Tuesday, May 24, 2005
  A little Abomination for your cowerign pleasures. The History of Cradle of Filth.
These are dark days. We live our lives cowering in the shadow of a future black and bleak, snatching all too brief glimpses of romance, hope and humanity, burdened by monochrome drudgery and the stupidity of mankind. The shit keeps hitting the fan and we're all getting splashed. That's why those of us who live for the moment need a soundtrack that provides both unhindered escapism and a heightened, tangible sense of reality's sensual power. That's why we need Cradle Of Filth more than ever. This is a band that caters to the filthy little secrets inside all of us, eliciting those exhilarating erotic and animal charges that make our time on this planet worth living. Prepare yourself for a hefty shot of 'Nymphetamine'.

Cradle Of Filth first burst into the choking glow of Hell's spotlight in the early 90s, when the UK metal scene was striving to produce a fitting response to the purposeful malevolence and youthful intensity of the Norwegian black metal scene, with its church burnings, death threats and random acts of extreme violence. Smarter, more ambitious and more fiendishly creative than any of their Norse contemporaries, Cradle emerged in 1991 from the bat-infested Suffolk shadows with a fully-formed and multi-faceted sound; a cunning amalgam of venomous black metal, high gothic drama and pure British steel that immediately elevated them above the malnourished aspirations of their peers and grabbed the attention of both the global metalhead legions and the controversy-starved music press in the UK. A raw and belligerent debut album, 1994's 'The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh', ensured that the band's now trademark bombast and arrogance were proclaimed loud and clear and within months Cradle Of Filth were firmly established as the UK metal scene's sharpest and bloodiest blades.

The subsequent decade brought untold success and a further consolidation of the band's inestimable sonic prowess, with a series of bold and audacious albums, a never-ending stream of dullard-baiting merchandise (including the infamous 'Jesus Is A Cunt' shirt) and a relentless procession of eye-popping live extravaganzas. 1996 saw the release of the hideous, blistering 'Vempire' and its lascivious follow-up, 'Dusk & Her Embrace'. Two years later, 'Cruelty & The Beast' took Cradle's popularity to new heights, revealing a new sophistication and maturity in the band's songwriting and a greatly enhanced degree of musicianship that belied the never-ending litany of line-up changes that, until recently, have been a fixture in the Cradle story. The 'From The Cradle To Enslave' EP and the masterful, epic 'Midian' (2000) followed in close succession, reaping widespread plaudits and applause from all quarters. The new century was ushered in with 2001's 'Bitter Suites To Succubi', a stopgap compendium of old and new material. 'Live Bait For The Dead', the first official audio document of Cradle Of Filth's notoriously ferocious and hallucinatory live show appeared in 2002 and, as the band enjoyed a brief spell in major label land, the grotesque majesty of the orchestrally twisted 'Damnation And A Day' made 2003 their most victorious and creatively remarkable 12 months to date. Visual offerings came in the form of DVDs 'PanDaemonAeon' and 'Heavy Left-Handed and Candid'.

cradle of filthAnd so to Cradle Of Filth in 2004. Ten years on from the ominous eruption of their debut album, the UK's premier merchants of darkness have regrouped and found a new home at Roadrunner Records, a label with a suitably metallic past, present and future. After spending the majority of 2003 on the road, performing over 100 shows and hitting a rich vein of creative endeavour as a result, the current Cradle line-up - founding member/frontman Dani Filth, guitarists Paul Allender and James McKillboy, keyboard maestro Martin Foul, bassist Dave Pubis and drummer Adrian Erlandsson - are now putting the finishing touches to their latest and greatest opus, 'Nymphetamine'; a foul and frenetic compendium of shiny new compositions that takes the band's unmistakable sound off on a variety of strange and fascinating new tangents. With astonishing artwork from incredibly talented aesthetic prodigy Matt Lombard and a bludgeoning production courtesy of Rob 'Anthrax' Caggiano and mix-master Colin Richardson, 'Nymphetamine' is destined to be the most addictive jewel in Cradle Of Filth's incomparably daemonic canon, with songs bearing such intriguing titles as 'Filthy Little Secret', 'Mother Of Abominations', 'Nemesis' and, most charmingly of all, 'Gilded Cunt' (a song debuted on stage at the band's recent show-stealing appearance at the Download festival) seemingly custom-built to reconfirm the band's status as undisputed champions of sumptuous, black-hearted melodic devilry and unfettered sonic barbarism. That glorious torrent of invigorating filth slithers majestically on.

"We weren't under any pressure to make this record and that's been the catalyst for us to create something really incredible," cackles a triumphant sounding Dani Filth. "The only way to top the last album was to go a completely different way, so it's a real mixture of styles this time. We haven't anchored ourselves to a concept. It was a real pleasure to write on a variety of different themes and the music is really diverse and sonically precise. The whole thing sounds perfect and very fucking heavy."

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