Cradle of Filth – The Manticore and Other Horrors


Album

The Manticore and Other Horrors

Label

Nuclear Blast/Peaceville

Year

2012

For Fans Of

Dimmu Borgir - Immortal - Mayhem

Summary

Dark, twisted and precise.

Rating

75 / 100

Is it unfair to put forward the idea that Cradle of Filth over time have become less renowned for their music and more regarded for their use of theatrics, imagery and overall black metal aesthetics? It’s not to suggest Cradle of Filth are a surficial and shallow band, but playing the word association game, the group elicits a stronger response in reference to their visual approach.

In a way it’s a nice little accompaniment the former claims. It’s well rounded and gives a full artistic range to the band. You get the tunes, you get the persona, and you get the visual and aural entertainment.

These Brits have been around long enough now for the listener to realise what they’re buying into. At times dark, at equal times extreme and in other moments dreary and ominous, tenth studio album ‘The Manticore and Other Horrors’ is a very signature Cradle of Filth release. However, in many respects it’s more a trip down memory lane as the album re-introduces the strong melody lines and female vocals that featured so prominently on earlier releases.

Dani Filth’s screeching vocals again give the full-length an assertive feel early, after the majestic and twisted instrumental opening gives way to six-minute opener ‘The Abhorrent’. ‘For Your Vulgar Delectation’ is the first true moment where the listener feels captivated and ready to commit to ‘The Manticore and Other Horrors’. It begins with a stronger thrash lineage before returning to its malevolent roots. The appeal of the release in its infancy is the flow and pace to the sound. It’s not so much a matter of Cradle of Filth sounding renewed but merely demonstrates these black metallers have honed their craft.

Towards the middle section there’s a feel this album has played itself out. It jumps out of the gates and then sustains the rhythm instead of charging to any greater heights. A good and bad thing in many respects.

Frost on Her Pillow’ and ‘Pallid Reflection’ are strong points that support the middle-ground. There is almost a punk backbeat to some of the song structures. It’s still a metal album but the approach shares some similarities.

The Manticore and Other Horrors’ is a typical darkened and majestic dose of British black metal. Long time fans will feel right at home.

Conclusion

Ten albums down and Cradle of Filth are still as brooding and seemingly motivated as ever. ‘The Manticore and Other Horrors’ might not necessarily define itself as inspired but it is still consistent. It’s heavy but controlled. Dark but layered. Around the mark.

Tracklisting

1. The Unveiling of O
2. The Abhorrent
3. For your Vulgar Delectation
4. Illicitus
5. Manticore
6. Frost on her Pillow
7. Huge Onyx Wings Behind Despair
8. Pallid Reflection
9. Siding with the Titans
10. Succumb to This
11. Sinfonia

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