Sound — 8
A natural succesor to the more riff driven sound of 2000's 'Midian', Cradle drag their signature extreme metal sound into even darker and malignant territory, even by their own extreme standards. Defined as an EP, 'Bitter Suites To Succubi' is a 10 track release, consisting of three re-recording from thier debut album 'The Principle of Evil Made Flesh', a Sister of Mercys cover, an intro and interlude, as well four brand new tracks. Intricate and diverse instrumentation and flawless production; Adrian Erlandsson's drumming is particularly impressive, especially on the re-recorded versions of tracks from their debut album. Stylistically, like all other releases by Cradle, this is album is very much within the realm of black/death metal, although the keyboards have taken on a more openly synthesized and electronic feel in places, giving the release a more futuristic dark feel; whilst Cradle retain their signature Gothic edge, they drag into the modern age in a way that is truly terrifying.
Lyrics — 10
Dani Filth is not one to take writing lyrics lightly, and like all other releases by Cradle this is very much evident. The complex and poetic nautre of his lyrics takes getting used to at first read/listen, but are what gives every COF release it's distinct edge and adds another dimension to the music. Themes adressed in Dani's lyrics in the four new tracks include death, suicide, misanthropy, love, sex and the end of the world. Vocally Dani delivers his trademark shrieks to further express the agression and pain found within his lyrics.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, 'Bitter Suites To Succubi' is still a worthy gem in Cradle's extensive canon; it easily sits and alongside the classic 1996 EP 'Vempire', and far surpasses 1999's 'From The Cradle To Enslave EP'. The most impressive point regarding 'Bitter Suites...' has to be the dark and malicious atmosphere it envokes, whilst 1996's 'Dusk...And Her Embrace' is distinctly Gothic and majestic in nature and 2000's 'Midian' somewhat spooky, 'Bitter Suites...' produces a sound that is distinctly dark and eerie, sonically threatening. All four of the barand new full tracks are astounding; 'All Hope in Eclipse' is dark, agressive and full of spite, and 'Born in a Burial Gown' is as maliciously catchy as it is head-bangingly heavy. 'Suicide and Other Comforts' is one step away from being an epic track, fully utilising Martin Powell's keyboards to contrast with Dani Filth's themes of suicide and love lost. 'Scorched Earth Erotica' is everything one expects from Crade of filth and more; fast riffs, outstanding drumming, and a hauntingly beautiful middle eight that borders on ambient before leading to an epic finish. A fantastic release. I would definitely buy it again.