Rating:
9.8
Cradle Of Filth - Cruelty And The Beast
1998


01. Once Upon Atrocity
02. Thirteen Autumns And A Widow
03. Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids
04. Beneath The Howling Stars
05. Venus In Fear
06. Desire In Violent Overture
07. The Twisted Nails Of Faith
08. Bathory Aria
    1 - Benighted Like Usher
    2 - A Murder Of Ravens In Fugue
    3 - Eyes That Witnessed Madness
09. Portrait Of The Dead Countess
10. Lustmord And Wargasm (The Lick Of Carnivorous Winds)
11. Black Metal [Venom cover] [Tombstone edition bonus]
12. Hallowed Be Thy Name (Shallow Be My Grave) [Iron Maiden cover] [Tombstone edition bonus]
13. Sodomy & Lust [Sodom cover] [Tombstone edition bonus]
14. Twisting Further Nails [Cruci-fiction mix version] [Tombstone edition bonus]


I have never liked CoF because of the image they've made of themselves in recent times, however this album, as well as its predecessor "Dusk and Her Embrace," are enough to make me think otherwise.

I will start off by saying that this equals, if not surpasses, the quality found on "Dusk..." Not only is the production improved from previous releases but also musically and lyrically they have outdone themselves, and for the last time I might add. What I like most about this is the background, or rather the foundations of the album, which for those of you who don't realise, are based on the legend of Elizabeth Bathory (the blood countess). Every song is like a chapter of a novel, so whenever I do listen to it I have to listen to it from the very beginning without missing a track, I find it a lot more enjoyable that way, but I'm sure many of you just want me to talk about the musical side of it, so I'll cut to the chase.

Well, what can I say, they haven't changed their style from the last album but they have managed to create a more complex and diverse range of songs throughout. They have very typically started the album off with an instrumental, after which we are then introduced to the official first track of the album, "Three Widows and an Autumn," which to me is their best song ever written; the keyboards are haunting and atmospheric, the guitar riffs are fast paced and melodic but always blending in perfectly with the keyboards.

The title track is a favourite to those that have heard this, but to me, although very good, wasn't up to the standards of the previous. Don't get me wrong I love it, it's just that a song following one which left such an indentation in my mind was always going to leave little to no impression on me after the first listen.

The three part 11 minute epic "Bathory Aria" was another phenomenal track that couldn't have been achieved by anyone but Cradle Of Filth, and although the last couple of minutes had me losing slight concentration, I still can't fault it, because for most of the song there was too many memorable parts, particularly the first part of the song which is probably the most memorable part of the entire album, the sorrowful keyboards combined with Dani's eerie vocals is something I can't put into words, very impressive stuff.

We are then introduced to the third instrumental on the album (though the second was only the sounds of a female's loud screams and moans) in a lead up to open for the final track of the album "Lustmord And Wargasm," which again is another track that never fails to impress.

Unfortunately this album is the last you'll hear of a band that inevitably substituted quality for fame. After this release they slowly became more and more derivative with their song writing and even the better albums like "Midian" and "Nymphetamine" couldn't nearly reach the level of quality and originality that this album had. Looking at where the band is now musically, I think it's painless to suggest that they no longer have it in them to create an album that even comes close to this one.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 9


Band profile: Cradle Of Filth
Album: Cruelty And The Beast


 


written by Desecrator | 06.01.2008


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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Katatronik - 06.01.2008 at 15:30  
One of my favourite albums ever, together with "Dusk..."; great songs, great Dani vocals, superb atmospheres, amazing lyrics... Masterpiece! Too bad for the production, not very good IMO...
Warman - 06.01.2008 at 16:47  
Seriously, a 9.8 is a great rating for this album! It's one of the best albums of all time! No doubt! It's haunting, dark, atmospheric, evil, scary...
Abattoir - 09.01.2008 at 15:40  
A little bit to overrated, but anyway a great album, for me the best one from them.
GT - 15.01.2008 at 17:03  
Might have to try this release, because the EP I bought didn't convince my...this album sounds like it could do the trick
hottercraft - 19.02.2008 at 18:25  
For me, the ONLY good Cradle album. Good review but the mark is too high in my opinion...
Baz Anderson - 19.02.2008 at 18:29  
indeed, the best Cradle Of Filth full-length album by far and worthy of such a high rating for people who Cradle Of Filth helped bring into the world of extreme metal - someone casually listening to this album may not feel its true magic however
Deadmeat - 22.10.2008 at 15:33  
I'm not a Black metal lover but I think that if some song on this album where a bit shorter I would like it much more. A very good album also and nice review.. Disagree only in the note.
MathC - 22.10.2008 at 15:45  
While this is the best release from cof, I strongly disagree with a 9.8 rating.
Vikingocalypse; - 01.03.2009 at 02:21  
I wouldn't give that high rating to this album. 7 is good enough. This is the best thing I've heard from cradle of filth.
Disc two limited edition was abseloutly garbage.
Uirapuru - 21.04.2009 at 16:21  
With this fine work Cradle of Filth prepared itself to the releases of the exellents ''Midian'' and ''Nymphetamine''.

This one is not as good as the subsequents, but at least they are playing music, not using randomly the instruments (like in the horrible ''The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh''.

''Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids'' and ''The Twisted Nails of faith'' already presents the catchiness and commercial appeal that would reveal to be their greatest feature.

From this album to on, Cradle of Filth becomes a real good band.
Slayer666 - 11.10.2009 at 16:34  
Written by Uirapuru on 21.04.2009 at 16:21

With this fine work Cradle of Filth prepared itself to the releases of the exellents ''Midian'' and ''Nymphetamine''.

This one is not as good as the subsequents, but at least they are playing music, not using randomly the instruments (like in the horrible ''The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh''.

''Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids'' and ''The Twisted Nails of faith'' already presents the catchiness and commercial appeal that would reveal to be their greatest feature.

From this album to on, Cradle of Filth becomes a real good band.

Ugh, dude, when it comes to CoF. you really have a fucked up opinion... No offense meant, I'm just saying that I can't belive that someone can like the "slightly-above-average" Nymphetamine more than this pure masterpiece... Or Principle, for that matter. And Dusk...
Uirapuru - 12.10.2009 at 04:03  
Written by Slayer666 on 11.10.2009 at 16:34

Written by Uirapuru on 21.04.2009 at 16:21

With this fine work Cradle of Filth prepared itself to the releases of the exellents ''Midian'' and ''Nymphetamine''.

This one is not as good as the subsequents, but at least they are playing music, not using randomly the instruments (like in the horrible ''The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh''.

''Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids'' and ''The Twisted Nails of faith'' already presents the catchiness and commercial appeal that would reveal to be their greatest feature.

From this album to on, Cradle of Filth becomes a real good band.

Ugh, dude, when it comes to CoF. you really have a fucked up opinion... No offense meant, I'm just saying that I can't belive that someone can like the "slightly-above-average" Nymphetamine more than this pure masterpiece... Or Principle, for that matter. And Dusk...


Yep.. its pretty fucked up.

When it comes to CoF I like to hear some melody... their early works are simply too chaotic and ''heavy'' (I know its not that heavy, just more than the subsequents).

Commercial appelative CoF (of Nymphetamine and Midian) has much more to offer for people who doesnt care about their sound.
Slayer666 - 12.10.2009 at 10:43  
Written by Uirapuru on 12.10.2009 at 04:03

Written by Slayer666 on 11.10.2009 at 16:34

Written by Uirapuru on 21.04.2009 at 16:21

With this fine work Cradle of Filth prepared itself to the releases of the exellents ''Midian'' and ''Nymphetamine''.

This one is not as good as the subsequents, but at least they are playing music, not using randomly the instruments (like in the horrible ''The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh''.

''Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids'' and ''The Twisted Nails of faith'' already presents the catchiness and commercial appeal that would reveal to be their greatest feature.

From this album to on, Cradle of Filth becomes a real good band.

Ugh, dude, when it comes to CoF. you really have a fucked up opinion... No offense meant, I'm just saying that I can't belive that someone can like the "slightly-above-average" Nymphetamine more than this pure masterpiece... Or Principle, for that matter. And Dusk...


Yep.. its pretty fucked up.

When it comes to CoF I like to hear some melody... their early works are simply too chaotic and ''heavy'' (I know its not that heavy, just more than the subsequents).

Commercial appelative CoF (of Nymphetamine and Midian) has much more to offer for people who doesnt care about their sound.

It's not just about the heaviness, you know. The early works create an atmosphere that nothing after this album can compare with. Of course, we have the brilliant Damnation and Godspeed, but even they lack the supreme quality of the first three releases.
Damnated_Soul - 08.05.2010 at 22:06  
Written by Slayer666 on 12.10.2009 at 10:43

Written by Uirapuru on 12.10.2009 at 04:03

Written by Slayer666 on 11.10.2009 at 16:34

Written by Uirapuru on 21.04.2009 at 16:21

With this fine work Cradle of Filth prepared itself to the releases of the exellents ''Midian'' and ''Nymphetamine''.

This one is not as good as the subsequents, but at least they are playing music, not using randomly the instruments (like in the horrible ''The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh''.

''Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids'' and ''The Twisted Nails of faith'' already presents the catchiness and commercial appeal that would reveal to be their greatest feature.

From this album to on, Cradle of Filth becomes a real good band.

Ugh, dude, when it comes to CoF. you really have a fucked up opinion... No offense meant, I'm just saying that I can't belive that someone can like the "slightly-above-average" Nymphetamine more than this pure masterpiece... Or Principle, for that matter. And Dusk...


Yep.. its pretty fucked up.

When it comes to CoF I like to hear some melody... their early works are simply too chaotic and ''heavy'' (I know its not that heavy, just more than the subsequents).

Commercial appelative CoF (of Nymphetamine and Midian) has much more to offer for people who doesnt care about their sound.

It's not just about the heaviness, you know. The early works create an atmosphere that nothing after this album can compare with. Of course, we have the brilliant Damnation and Godspeed, but even they lack the supreme quality of the first three releases.


Couldn't agree more with you.
IMO, their best albums are the first ones as well as Damnation and Godspeed. The dark ambience that they create around the listener is something really unusual. But, of them all, none of them beats Cruelty and the Beast.
And Bathory Aria is it's masterpiece!
Cryzpin - 05.01.2011 at 13:10  
The album is just wonderful! And so are the Venom and Iron Maiden covers, dare to say better than originals.
Being "horrorish" and conceptual, for me it's one level heavier successor of King Diamond.
Vonpire - 06.01.2011 at 19:53  
One of my fav albuns of all time.
ShadowKind - 07.01.2011 at 14:06  
Very atmospheric, I liked it alot.

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