Sound — 9
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).
Lyrics — 9
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 On contrary, this album doesn't deal with historical references rather, as Dani mentioned; it's about the resurgence of Lilith into modern society as a deity.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).
Overall Impression — 9
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.