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A mixture of grandeur, delicate menace and theatrical detail ‘Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa’ is a multi-faceted sensory, aural and in many respects visual journey that kicks any previous mediocrity in the groin, reinstating Cradle of Filth as one of metal’s modern day heavyweights.
Britain’s main practitioners of all things extreme, dark and sinister, Cradle of Filth’s narrative inspired approach is evidently well planned and similarly well executed. Studio album number nine is fast, brooding and engaging – whether it scares the hell out of you or draws you in with its dark majestic feel, this album is certainly a talking point.
Forget religious connotations or black metal stereotypes, they are neither here nor there. This album is purely analysed and deservedly critiqued on the music and artistic effort alone.
Beginning with an ominous spoken word introduction, ‘Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa’ is a malevolent journey, which is paced by doses of symphonic black metal, elements of thrash and twisted orchestral passages. The beauty is each musical sub-section is balanced and layered equally. Telling the story of demon ‘Lilith’, the lyrics draw inspiration from religious and historical mythology. Opening tracks ‘The Cult of Venus Aversa’ and ‘One Foul Step from the Abyss’ are immediately recognisable. Both fast, heavy constructions. While, following track, ‘The Nun with the Astral Habit’ is perhaps the album’s heaviest offering. In comparison, ‘The Persecution Song’ begins with a slight melodic undertone and mid-tempo pace.
Moreover, the introduction of former Abigail Williams keyboardist Ashley Ellyllon is seamless and in many ways a musical enigma – who said metal was purely a gentleman’s game?
John Carpenter, Wes Craven maybe give Cradle of Filth a call next time you want advice on how to revive the dwindling horror genre.
A dark, twisted musical tale that is focused, driven and precise. ‘Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa’ more than makes up for any previous full-length indiscretions, restoring Cradle of Filth as a band with obvious charm and longevity.
1. The Cult of Venus Aversa
2. One Foul Step from the Abyss
3. The Nun with the Astral Habit
4. Retreat of the Sacred Heart
5. The Persecution Song
6. Deceiving Eyes
7. Lilith Immaculate
8. The Spawn of Love and War
9. Harlot on a Pedestal
10. Forgive Me Father (I Have Sinned)
11. Beyond Eleventh Hour