Cradle of Filth - Seductiveness of Decay (2017)
Extreme Black Metal
01. Exquisite Torments Await
02. Heartbreak and Seance
03. Achingly Beautiful
04. Wester Vespertine
05. The Seductiveness of Decay
06. Vengeful Spirit
05. The Seductiveness of Decay
06. Vengeful Spirit
07. You Will Know the Lion by his Claw
08. Death of the Maiden
09. The Night at the Catalfaque Manor
10. Alison Hell
If there is a group that feeds the counter, it is CRADLE OF FILTH. Loved, despised, you can hear almost everything coming from metal aficionados. But one thing is sure, no one is ignorant of their existence. At the top of this pyramid, Dani Filth never stopped catching attention. But what about him and his band, musically speaking? In recent years, it would be lying to say that the band still enjoyed a popularity as it used to be. The last albums have, for some, been bitter failures. Even the extreme black metal audience could hardly followed them. Finally, the nostalgia for COF’s glorious hours gradually mingled with artistic low expectations. Will Seductiveness of Decay have the strength to bring the band back to life? Against all expectations, this album displays, in any case, quite a nice potential.
Yes, it is quite true that the new album finally returns to its best bases, that of a very appreciable mixture of a classic sound and more modern ones. Yet, the band breaks the veil of habit with its introduction. Anyone who is a CRADLE OF FILTH’s follower knows that an introduction on the keyboard generally opens a typical album, followed by a fast track or so. Not this time. The track "Exquisite wrongs are waiting" does not start on this trend. Well-tied, it delivers a unveiling of choruses mixed with Dani Filth’s dark vocals. Two minutes are apparently enough for this track to make way for the next song. "Heartbreak and Seance" turns out to be typically cradleofIlthien. A typical track for the band. The whole by mixing some more metal / metalcore wires. Huge mention to the drum performance of Martin "Marthus" Skaroupka on that song. The album unfolds on "Achingly Beautiful", a track introduced by an oriental color before integrating a more unrestrained rhythm. Probably one of the best songs on this album. "AB" does not just make gothic vocal bases on guitar riffs. If many of the last COF’s productions lacked logic and distinct rhythm, "AB" displays all the band’s recovered strength. The track is nicely articulated around a solid and logical sound, doubled with a melodic chain. The fairly cryptic passage with choirs is very appreciable for the ear and brings the album a little closer to the band’s roots and original genre. A little touch that we cannot refuse. "Wester Vespertine", the 4th title of the album, tends to be closer to hard rock than pure goth extreme metal, but can still be listened. "The Seductiveness of Decay", eponymous title for this opus, remains equally sounds very hard rock yet more pragmatic on its influences. Yes, these two tracks undoubtedly have far too many dynamic similarities and riffs developed in the same way. And strangely enough, we would hardly say that TSOD is the best song on this album. "The Vengeful Spirit" is actually a better one, certainly without great innovative ideas but that we can appreciate much more. "You Will Know the Lion by its Claw" does not necessarily display a different rhythm yet it still enjoys a more gothic, darker, frightening content. So, why not. "Death and the Maiden" arrives just in time, before we get bored and judge this opus quite too monotonous in some parts. It arrives at the right moment to awaken our taste buds. To be honest, its introduction sounds quite well as an OST piece and could have covered a cinematographic work. Such a pity they did not take more advantages of this track’s potential. "The Night at Catafalque Manor" is a good work but perhaps too classical for this band. If you are a COF novice, it may seem catchy. Yet as a connoisseur, it sounds slightly like a déjà-vu. You might appreciate a little bit more something like "Alison Hell" that ends the opus.
The album’s main weaknesses are probably a slight tendency to monotony. It must be said that for some it is already a characteristic of that band. That might not be thats surprising then for these metal heads. Yet .. Yes, there are some good things about this opus. An undeniable wealth in terms of riffs, probably some of the best we have seen in the long career of CRADLE OF FILTH. A percussion rhythm added to a dexterity on keyboards that remind some biggest hard rock bands. And if after Midian - album released in 2000 - the band’s style seemed to in a loss, Seductiveness of Decay brings everyone back to the very cradleoffilthian musical .. cradle. Yes, as Dani Filth recognized himself in one of his recent interviews, this album is halfway between Hammer and Cruelty. And CRADLE OF FILTH is back with a blend of newly mastered brutal, romantic Victorian, black metal and goth harsh just the way we experienced it in the golden past.