|Cradle of Filth / Damnation and a Day|
|Album:||Damnation and a Day||Collection:||General|
|Artist:||Cradle of Filth||Added:||Apr 2003|
|Label:||Epic Records (Metal)|
|Add Date:||2003-05-12||Pull Date:||2003-07-14||Charts:||Loud|
|Week Ending:||Jul 13||Jul 6||Jun 8||Jun 1||May 25||May 18|
|1.||Feb 15, 2007:||public noize racket |
An Enemy Led the Tempest
|4.||May 27, 2004:||The Triumph Of Time Over Space |
Thank God for the Suffering
|2.||Apr 07, 2005:||One Fraction Of Time |
End of Daze, The Smoke of Her Burning
|5.||Mar 04, 2004:||Dolce! |
Babalon A.D. (So Glad for Th
|3.||Feb 16, 2005:||The Sun Never Sets on Cool |
Better to Reign in Hell, Damned in Any Language (A Pl
|6.||Oct 02, 2003:||The Human Condition |
The Promise of Fever
Cradle of Filth – Damnation and a Day (Epic Records)|
COF has been around for many years now, consistently putting out great albums and being called sell-outs for their commercial success (one million records sold worldwide is a lot for a black metal, underground band). Purists will all agree that COF are not a black metal band, especially musically. There is no overwhelming desire to destroy any of the instruments, the music is far too melodic, and on this last one, even a bit too accessible, and there are no real guitar solos to speak of. The closest I can come to categorizing these Brits is “watered-down symphonic black/extreme metal with strong goth influences”. Thematically, however, they are blacker than black, proof that “heavy” has just as much to do with what you write about and how you write about it as it does with volume, intensity, and speed. They recently signed to Sony, making them the first band of this genre to be signed to a major label. Which brings us here. Being on a small label always held the band back, forcing them to sacrifice certain production values (go listen to the “Bathory Aria” on Cruelty and the Beast and you’ll see what I mean). They’re an epic band, and there has always been a major focus on the atmosphere the songs create, and the band did this by using all sorts of synthesizers, which sounded MIDI-ish at best and shitty at worst. Major label means a real, 32-person, live choir doing all the choir parts. It means a real, 40-piece live orchestra doing all the symphonic parts. It means enough marketing power to make this the first black metal band to break the Billboard Top 200. It means enough money and support to allow Dani to realize his grand dreams of an epic masterpiece telling the story of an angel who turns his back on heaven due to his displeasure with life there, is sent to hell by God and forced to watch God make humans the center of his attention. Soon enough, God turns his back on humans, leaving this fallen angel and his followers to wreak havoc on humankind by means of war, etc, utilizing the weaknesses of humans. The story goes much further, into this angel’s downfall and the end of all existence [READ THE LYRICS!!!]. And what a masterpiece it is. Dani is a master of the English language, a real poet with a vision and a twisted way of drawing analogies and painting images with his words. On this last opus he has fully unleashed his wicked, wild sense of humor, and his wit is downright scathing at times. His voice is more controlled than on previous works, and less brutal; he whispers, sucks in helium, screams, rasps, growls, double-, triple-, and quadruple-tracks his different styles, and then spits blood all in one song. The awesome Sarah Jezebel Deva is prominently featured (as always) and her vocal parts sound better than ever. And there’s no shortchanging their fans here, either. This is 77 minutes and seventeen tracks of pure bombastic, pompous, and grandiose black metal, better produced than most pop acts of the day. The music is more operatic, with strong influences from the classical and baroque periods, and the gothic elements of it shine through more strongly than before. The riffs are very powerful, sometimes verging on death-metal. The keyboards are still used heavily, and very well. The drumming is excellent once again (although we all miss Nick Barker). The drums are mixed a bit muddily, but nothing unbearable. So, is this worth adding, and then playing even if you’re not a fan of the genre? You can bet your black soul and your white corpse paint it is.
1)”And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep...”. Moody instrumental with stormy weather samples. The real orchestra and choir make this sound like a million bucks. Play only if segueing into the next track.
2)Starts bombastic with great female choir angelic voices which paint a stark contrast to Dani’s voice. This is the beginning of the world, and the seeds for all that’s to come are planted.
3)More of the same, with some excellent drumming, and the melody line is sick! FCC.
4)Satan and his followers launch an attack on Heaven. Very warbled riff with blast beats. FCC (easily bleeped out “never-fucking-more” at –2:25).
5)Instrumental/choir interlude that has a really fucking cool narrated piece in the end. Again, play only if segueing into...
6) ...the best song on the CD. Some doomy downtuned guitars from hell make this a scary track, and the lyrics are cool, too. Breakdowns, keys, blast beats, female vox, just simply fucking awesome.
7)Moving on to the second best song here, one about the devil’s plan to seduce Adam and Eve. Starts out slow, with an arpegiated chord, and stays midtempo for most of it, but then climaxes (it’s also a very sexual song), and then slows down and goes at it again.
8)Excellent, with Dani’s vocal work returning to some classic Cradle stylings (I also think I recognize some of the melody lines from other, earlier songs of theirs; could they be recycling ideas?). By the way, this is where the devil offers himself to Adam and Eve after they’ve been kicked out of Eden (“Behold, the golden door to paradise is lost/So praise Me as you praised your Lord”). Vicious guitars. Cool whispered sample, too, one of my favorite parts of the Bible.
9)Musical interlude, with the real live orchestra and real live choir sounding amazing. Again, play only if segueing into...
10) ...this awesome riff-fest! Starts out with drum roll, then choir doing angelic voices and then more guitars than you can shake an inverted cross at. FCC (easily bleeped out “cunt” at –3:07).
11)Starts out with mid-Eastern strings, and then tells the story of the Hebrews leaving Egypt like it’s never been told before. Another great song, and Dani does some weird experimental vocal work here. The orchestra pieces would be perfect for a movie score.
12)The album’s lead-off DVD single is fuckin’ heavy! And catchy, too, perhaps the most accessible song on the CD, with very rhythmic verses and a catchy chorus. Mention is made of some of the most horrific acts in human history, clearly attributed to the devil. FCC (easily bleeped out “cunt” at –1:34).
13)Another interlude. Sure, it sounds great and dark and moody as all fuck, but not worth bothering with.
14)Midtempo doom with some weird vocal FX on this one that took me a while to like, but the melody line is the most memorable on the whole CD.
15)It turns out that this whole devil thing was just a huge confusing love story. Who would’ve known? The most goth song Cradle have ever done, this is actually pretty good. It’s very dirge-like, and it’s got a great violin melody line going through the whole song. I dig it.
16)And it ends with the most death-metal riff in Cradle’s history. Badass, super-fast, ultra-intense song that details the devil’s decision to “smite with vengeance/And hurl thieves down from paradise/For storms before were as nothing more/Than a breeze next to this night”. This is so fucking cool!
17)End of the story, instrumental, good soundbed.
VERDICT: This is the first guaranteed entry into my top-ten list for the year.