Thornography review by Cradle of Filth

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  • Released: Oct 17, 2006
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 7 (155 votes)
Cradle of Filth: Thornography
10

Sound — 8
Despite its vampire-like facades, the members of Cradle Of Filth might just attract a bigger audience with the melody-driven songs on their new CD Thornography. While there is still a heavy dose of dark, poetic-like lyrics and eerie vocal delivery, there are also plenty of catchy choruses and verses heard in each one as well. While the band seems to be taking another step away from the blackest of the black metal, it has created an enjoyable guitar-driven CD. If you've seen photos of the band, you'll probably have some idea what to expect from hearing Cradle of Filth (vocalist Dani Filth, guitarists Paul Allender and Charles Hedger, bassist David Pybus, drummer Adrian Erlandsson). With their gothic appearances, the band members live up well to it's sound, which at times feels straight out of a horror film. The overdramatic approach might be a bit much for some listeners, but it's kind of fun to see what the band will try to do seem creepy. But in the end, it is the melodic guitar work that stands out from even the most ghoul-like screech from vocalist Filth. The CD begins with material that would work beautifully in a soundtrack for any of the multiple fantasy films released in the past few years. The song Under Pregnant Skies She Comes is a slower-tempo intro backed by a haunting choir and a keyboard line (performed by guest player Mark Newby Robson) that could easily pass for an actual orchestra. The band does like to stick with having an interlude usher listeners into each album, and it's wise to stick with it because they rarely disappoint. The highlights of the album are usually the well-executed guitar riffs that are heard throughout every song. A song like Dirge Inferno is definitely influenced by Iron Maiden to it with its harmonized guitars, which are particularly memorable during the chorus. Even the vocals, which are primarily done with more of a low-key scream and can become a bit monotonous in this style, become melodic and a bit more listenable in the chorus of Dirge Inferno. Fans of Cradle of Filth's earlier work may be a little turned off by the band's slight direction change in terms of the songwriting. There is still a symphonic undertone to most of the songs, but the guitars have taken a more general metal approach. Apparently even guitarist Allender told Terrorizer magazine that he himself definitely hears more Maiden-esque qualities in his music. Even so, you could do a lot worse than recreating the sound of Maiden.

Lyrics — 9
Just like the horror movie-inspired music, the lyrics on Thornography have an extremely dramatic flair to them. If you're a fan of gothic metal, you'll be in heaven because there is no shortage of songs about death, graves, or Biblical figures. Of course, if you think dark lyrics are contrived, steer clear of Cradle of Filth. One interesting track, lovesick For Mina, draws up the band's recurring vampire theme with its reference to the lady love of Count Dracula. If the song is indeed about the Mina of Bram Stoker's books, then it is also written from the perspective of the Count himself. Filth sings, I was close to coming when she bid adieu; Fuelled by the heartache rent upon her face there; Oh Mina, obscener. It's a fascinating song, and works well with the music. There is a lot of dark imagery and talk about death on Thornography, and this fact may be a bit much for some. The best example comes in Libertina Grimm when Filth sings, In the hand of morgue redeemers; Thought the dead always pleased her more; Squatting in their coffins; Flirting curtsies to the thirteenth floor. Filth writes pretty much all of the lyrics, and his flair for elaborate pose is actually impressive. It sometimes is overkills, but he at least puts forth an effort to create a certain mood.

Overall Impression — 8
Thornography is full of fantastic dual guitar work, beautiful piano compositions, and impressive lyrics, even though at times they are a bit over-the-top. There are plenty of fans who might feel the guitar work may be approaching a somewhat different genre, but guitarists Allender and Hedger do some flawless harmonies that deserve attention on the CD. There are some songs that don't quite live up to expectation on Thornography, but those are few. The Heaven 17 cover song Temptation gets a bit repetitive despite incorporating vocals from female singer Dirty Harry, who does have an awesome Bonnie Tyler singing style. While the vocals are strong, the song is driven by the same chords over and over again, losing the creepy quality that is present in other songs. The band apparently had recorded a cover of Shakespeare Sister's track Stay, which undoubtedly would have been a great addition to the record. The band does keep the theatrics coming throughout the CD, and it's a nice escape from the rest of what's out there. If you find songs about vampires, Gordian knots, and the Shakespearean character Caliban ridiculous, Cradle Of Filth will have you rolling your eyes. But that aside, the band does what a lot of others fail to do: keep things interesting. There is no shortage of creative keyboard lines, sound effects, and elaborate orchestration, and Thornography will find a lot of new fans because of it.

52 comments sorted by best / new / date

    super666fender
    im nto too into cradle of filth btu their miden covers are kick ass. I'll give thsi albuma try. Great review by the way too bud, well written
    napalm_scum
    These guys should not be associated with Black Metal at all. It gives the True bands a bad reputation. And last time I check, Black Metal was good. The vocals sound something like a dying duck, which is horrible. Black Metal Ist Krieg!
    guitar72490
    all i hear about in these posts are nymphetamine, damnation, and thornography, of course, its the review but you need to give older cradle a good listen, its soooo much better than their recent work, their work form the 90's kicks so much ass, anything older than lovecraft and witchearts blows me away, damnation and a day was pretty good i will have to say, songs like "hurt and virtue" and "mannequin" were kick ass, but nymphetamine was a total dissapointment, they had sort of a pussy-touch to it, it went downhll, BUT after all the ranting about their more recent work, the thornography cd did impress me, the orchestration was amazing, the guitar side of the music, wasnt as good i have to say, but was still pretty good, and if you have a problem with danni's voice...go **** yourself, he has an interesting way of vocalization, i like it myself but i do think its a little weird he calls his singing "lycanthropic howling" which means screaming like a werewolve and dimmu borgir doesnt compare to cradle, dimmu borgir has long, dragging, repetative music, try listening to it, sounds like crap, COF KICKS ASS!! and one more hting that pisses me off...genre...if you like the music, listen to it, dont matter what the music is labeled
    dolphinsrsluts
    CoF is nothing compared to dimmu borgir. dimmu borgir are true black metal, CoF = a failed attempt at black metal. And believe me, i used to listen to CoF a lot until i was introduced to better stuff. However, i agree with the statement that their old stuff is better than their new stuff.
    Gabriel Undead
    First of all i will point out COF is probably my favorite band...Dani's voice is Phenominal(cant spell it) paul and Charles' Riffs are the stuff of legends and the drumming is amazing...and even if you dont personaly like COF you should still appreciate there talent and what they have contributed to the Black Metal Genre...
    TehNpvz
    You know what guys, this flaming is ridiculous. People like certain things in music, others don't Grow up and stop complaining. I, myself, think that Cradle of Filth is an "OK" band. I like their sound and everything, but it's just not really...detailed if you wish to ask me. They could definitely go further with their guitars. Dani Filth's vocals strike me as weird, but whatever. Still pretty decent. Honestly, Dimmu Borgir is much better to me. They incorporate all kinds of different things in their music, making it sound much better. But, whatever. They both have their good parts and their...not so good parts.
    Weybl Himself
    Can't say I'm too big a CoF fan these days, but I was back in the Midian era and I listened to Nymphetamine a bit too. The thing that gets me is all these idiots saying "THEY"RE NOT EVEN BLACK METAL!!!11" They don't even say they are, or try to be anymore. But I dunno, I might check this one out, then again I might not.
    Spongerob47
    Yeah, i've never even heard of them calling themselves black metal.I've only heard Temptation, i didn't like it all that much but it was just a cover. I think the rest will be awesome.
    DanJacobsII
    if you dont like, dont read. i personally dont care if you dont like them. go read your "real black metal" posts then.
    Slut
    DanJacobsII wrote: if you dont like, dont read. i personally dont care if you dont like them. go read your "real black metal" posts then.
    The term you're looking for is "kvlt" Checked.
    PiratexZombie
    dolphinsrsluts : i don't even think CoF should be categorized as black metal, more like goth/emo wannabe black metal. They are a disgrace to true black metal and anyone that knows anything about black metal should know. "true black metal" sucks at least CoF has rythem and can their singer can sing more then one long ununderstandable growl
    Gregoric
    bodom didn't cover the trooper, it says so on their website, they covered aces high though.
    filthforlife123
    i personaly like this album, but not as much as the older ones. Thornograpghy sounded much better live then on the cd.
    Angel Of Sin
    i like it how cradle vary each album, then you dont get bored (as if you would anyway COF are kick ass)
    YaniraeffenVamp
    COF kicks major ass. i love them. i dont think bands can surpass them!! they the best ****en band ever!!!
    archangelseren
    this album sounds like its missing something like more keyboard noises. it just sounds empty
    dolphinsrsluts wrote: i don't even think CoF should be categorized as black metal, more like goth/emo wannabe black metal. They are a disgrace to true black metal and anyone that knows anything about black metal should know.
    not wannabe black metal, there older stuff was on the edge of black metal but yea this is no where near it. its the vocals that make it anything other than just metal
    blindman-07
    super666fender wrote: im nto too into cradle of filth btu their miden covers are kick ass. I'll give thsi albuma try. Great review by the way too bud, well written I'm guessing you meant Maiden, if so they've only done one cover. Hallowed Be Thy Name (Shallowed Be My Grave) ...Which might I add is the only Iron Maiden cover I have liked, Children of Bodom totally overdone Aces High and The Trooper :s Mind you Graveworm done Fear of the Dark and replaced electric guitar solos with celtic fiddles and stuff, it's worth listening to.
    children of bodom did kind of over do aces high but they didnt cover the trooper!!! why cant people work that out
    archangelseren
    THE TRUTH BEHIND THE COVERS * Fear of the Dark by Iron Maiden - This cover was done by Graveworm. * Fucked Up Life with Sepultura - This song is actually Sewn Mouth Secrets by Soilent Green * Castlevania Theme - This is actually by the Konami-created Japanese rock band Kukeiha Club * Angel of Death by Slayer - Cradle has covered Hell Awaits, but never Angel of Death
    hamsterman64
    I really like this album. It's hard to pick a favorite song, as I'm pretty fond of almost all of them. The only track I don't care as much for is I am the Thorn. Don't know why, it just doesn't really work for me. Love everything else though.
    thecurse123
    Jaykib wrote: I'm guessing you meant Maiden, if so they've only done one cover. Hallowed Be Thy Name (Shallowed Be My Grave) ...Which might I add is the only Iron Maiden cover I have liked, Children of Bodom totally overdone Aces High and The Trooper :s Mind you Graveworm done Fear of the Dark and replaced electric guitar solos with celtic fiddles and stuff, it's worth listening to.
    The Trooper actaully wasnt covered by bodom, but a band pretending to be bodom, its on there website
    M26femmeDeSade
    Those of You Who Keep Saying That Other Bands (Mentioned on here**) are Superior To COF are wasting breath. There IS a Reason Why COF are More popular. Whereas Thornography Might Not Be It. Regardless, i Say, It's all an opinion warfare. You F*ckers are beat.
    dolphinsrsluts
    i don't even think CoF should be categorized as black metal, more like goth/emo wannabe black metal. They are a disgrace to true black metal and anyone that knows anything about black metal should know.
    AxDemon
    I dont like the way you totally dissed the vocals.....They fit in perfectly and its crucial to their sound!!! GRRRRR
    k90728
    Temptation is a pretty good cover. This CD is my favorite out of all of them, yet i'm going to hear Coffin Fodder right now instead lol.
    Terry Wayne
    i like the way cof makes there songs sound big and epic...they are talented musicians
    valorossi46
    cradle of filth es el mejor y nunka kambiara su musika para todods los ke somos fans de estos lokos kualkier disko es muy bueno ya ke manejan muy bie el genero
    ledzppln1969
    i like their new style, the more heavy/death metal than pure gothic/black metal of earlier albums. dont get me wrong, "dusk and her embrace" was phenomenal, but this is nice too. personally, one of my favorites, and i actually like "temptation", i think its catchy. anyway, good review, one of the best ive seen.
    Mcleody
    Definatly an improvement from Nymphetamine, but not as epic as Damnation and a Day \m/ - thornography is my 2nd fav CoF to date!!!
    EmancipatedSoul
    I love Cradle of Filth no matter what. These guys are talented no matter what music they will play. Even "The Fouetus of a New Day Kicking" is a bit numetal, it is still kick ass. Thornography rocks and so does Cradle!! \m/
    Instrumetal
    deminich666 wrote: what's better then CoF?
    I dunno. Lots of stuff. I never did like the dark lyrics of Black Metal, though the ambience of it all is intriguing.
    Jaykib
    super666fender wrote: im nto too into cradle of filth btu their miden covers are kick ass. I'll give thsi albuma try. Great review by the way too bud, well written
    I'm guessing you meant Maiden, if so they've only done one cover. Hallowed Be Thy Name (Shallowed Be My Grave) ...Which might I add is the only Iron Maiden cover I have liked, Children of Bodom totally overdone Aces High and The Trooper :s Mind you Graveworm done Fear of the Dark and replaced electric guitar solos with celtic fiddles and stuff, it's worth listening to.
    kurtshapedbox
    Opeth did a sweet cover of Remember Tomorrow. ^ never been a maiden fan personally though. I don't know what it is but this CD seems a bit lackluster compared to other albums by COF. Still not a bad album though.
    rock_and_blues
    These guys are incredibly talented and this is the best album theyve put out that ive heard. Dani's vocals are just downnright amazing for the style he does and Paul and Charles' guitar work are just so melodic. Quite incredible On the subject of maiden covers, this kid came up to me and my friend and said: "Woa man....you gotta listen to this incredible Bodom song... I think it's called the Trooper" Me: "Uhh, dude thats an Iron Maiden song" Him: "Who the **** are Iron Maiden?"
    Hammett5
    rock_and_blues wrote: These guys are incredibly talented and this is the best album theyve put out that ive heard. Dani's vocals are just downnright amazing for the style he does and Paul and Charles' guitar work are just so melodic. Quite incredible On the subject of maiden covers, this kid came up to me and my friend and said: "Woa man....you gotta listen to this incredible Bodom song... I think it's called the Trooper" Me: "Uhh, dude thats an Iron Maiden song" Him: "Who the **** are Iron Maiden?"
    Haaaaa funny Even though I don't personally like the style of maiden's singer.. which in turn makes me not like maiden but I still know who they are.. rofl
    arrayofemotions
    The band's only really put out two good albums (The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh and Dusk And Her Embrace). Every record after that just went more and more downhill: every time their music is more bland and more drenched in clich. My biggest gripe with this new direction though is that the clean vocals of Dani are utterly horrible. The man just can't sing, and he shouldn't try.
    cman138
    super666fender wrote: im nto too into cradle of filth btu their miden covers are kick ass. I'll give thsi albuma try. Great review by the way too bud, well written
    Their maiden covers are a disgrace, sadly they are the best thing they have. I will admit I like how their cover of Fear of the Dark was orchestral at the begining, but other than that all their maiden covers are bad.
    cman138
    This is ****ing pitiful, You people are a disgrace. The Opeth cover is good because Opeth is a good band, but Cradle of Filth and their constituents are garbage. Dani Filth can't even sing right for death metal.
    trando
    uh... i havent heard the new album, but nymphetamine was... 50% kickass, and 50% boring. (guilded **** was a good way to start it, but got... repetative) damnation is my favorite album, so... i hope its not to far from that.