Released: Nov 1, 2010
Genre: Extreme Metal
Label: Peaceville Records
Number Of Tracks: 11
Cradle of Filths Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa is a solid, if unspectacular, album, but it emphasizes Cradle of Filths standing within the metal genre; the band has recorded a fine album, whose achievement will be discredited not solely to its own lacking, but also due to Cradle of Filths own impressive track record.
Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa
UG Team, on november 09, 2010 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Cradle of Filth's extreme, symphonic brand of metal requires both extraordinary precision and masterful production. Cradle of Filth is expected to deliver on both fronts. Marthus Skaroupka's blast beats give direction to the entire project, while Dani Filth's vocal delivery remains consistent, without ever being particularly spectacular. The real disappointment of this album is the guitar work which, although melodic, is somewhat monotonous, (over)relying on galloping riffs and the occasional pinched harmonic. It is too late in Cradle of Filth's career to continue basking in their comparisons to Iron Maiden; it's surely about time Cradle of Filth wrote an album to remind why the band has achieved so many accolades in the past. Does the band achieve this with Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa?
The opening song sets the right impression, while the blast beat intensity of One Foul Step from the Abyss is the epitome of the precision about which we spoke earlier. Although these songs are impressive in terms of their precision, Paul Allender's lead guitar lines and solos seem to be lacking something. This is evidenced on Harlot on a Pedestal, which features a guitar solo whose technical wizardry is undoubted, but leaves the listener pondering whether it was just recorded to fill in some space on the song. In spite of this, the otherwise unrelenting galloping riffs on this album are interrupted by moments of inspiration, such as the smooth riff of Deceiving Eyes, which is reinforced by what is the strongest writing on the album. // 6
Lyrics: Dani Filth's vocal capabilities are well-documented, and Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa seems to be the perfect platform from which to showcase his seeming plethora of grunts, growls, and higher pitched shrieks. But he doesn't seem to really get going.
Fortunately for Dani Filth, his voice is well complemented by Ashley Ellyllon's synthesizer harmonies and high pitched screams. Are his advancing years to be blamed for the more focused vocal range on Darkly, Darkly? His voice remains a paradigm of metal vocal mastery, while he is sharp enough to utilize Ellysson's vocals in providing some variation to his own.
The lyrical content is loosely based upon a Biblically-inspired concept, also drawing from Middle Ages history, and mythology. // 6
Overall Impression: With Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa, Cradle of Filth don't match the releases of Dusk...And Her Embrace, Cruelty and the Beast, or Thornography. What the band does accomplish is the release of an album which enhances their CV. Darkly, Darkly, is most likely a grower, and much like the youths who discover Cradle of Filth each year and are initially put off by the brutality of it all, one should persevere with this album, because it proves Cradle of Filth are not quite finished yet. // 7
Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa
Campbell2893, on november 09, 2010 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: This is the concept album centered around the story of a demon named Lilith. It is an exceptional Gothic theme for Cradle of Filth's ninth studio album. It is true gothic metal with symphonies accompanying some solid melodic black metal as usual but this album seems to be more evenly mixed than many in the past with the symphonies lightly adding tone to the songs and the guitars really being heard. There is a very dark yet melodic sound to the album and it seems to me that they have compiled everything good from the last couple of albums and left a lot of the weaker stuff out. Paul's guitar work on the album is particularly worth noting as it really adds to the songs to finally here some emphasis placed on guitars in some CoF. ALSO I was ecstatic to discover this album has no orchestral filler songs and a bare minimum of poetry narrations in contrast to godspeed which had a buttload of both. // 10
Lyrics: The theme of this album is truly very dark and suits Cradle perfectly and the lyrics are the usual clever horror poetry. It is all quite intricate and well thought out which is excellent, lyrical complexity seems to be an ever continuing theme of this amazing band.
Cradle would not be half as recognizable without Dani's shrieks and screeches which he can change to deep roars in an instant. His screaming has the usual depth with only one slight annoyance for me in the chorus of "forgive me father (I have sinned)" still this was a very small section. // 8
Overall Impression: I think this album has the potential to be as big as nymphetamine. They have trimmed a lot of the fat from their musical style to provide a strong sound with pulsating and extremely difficult drums, guitar with epic tone (including numerous solos for a change!), the usual diverse singing (including the hallowing female vocals)and beautiful song building symphonic layers. Nothing is really weak or able to be complained about. I love the fact that they took the strength and aggression of godspeed and added the tone of thornography which is taking the best from each. This is the sound I've been hoping for since nymphetamine. Favorite songs include church of the sacred heart, deceiving eyes and harlot on a pedestal. This angle for Cradle truly made me very happy! // 10
Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa
DIII 503, on november 09, 2010 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: A release much anticipated: Cradle of Filth's ninth studio album is out through Peaceville Records after their successful venture called Godspeed on The Devil's Thunder. There were rumours regarding the title of this album, few claiming it to be All Hallows Eve because of the release date being close to Halloween. In the end, Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa (which the album is actually named) shows the true strengths of COF. The album is one of those with Paul's brutal riffs and eerie use of keyboards. I was really surprised, however, that it didn't start off with an instrumental rather a 7 minute epic The Cult of Venus Aversa with an introductory narration and blistering blast beats. The song really sets the pace for the coming songs. Another deviation from previous releases is the absence of interludes. COF songs get connected well with such interludes and they could've placed some in the middle.
Speaking of the instruments, the album displays a harmony between gothic, spooky melodies, brutal riffs and vicious drumming and blast beats. Many of the songs start off with piano sections and really set the tone for the remainder of the song. The Persecution Song is one such. The piano intro slowly morphs into a slow paced yet heavy riff. This album also features more guitar solos and the guitar works are much more technical than previous albums. Apart from the crushing riffs, Paul and James also engage in guitar harmonies, for what COF is famous for. They make good use of the harmonies in Forgive Me Father (I Have Sinned). // 9
Lyrics: A concept album, Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa deals with the mythological demon called Lilith. The opening song is great because it acts like a liner note- drawing the listeners to the real concept behind it. On contrary, this album doesn't deal with historical references rather, as Dani mentioned; it's about the resurgence of Lilith into modern society as a deity. Also, the songs are referred to as a dark tapestry of horror, madness and twisted sex. And, the album performs really well as a whole with its concept and Dani yet again showed his prowess when it comes to lyrics.
Dani's vocal delivery has changed a lot. Back in the old days, he cast out demonic shrieks that Satan himself would be scared of. But nowadays, it's one which is more mainstream- a mixture of growls and the occasional shrieks but nothing like the old stuffs. He also used some gruff vocals in the song Forgive Me Father (I Have Sinned). // 9
Overall Impression: Overall, this is a really good album, I would say, better than Godspeed on The Devil's Thunder. I would say, through this release, COF are somewhat back to their old days where they used to employ lots of melodies and keyboard works. This album displays hints of such reunion. However, it would've been much better if they stuck to their previous track formats and included keyboard interludes to glue all the songs together and make them coherent. But, this is still a really good release and it's really worth buying. // 9
Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa
unregistered, on november 15, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Ever the black sheep of Black Metal (irony intended), Cradle of Filth return with another blastbeat-laden trip into fantastical phantasmagoria and semi-Satanic cultural references. Lead singer Dani Filth remarked that "Darkly Darkly, Venus Aversa" is the band's heaviest album yet, which clearly isn't the case. Cradle still tries to walk the fine line between commercialism and hardcore extreme metal, albeit far more obviously than contemporaries like Satyricon. The production values are tip top, the sound is pure sonic absinthe, and it's difficult not to bang your head and get worked up by the energy of the album. DDVA comes hot on the heels of "Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder," which was the worst display of musical writer's block in the band's stellar career. This album seems to have learned from the glaring mistakes of its redundant predecessor and swung on the vines of a few different trees to achieve its clarity of vision.
Nevertheless, it's Cradle of Filth. Song structure remains relatively predictable without treading too much new ground. It doesn't go for the gutter like "Nymphetamine," and it's nowhere near the sheer might of "Damnation And A Day," but I liked it nonetheless. // 8
Lyrics: Dani Filth is arguably the best lyricist in metal, period. He's back at it in true form with his own brand of darkly ethereal gothic poetry. The man screeches and growls with purpose about the history of the ancient figure Lilith, supposedly Adam's rebellious first wife who was given the boot out of Eden and subsequently paved the way for any number of succubi-origin stories and wickedly feminist explanations of female sexual power. At the heart of all this inhuman sneering is Ashley Ellyllon, former member of Abigail Williams. Not only does the woman possess a Bachelor's degree in Music Theory, but her seductive voice is a welcome throwback to old-style Cradle while still sounding vibrant and new. The key here is balance, and although most songs serve as a soapbox for Dani Filth's wildly imaginative storytelling, Ellyllon lends her talents on key songs such as "Forgive Me Father, I Have Sinned," and "Lilith Immaculate," two of the best songs on the entire record. // 9
Overall Impression: If there is a problem with the album, it's derived mostly from Cradle of Filth's status as a Black Metal outcast. Indeed, the band has sought to move away from such a controversial and admittedly stringent musical classification, but it's hard to ignore when the music drips with such dark atmosphere and showmanship of which Black Metal is universally renowned for. Only Dimmu Borgir manage to divide more metal fans down the middle. As a piece of music, DDVA is brilliant. I was fired up by the rapid intensity and pace at which the album travels, the subtle nuances, the occasional use of soul-boosting major chords and the decision to ignore "Godspeed's" bland and boring album structure. The band seems clear-headed and ready to rock, and although it doesn't hit the artistic ceiling of "Nymphetamine" nor the molten metal fury of "Damnation," it's still one of the better COF albums to come out in quite some time, and worthy of play. // 8