Review: Cradle of Filth – Hammer of the Witches

Posted: July 29, 2015 in Reviews
Tags: , , , , , ,

Cradle of Filth are a band who provoke reactions, both good and bad, in every metalhead you’ll ever meet. For me, they’ve been a band I’ve been quite into for the past few years, but some of their newer stuff hasn’t always hit the spot for me. ‘The Manticore and Other Horrors’ was a step in the right direction, and ‘Hammer of the Witches’ is reported to be a futher return to form.

After the obligatory moody intro (‘Walpurgis Eve’), we are launched straight into classic Cradle fare, with some rampant guitarwork and Dani’s trademark rasp/shriek combo. ‘Yours Immortally’ has some almost Maiden esque galloping leads, and isn’t quite as melodramatically gothic as we’ve come to expect. Yes, there’s a bit of that later in the song, but overall it’s a step back toward vintage early Cradle. ‘Enshrined in Crematoria’ continues this more straightforward trend, accompanying the metal with dashes of symphonic. So far, Cradle seem to have reeled their gothic drama in to a fair extent.

‘Deflowering the Maidenhead, Displeasing the Goddess’ is one of those Cradle song titles that goes on and on, but its a totally ripping song, with excellent orchestral elements and a refreshingly direct assault. I think this album will turn a few heads in the anti-Cradle camp, as the material is the most black metal the band has been in years. There’s a massive melodic streak that goes through every guitar line on the album, with fluid soloing being a personal highlight, but each song is infectious in its delivery. Cradle haven’t sounded this vibrant and essential since ‘Nymphetamine’.

The ghostly piano of ‘The Monstrous Sabbat’ leads us perfectly into the title track, that looks certain to transfer brilliantly into the live set. As I’ve said before, there’s a refreshing lack of fucking about here. Cradle are focused and by restraining their gothic melodrama and adding a twin guitar attack, they sound revitalised. Fans of classic Cradle will love the vintage dramatics of ‘Right Wing of the Garden Triptych’, while the rich violence of ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ just pips the title track as my favourite.

Cradle are back, and making music that befits their triumphant and controversial legacy. They sound creatively reborn, and ‘Hammer of the Witches’ sits up there with ‘Dusk…And Her Embrace’, ‘Cruelty and the Beast’ and ‘The Principle of Evil Made Flesh’ as one of Cradle of Filth’s finest hours.

https://www.facebook.com/cradleoffilth

http://www.cradleoffilth.com/

http://www.cradleoffilth.com/#!order:-hammer-of-the-witches/zoom/mainPage/image_1k8t

http://www.nuclearblast.de/de/produkte/tontraeger/cd/cradle-of-filth-hammer-of-the-witches.html

 

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