Sound — 8
With Cradle of Filth making their major label debut on Sony, the record labels pursestrings were flung wide in the production of this album. Gone are the synthesizer orchestrations of the first albums now replaced by a full blown orchestra (Budapest Film Orchestra) and choir (Budapest Film Choir). The sound of Guitarists Paul is absolutely crushing and full, entwining nicely with the symphonic overtures Adrian's metronome like double bass kicks. The only thing I can say I was dissapointed with was the sparse use of Sarah Jezabel Diva's vocals on this record. On previous albums it would send a chill up your spine listening to her angelic harmonies over Dani's satanic growls.
Lyrics — 10
Dani's lyrics once again are amazing and deep. As with previous albums there is an underlying concept to the album and this time it is about the fall of Lucifer from heaven no less. I've always appreciated the way that COF doesn't follow the standard verse/chorus/verse format, instead creating grand epic passages that can really help to showcase Dani's epic and prolific writing talents. I also like the way he varies the tone of his voice from the death metal growls up to banshee like screams.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall I would have to say the COF has put forth a solid effort on this album and have definetly take another step forward in the writing and arrangements. The orchestral scores that help break up the album into it's different parts are a perfect reprieve before the band kicks back into their brutal assault of their senses. With standout tracks like Better To Reign In Hell and Babylon AD (So Glad For The Madness)make this CD a truly enjoyable aural experience, and with the album clocking in at just over 77 minutes there is never a dull moment. I would definetly recommend this CD as a good starter to anyone looking to get into the Black Metal scene and use it as a stepping stone for other bands in the genre such as Dimmu Borgir and Old Man's Child.