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Cruelty And The Beast

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Cruelty And The Beast
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: 1998
Label: Mayhem Records
Genre: Black, Gothic
1. Once Upon Atrocity
2. Thirteen Autumns And A Widow
3. Crulety Brought Thee Orchids
4. Beneath The Howling Stars
5. Venus In Fear
6. Desire In Violent Overture
7. The Twisted Of Faith
8. Bathory Aria: Benighted Like Usher/A Murder Of Ravens In Fugue/Eyes That Witnessed Madness
9. Portrait Of The Dead Countess
10. Lustmord And Wargasm (The Lick Of Carnivorous Winds)
11. Lustmord And Wargasm (The Relicking Of Cadaverous Wounds)
12. Black Metal
13. Hallowed Be Thy Name
14. Sodomy And Lust
15. Twisting Further Nails (The Cruci-Fiction Mix)

Review by Jack on September 25, 2001.

One wonders, as to why Cradle of Filth gathers so much attention through their avant-garde dark metal exploits? I mean, Dani possesses the most annoying scream/rasp/roar in metal, yet Cradle of Filth remain so commercially viable and loved by consumers everywhere. Maybe it is just me? But I never ever seem to be in the right frame of mind when listening to Cradle of Filth and “Cruelty and the Beast” is no exception.

Chapter IV: “Cruelty and the Beast”. On face value “Cruelty and the Beast” doesn’t seem to depart too far from their past three attempts, but as one does delve deeper into the putrid, perverted record (lyrically), one will find a more subtle, intriguing album from these gothically drive Brits. Whether subtly and intrigue make a worthy album remains to be seen.

“Cruelty and the Beast” does have a well-written topic surrounding the album and its ten epic tracks; that being the tales and exploits of evil countess Elizabeth Bathory and her cruel exploits in torturing and then slaying her victims. I am not completely sure of the intricate details of Bathory’s butchering, but what is of noteworthy consideration is how well Cradle of Filth ties “Cruelty and the Beast” together.

Dani’s vocals and over-the-top shredding and keyboarding maybe let this album down slightly, my biggest gripe with the band, is that they do not take themselves overly seriously, which is disappointing because they could be a really top metal act.

“Cruelty and the Beast” does have good attributes, as Cradle of Filth are talented musicians. Nick Barker’s flaying of skins with his drumming is quality, the guitars while over-the-top are catchy and interesting and Dani’s voice while annoying is varying enough to subside into the rest of the music.

Bottom Line: Cradle of Filth composed a tighter album in “Cruelty and the Beast” than their previous three efforts. “Cruelty and the Beast”, however still retains those trademark; bad Dani Filth vocals and the over-the-top themed dark metal. Recommended for Cradle... fanatics and those who enjoy a good epic story tale.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10