. With this release Cradle of Filth only continues to improve like a fine wine even after 23 years, proving that there is indeed a seductiveness of decay.
Dani’s vocal range continues to shock and awe the listener, all while he vacillates from high pitched screams to the most guttural of lows. The opening track “Exquisite Torments Await…” slowly builds into a crescendo of fury and anticipation of darkness while shifting seamlessly into what I feel is the best track on the album, “Heartbreak and Séance”. This album continues to build off of the technical prowess that was rendered in the previous release as well.
While this album does have its moments of breakneck speed and unrelenting torment, there is certainly a more poetic and an almost sensuous level to its emotional and lyrical content.
While a common complaint from many listeners in previous releases would often be about how much of an operatic style the band was incorporating into its sound, this time around it is much more selective and adds layers where it is truly needed. “Aching Beautiful”, “Wester Vespertine” and “Vengeful Spirit” not only fit the opera theme but also highlight the vocal capabilities of Lindsay Schoolcraft against Dani’s angst-laden lyrics.
“The Seductiveness of Decay”, “You Will Know The Lion By His Claws”, “Death And The Maiden” and “The Night At Catafalque Manor” are perfect blends of both blazing technical prowess/speed and haunting melodies. “Alison Hell” is a very capable reimagining of the song “Alice In Hell” by Annihilator as well.
Decay is in the air and its smell has never been more decadent than now!
For the CD’s release, Nuclear Blast Records has released several versions, including four different variants on vinyl as well as the Digipak version of the CD. All are still available the Nuclear Blast Records online store and directly through COF’s official site (see links below).
The Dedman’s Verdict: 9 out of 10
- Exquisite Torments Await
- Heartbreak And Séance
- Achingly Beautiful
- Wester Vespertine
- The Seductiveness Of Decay
- Vengeful Spirit
- You Will Know The Lion By His Claw
- Death And The Maiden
- The Night At Catafalque Manor (Bonus Track)
- Alison Hell (Bonus Track)