CRADLE OF FILTH are an English extreme metal band, formed in Suffolk in 1991. The band's musical style evolved originally from black metal to a cleaner and more "produced" amalgam of gothic metal , symphonic metal and other metal genres. Their lyrical themes and imagery are heavily influenced by Gothic literature , poetry , mythology and horror films .
The band has broken free from its original niche by courting
mainstream publicity. This increased accessibility has brought
coverage from the likes of
* 1 History
* 1.1 Early years (1991–1996)
Music for Nations
* 2 Musical style * 3 Current band members * 4 Discography * 5 References * 6 External links
EARLY YEARS (1991–1996)
Dani Filth in 2008
Cradle of Filth's first three years saw three demos (Invoking the Unclean, Orgiastic Pleasures Foul and Total Fucking Darkness ) recorded amidst the sort of rapid line-up fluctuations that have continued ever since, with the band having more than twenty musicians in its history. An album entitled Goetia was recorded prior to the third demo and set for release on Tombstone Records, but all tracks were wiped when Tombstone went out of business and could not afford to buy the recordings from the studio. The band eventually signed to Cacophonous Records, and their debut album, The Principle of Evil Made Flesh , was Cacophonous's first release in 1994. A step-up in terms of production from the rehearsal quality of most of their demos, the album was still nevertheless a sparse and embryonic version of what was to come, with lead singer Dani Filth 's vocals in particular bearing little similarity to the style he was later to develop. The album was well-received however, and as recently as June 2006 found its way into Metal Hammer 's list of the top ten black metal albums of the last twenty years.
Cradle's relationship with Cacophonous soon soured, the band accusing
the label of contractual and financial mismanagement. Acrimonious
legal proceedings took up most of 1995, and the original version of
the band's second album,
Dusk... and Her Embrace was recorded by the
Principle... lineup for Cacophonous but scrapped. Subsequently
re-worked with new band members for
Music For Nations
The band finally signed to
Music for Nations
MUSIC FOR NATIONS ERA (1996–2001)
Sarah Jezebel Deva joined the band in 1996
The re-worked and re-recorded
Dusk... and Her Embrace followed the
same year: a critically acclaimed breakthrough album that greatly
expanded the band's fan-base throughout Europe and the rest of the
world. Cradle's inaugural album for
Music for Nations
The increasingly theatrical stage shows of the 1997 European tour
helped keep Cradle in the public eye, as did a burgeoning line of
controversial merchandise, not least the notorious T-shirt depicting a
masturbating nun on the front and the slogan "
In 1998, Dani began his long-running "Dani's Inferno" column for
Metal Hammer , and the band appeared in the
The following year the band continued primarily to tour, but did release its first music video , PanDaemonAeon, and an accompanying EP, From the Cradle to Enslave , featuring the music from the production. Replete with graphic nudity and gore , the video was directed by Alex Chandon , who would go on to produce further Cradle promo clips and DVD documentaries, as well as the full-length feature film Cradle of Fear .
The band released their fourth studio album on the
SONY INTERLUDE (2001–2004)
The longest-ever interim period between full-length Cradle albums was nevertheless a busy time for the band. Bitter Suites to Succubi was released on the band's own Abracadaver label, and was a mixture of four new songs, re-recordings of three songs from The Principle of Evil Made Flesh, two instrumental tracks and a cover of The Sisters of Mercy 's "No Time to Cry". Stylistically similar to Midian, the album is unique among Cradle albums in featuring exactly the same band members as its predecessor. Further stop-gap releases followed in the form of the "best of " package Lovecraft clear: right; margin: 0.5em 0 0.8em 1.4em; width:27%; padding: 10px; border: 1px solid #aaa; font-size: 90%; background-color: #F9F9F9;"> Everything in the band is a democracy decision.. Dani has just been painted black in the press...To be honest, to find six people who think along the same lines and share the same interests and like have everything else sort of on a similar level. This band takes up so much time from us, it’s hard to keep everybody focused at the same time and on the same page. So it’s a lot to do with why there have been so many members. — Adrian Erlandsson, on the working relationships within the band and line-up changes.
Damnation and a Day arrived in 2003; Sony's heavyweight funding
underwriting Cradle's undiminished ambition by finally bringing a
real orchestra into the studio (the 80-member Budapest Film Orchestra
and Choir replacing the increasingly sophisticated synthesisers of
previous albums) and thus marking the band's belated gestation—for
one album only—into full-blown symphonic metal. Damnation featured
the band's most complex compositions to date, outran its predecessors
by a good twenty minutes and produced two more popular videos: the Jan
Švankmajer -influenced Mannequin and Babalon A.D. (So Glad for the
Madness) , based on
Pier Paolo Pasolini
MOVE TO ROADRUNNER (2004–2010)
Well, it was within my vocal ability to do it, and I wanted people to be able to hear my damn lyrics for once! I didn’t just want to do Dusk… again, same reason that Reign in Blood was made to sound different and clearer. I’d like people to understand what I’m saying, when a lot of the time these vocals can just sound like an orc with nails in his testes. I’ve always been deep into the occult, and would like people to hear these ideas and think about them. The thing is, and it happens a lot amongst our fans as well; especially with this record I think because it’s grounded, it’s heavy, and it’s screamy and rough and that, but it’s very singy as well and I think there’s a few people that say, "Oh, I want him to scream all the time, I want him to do this, I want him to do that," and they immediately assume you’ve lost your voice when you don’t do it. They don’t seem to sit back and think, "Maybe he just doesn’t want to do it all the time. Perhaps the songs benefit from having this new style." That’s how it was written, that’s how it was addressed, so you kind of dig your own grave. That terminology makes me think, because you’ve done the very high stuff and done the very low stuff, people start, "Well, I want more of this, I want more of that.". — Dani Filth, on the changes in his singing style.
Nymphetamine was the band's first full album since The
Principle of Evil Made Flesh to not be based around any sort of
overarching concept (although references to the works of H. P.
Lovecraft are made more than once). Cradle's bass guitarist Dave Pybus
described it as an "eclectic mix between the group's Damnation and
Cruelty albums with a renewed vigour for melody , songmanship and
plain fucking weirdness."
Nymphetamine debuted at No. 89 on the
Billboard Top 200 chart, selling just under 14,000 copies, and the
band's growing acceptance by the mainstream was confirmed when the
album's title track was nominated for a
Thornography was released in October 2006. According to Dani Filth, the title "represents mankind's obsession with sin and self... an addiction to self-punishment or something equally poisonous... a mania." On the subject of the album's musical direction, Filth told Revolver magazine, "I'm not saying it's 'experimental', but we're definitely testing the limits of what we can do... A lot of the songs are really rhythmical—thrashy , almost—but they're all also really catchy." A flurry of pre-release controversy saw Samuel Araya's original cover artwork scrapped and replaced in May 2006, although numerous CD booklets had already been printed with the original image. Thornography received a similar reception to Nymphetamine, garnering generally positive reviews, but raising a few eyebrows with the inclusion of a cover of Heaven 17 's "Temptation " (featuring guest vocals from Dirty Harry ), which was released as a digital single and accompanying video shortly before the album. Thornography entered the Billboard chart at No. 66, having sold nearly 13,000 copies.
Long-term drummer Adrian Erlandsson departed the band in November 2006, with the intention of devoting his energies to his two side projects, Needleye and Nemhain . The official press release from Roadrunner saw Erlandsson state "I have enjoyed my time with Cradle but it is now time to move on. I feel I am going out on a high as Thornography is definitely our best album to date". He was replaced by Martin Škaroupka . Drummer Martin Škaroupka replaced Adrian Erlandsson for Godspeed on the Devil\'s Thunder
Work on the eighth studio album, released in October 2008 as Godspeed
on the Devil\'s Thunder , began early that year following a GWAR
-supported tour which took place in Russia,
PEACEVILLE RECORDS (2010–2014)
Cradle's relationship with Roadrunner came to an end in April 2010,
with the announcement that the band's next album would be released by
the British independent label
Peaceville Records , using Cradle's own
Dani Filth cited "the artistic restrictions and
mindless inhibitions imposed by a major label" as the band's reason
for going independent. Early press releases named the new album All
Hallows Eve, but by August 2010 the title was confirmed as Darkly,
Darkly, Venus Aversa . Released on 1 November 2010, it is a concept
album in the same vein as its predecessor, Godspeed on the Devil's
Thunder; this time centring on the demon
Lilith , the first wife of
An EP entitled Evermore Darkly , featuring "new tracks and rarities", was released in October 2011. The package included a DVD with a tour documentary, a live DVD recorded at 2011's Graspop festival and the video for " Lilith Immaculate".
In April 2012, the compilation album Midnight in the Labyrinth was released, featuring orchestral re-recordings of songs from the band's first three albums and the V Empire EP. Dani Filth had described it in the preceding months as "reinventing" the tracks as "full soundtrack quality stuff... with choirs, strings and some narration". This album's version of "Summer Dying Fast" was included on Evermore Darkly as a teaser for the full release (the Evermore track listing subtitles this version " Midnight in the Labyrinth breadcrumb trail"), and "A Gothic Romance (Red Roses for the Devil's Whore)" was released online via Peaceville's website on 4 April. Sarah Jezebel Deva returned to provide female vocals for Midnight in the Labyrinth; her first work with Cradle since her departure in 2008.
In July 2012, the band re-issued its back catalogue from 1994 to 2002, via The End Records .
Cradle's tenth studio album, The Manticore and Other Horrors , was released on 29 October 2012 in Europe, and on 30 October in North America. Paul Allender told Ultimate Guitar that "The last thing we want to do is come out with another album that sounds like the last two. We decided to change direction and go back to what we used to do with the female vocals; all the strong melody lines and harmonies... I've put a lot of punk -orientated riffs back into it again. It's really gone quite dark and pretty hardcore." Paul has been enthralled in his own project and he could not do the tour due to personal reasons. Since then the band has grown as a unit, we were only writing as one guitarist for the last three records and we now have two very competent guitarists. Paul had a very strong opinion about doing that , and we're a two-guitar band. So that may be one of the things that kind of opened the fissure a bit. — Dani Filth, on the split with longtime guitarist P.Allender in 2014
On 2 September 2013, via his monthly blog,
Dani Filth announced the
Cradle of Filth
In March 2014,
Cradle of Filth
In April 2014, Paul Allender stated on his official Facebook account that he had once again left Cradle of Filth, in favour of his new band White Empress . James McIlroy also left the band at around this point due to imminent surgery for a spinal injury. Whether this is a temporary or permanent departure remains to be seen. Both guitarists were replaced for upcoming tours by Marek "Ashok" Šmerda of the Czech groups Root and Inner Fear, and Richard Shaw of English acts Emperor Chung and NG26.
On 2 April 2014, Cradle of Filth's website announced that they are working on their follow-up to The Manticore and Other Horrors with a current line-up. Dani Filth announced that they expect a Spring 2015 release and that three songs have already been written.
At the moment all six members are working on material.... Everybody has contributed to this from Lindsay the keyboard player, Martin the drummer - everybody has been working very hard. We have to get most of it done by the time we get to Russia, so we have two and a half weeks and I have to finish the lyrics for a few songs but the songs are pretty much there; we just have to move stuff around and put some strange instrumentation.... This album will be very twin guitar driven, lots of very fast melodies a la Dusk... and Her Embrace and Cruelty and the Beast. We are aiming at 16-20 tracks then we will wheedle them down to make sure we have the best. It is very exciting. — Dani Filth
NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS (2014–PRESENT)
On 11 November 2014 it was reported on the official Cradle of Filth Facebook page that they had signed to Nuclear Blast Records for their new album and were expected to begin recording the follow up to The Manticore And Other Horrors later the same month. In early 2015, the working title of the album was revealed as Hammer of the Witches (inspired by the 1486 treatise on the prosecution of witches by Heinrich Kramer ). This title was eventually confirmed as official. The album was recorded at Grindstone Studios in Suffolk, England, with a tentative initial release date of 26 June. Over 21 and 22 March the band filmed scenes for a promo video for the song "Right Wing Of The Garden Triptych". The shoot was in the hangar and fire station of former U.S. Military base of Bentwaters , with additional narrative scenes (featuring female actresses in a bondage setting) filmed on a farmstead near the Duxford war museum. The video was directed by Sam Scott-Hunter.
On 21 April 2015, the album's release date was updated to sometime in July, and the band revealed Hammer of the Witches' cover artwork by the Latvian post-modernist artist Arthur Berzinsh. The album was officially released through Nuclear Blast on July 10, 2015. The subsequent world tour included the band's largest set of UK dates for eight years in late 2015, and a set of North American shows in early 2016.
Cradle of Filth's particular genre has provoked a great deal of
discussion, and their status as a black metal band or otherwise has
been in debate since near the time that the group rose to fame. The
band have openly cited first wave black metal acts such as Bathory ,
Celtic Frost and
Mercyful Fate among their influences, but Dani Filth,
in a 1998 interview for
The band's style has been described as symphonic black metal ,
gothic metal , "gothic black metal" and even "dark metal".
However, the band's evolving sound has allowed them to continue
resisting definitive categorisation. They are audibly influenced by
Appearing on the
CURRENT BAND MEMBERS
Main article: List of Cradle of Filth band members
* Dani Filth - lead vocals (1991–present) * Martin \'Marthus\' Skaroupka – drums , keyboards, orchestration (2006–present) * Daniel Firth – bass (2012–present) * Lindsay Schoolcraft – keys and vocals (2013–present) * Richard Shaw - guitar (2014–present) * Marek 'Ashok' Šmerda – guitar (2014–present)
Main article: Cradle of Filth discography Studio albums
* The Principle of Evil Made Flesh (1994) * Dusk... and Her Embrace (1996) * Cruelty and the Beast (1998) * Midian (2000) * Damnation and a Day (2003) * Nymphetamine (2004) * Thornography (2006) * Godspeed on the Devil\'s Thunder (2008) * Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa (2010) * The Manticore and Other Horrors (2012) * Hammer of the Witches (2015) * Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay (2017)
* ^ Lauren Wise. "Cradle of Filth\'s
Dani Filth on the Role of
Satanism in Metal". Phoenix New Times.
* ^ "CRADLE OF FILTH Frontman DANI FILTH On Shock Value In Music -
"It\'s So Blasé And So Contrived"". bravewords.com.
* ^ Gregori, Damien (2002).
Lovecraft & Witch Hearts (Media notes).
Cradle of Filth.
Music for Nations
* ^ A B "Cradle of Filth".
Metal Hammer . March 2003.
* ^ Williams, Owen (August 2012). "The Strange Case of Clive
Barker's Nightbreed". Empire .
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Hellraiser Script at IMSDb.". IMSDb. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
* ^ M!ck. "
Adrian Erlandsson interview". Earache.com. Archived from
the original on 21 December 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
* ^ "Interviews". Metalreviews.com. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
* ^ "
Cradle of Filth
* ^ "Cradle Of Filth To Enter Studio In November -
Blabbermouth.net". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
* ^ A B "Interview -
Dani Filth of
Cradle of Filth