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Cradle of filth

Band – Cradle Of Filth
Album – Darkly,Darkly,Venus Aversa

Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa is the first Cradle of Filth album to not feature any instrumental tracks, although the song Adest Rosa Secreta Eros is arguably instrumental, though it contains extensive narration of excerpts taken from Aleister Crowley’s The Book of the Law.Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa is a concept album in the same vein as its predecessor Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder; this time centering on the demon Lilith, the first wife of the Biblical Adam.Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa displays a masterful control over the multi-faceted Cradle of Filth sound; brutal vocal gymnastics, skull-rattling double-kicks, symphonic flourishes, dramatic narrative and balls-out axe-slinging all make their presence known, but in a manner which routinely serves to bolster the coherency of the greater whole
album ★★★☆☆

All lyrics written by Dani Filth, all music composed by Cradle of Filth.

Song Name Rating
The Cult of Venus Aversa ★★★½☆
One Foul Step from the Abyss ★★★☆☆
The Nun with the Astral Habit ★★½☆☆
Church of the Sacred Heart ★★½☆☆
The Persecution Song ★★★☆☆
Deceiving Eyes ★★★½☆
Lilith Immaculate ★★★★☆
The Spawn of Love and War ★★★☆☆
Harlot on a Pedestal ★★½☆☆
Forgive Me Father (I Have Sinned) ★★★★½
Beyond Eleventh Hour ★★★½☆

The most notable things in the album are: almost a complete lack of symphonic intros and interludes, almost complete lack of slow songs and, most importantly, almost complete lack of brilliant, memorable songs. It’s your regular Cradle Of Filth with all its trademark characteristics, only faster than usual (kudos to Martin Skaroupka, who is a great drummer). The hurricane starts with “The Cult of Venus Aversa”, and ends with “Beyond the Eleventh Hour”.

The Cult of Venus Aversa with an introductory narration and blistering blast beats. The song really sets the pace for the coming songs. Another deviation from previous releases is the absence of interludes.

It slows down only in “The Persecution Song” and “Forgive Me Father (I Have Sinned)”. Too bad that nine lightning-fast songs basically blur into one.

And none of them stands on its own as something exceptional. In vain was my search for a song as good as, say, “Queen of Winter, Throned”, “Beneath the Howling Stars” or “Tearing the Veil from Grace”. Gone are majestic slow passages, surprising interludes and mood changes.

1.    The Cult Of Venus Aversa

The first track begins with some keyboard work and female voice-over. It can be instantly sensed that this album is going to be an orchestral ride. The song has rampling blast beats accompanied by Dani‘s windy screeches escort the fast keyboards. At over seven minutes the opening song is the longest.

2.    One Foul Step From The Abyss –

This one too is an acquaintance of fast riffing alongside some well crafted dark ambiance in the song, courtesy the keyboards.

3.    The Nun With The Astral Habit –

Track three sticks to a similar routine but Dani is hands down the most unique vocalist in the genre. No matter how bad Filth went in the last five to six years, Dani made sure his vocals remain memorable.

4.     Church Of The Sacred Heart –

This track has highlighted heavy breaks heaving into buzzing death metal riffs and the usual menacing leads.

5.     The Persecution Song –

This track pays tribute to ‘Nymphetamine’ and ‘The Death of Love’ with its mournful, chugging motif.

6.    Deceiving Eyes –

Drumrolls and bang opens Deceiving Eyes, and things get groovy. The guitarists have taken it upon themselves to nail the tracks. Backing vocals have been cleverly fused to push up the emotional quotient
7.   Lilith Immaculate –

Dani’s latest tapestry of indulgent, expensive chaos channels their collective talents into a far more focused and effective draught than in the last few years. The rousing symphonic beat of ‘Lilith Immaculate’ is a good indicator – a hell of a lot simpler than previous releases (excepting Thornography) but full of adrenalin, catchy and polished.

8.   The Spawn Of Love And War –

Turns out they can still do those twisting, tortured guitar lines in the vein of Cruelty and the Beast, on this one and the bonus track ‘Beast of Extermination.

9.  Harlot On A Pedestal –

The serpentine riffs and creaking strings of this track make for another unashamedly gothic moment that stays just about blackened on the edges. While it doesn’t have really striking standout tracks like most previous albums, Allender’s guitar work and Dani’s (slightly) more restrained songwriting make it work as an enjoyable concept and piece of music.

10. Forgive Me Father ( I Have Sinned) –

This lead single is totally commercial, catchy, rocking gothic metal, but the guitars are out of this world, climaxing in a series of classic metal solos.

11. Beyond Eleventh Hour –

Album closer official track has some extremely convincing tense leads in the vein of Illnath

I find it hard to remember a really good track in the album. They’re all not bad, they’re solid, crunching and tasty, they boast of devastatingly juicy production, but they fail to amaze me. Releasing fifteen tracks every second year takes its toll. The act of creating music has turned into an assembly line production. The resulting merchandise for the masses is meticulously prepared: the artwork, pictures, lyrics, packaging, production – everything is top notch as usual. Too bad that the crux of it all, the music, is the least attractive element.