Sound — 9
Somehow, Cradle Of Filth never fail to entertain me, and this EP is once again no exception. But let me tell you first why this is a milestone release in all of Cradle Of Filth's career: "Bitter Suites To Succubi" features exactly the same line-up as the 2000 recording "Midian". That's enough reason to get excited about this EP.
Lyrics — 10
One can only hope that means the revolving door of members is finally coming to a halt with this definitive sextet. We've got Dani on vocals, Paul and Gian on the guitars, Martin providing the "suicide notes" and "broken heart strings", Robin playing the bass and Adrian behind the drumkit. With a playing time of 49:34 this is, (as Ralf pointed out) more of an album in disguise really, rather than an EP. Allegedly, the band recorded this solely on fan-request, and initially, it was only meant to consist of the 6 new tracks, but they ended up adding the Sisters Of Mercy cover "No Time To Cry" and three re-recordings of old classics as "Summer Dying Fast", "The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh" and "The Black Goddess Rises II". The latter being a reworking rather than an actual re-recording.
Overall Impression — 10
The new songs are fantastic in my opinion. Martin delivers another class performance with "Sin Deep My Wicked Angel" before we are cast into the fires of hell with "All Hope In Eclipse", one of the highpoints of the EP. "Born In A Burial Gown" delves further into the vampiric theme, with a traditional verse-chorus style approach, and "Scorched Earth Erotica" is an aggressive closer to the album with a great outro. I don't like the cover-song as much, because it feels a bit out of place here, and "Dinner At Deviant's Palace" had great potential but is somewhat ruined by the vocal part. Instrumentally, this could have been Martin's masterpiece in here, but there is a reversed "Our Father" placed over it, spoken by a distorted child's voice (Dani's kid Luna to be more specific) which sounds awkward. That aside, "Bitter Suites To Succubi" peaks at the seventh track "Suicide And Other Comforts". Each and every member of the band puts a powerful performance on display here. There's room for every instrument to show off, while the song itself twists around into a fierce climax. "Suicide And Other Comforts" is an excellent example of Cradle Of Filth's composing skills. A must-listen-to! The re-recordings are on par with the new songs, "Summer Dying Fast" in particular. "The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh" is simply blast to hear, and "The Black Goddess Rises II" throws a bit of everything into the mix, from raging Thrash-riffage to dissonant mid-tempo ballad. Now I'm going to stick my neck out here, and claim this is actually much better than the "Midian" material. While "Midian" was very good (I own it, I love it), it lacked a certain aspect "Bitter Suites To Succubi" does seem to possess. It feels more aggressive and diabolical, perhaps due to the raw production (compared to "Midian"). The vocals are more up-front too, all over the place; as if Dani really is playing his vocal chords like an extreme instrument, the way it should be. Somehow, this record makes me feel like I'm evil myself (when in reality, I am of course the biggest wimp on this planet:p ), much like "Cruelty & The Beast" did to me. In the end, it comes down to personal preference of course, but I have found myself spinning "Bitter Suites To Succubi" a lot longer than the "Midian" opus. In conclusion, this is an excellent Cradle Of Filth release. Any fan should own it. And must I really mention "Vempire" in comparison? Okay then, it's no "Vempire", but it's no "From The Cradle To Enslave" either.