Evermore Darkly EP (Nuclear Blast/Peaceville)
CRADLE OF FILTH is back with an EP to hold us over until the release of their next album. In the little over the year since Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa was released the band has toured a bunch and have been working on a long anticipated orchestral album. This album contains a few new tracks, some alternate takes and other goodies for fans. I like CoF, but have always found them to be a hit or miss proposition for my tastes. Not really true black metal, but a commercial approximation of what people think black metal sounds like. Still, I have enjoyed some of their work, especially their concept albums and would never deny them their singular ambition or rebellious spirit of being for making heavy music more popular.
Opening up with the intro track of “Transmission From Hell” comes the new song “Thank Your Lucky Scars”. It sounds like classic CRADLE OF FILTH in case you were wondering. Scary keyboards, blackened guitar riffs, blast beats and a Tom Araya-worthy scream to kick the track off. It verse has almost a punk rock sense of urgency to it that I rather like. Dani Filth sounds excellent here switching up his vocal style three or four times in a matter of minutes. The chorus has a great groove laid down by Paul Allender and James McIIroy on guitars and drummer Martin Marthus Škaroupka. Škaroupka’s drumming in particular is really heavy and cool. As usual there is a thin film of black metal touches on the song such as female operatic vocals and atmospheric keyboards. “Forgive me Father (For I have Sinned)”, “Lilith Immaculate (Extended Length)” and “The Persecution Song” are alternate versions from the last album with “Lilith…” being the best sounding. “Forgive Me Father (I’m In a Trance)” is as you would expect, a trance version of the earlier song. Ugh. Another take on “The Spawn of Love and War” comes next, but I can’t really discern much difference from the original. The real gem of the EP is the sample version of “Summer Dying Fast” from Midnight In The Labyrinth. This orchestral version of the classic song is a taste of their new album and frankly I’m impressed. Getting the full treatment with horns, percussion and strings really brings out the spooky, evilness of the song. I was really feeling it and listened to just that track several times alone. I’m really excited to hear the rest of the album now. For fans the really draw of this collection is the DVD with a live concert from last June’s Graspop Metal Meeting, a “rockumentary” and the promo video for “Lilith Immaculate”.
By Keith (Keefy) Chachkes