|Review: Cradle Of Filth - Damnation And A Day|
|Damnation And A Day|
Year released: 2003
Genre: Gothic Metal
Review online: April 13, 2003
Reviewed by: Scott Murray
for:Damnation And A Day
Rated 3/5 (60%) (20 Votes)
After 10 years in the heavy metal business, Cradle o f Filth have taken a huge leap forward in their career with an unprecedented contract to Sony records and their massive new release Damnation and a Day. In the wake of serious doubt among fans feeling that the jump to a major label would drive a proverbial stake through the heart of the band’s integrity, Cradle do just the opposite. Taking full advantage of the now unlimited resources and exposure from Sony, they have created an album that even the word epic would understate. This album is easily their most mature release to date; bigger, badder and brilliantly produced, but still undeniably Cradle. Guitars blaze, blast-beats pummel and gothic keyboard accompaniment makes for a chilling experience that you can’t help but headbang to. Not only is the sound as crisp and clean as can be, but the enlisting of a full orchestra and choir makes this a truly monumental undertaking.
The opening orchestral piece A Bruise Upon the Silent Moon is so bone-chilling it’s not funny. This is the perfect way to set-up the huge experience awaiting the listener. It builds up tension wise and explodes into ghostly howls that lace the ferocious guitar riffs and drum blasts of The Promise of Fever. All it takes is about thirty seconds of this song to pass when you realize just how far Cradle has come. Rather than playing favourites in post-production as they have in the past, all of the instruments involved get their share of the listener’s ear. The number one culprit of mixing hoggery has always been the vocals of founding member and lead man Dani Filth, whose screeches and growls have always been a controversial element of the band’s sound. Harsh would be the best way to describe the vocals. But what I first noticed on the band’s previous release Bitter Suites to Succubi was that Dani’s voice seemed to have lost its dominating edge. The same is still true here, easily one of the best moves the band could have ever made. The guitars and percussion really get to shine on this album, working in conjunction with the other sounds rather than competing for attention. On Damnation and a Day, Cradle’s sound is perfected into a complexly layered mix in which several listens are required to fully explore each song.
One of my long time complaints with Cradle still has not been rectified though, that being the confusing lack of guitar solos. I’m sorry, but doubled over riffs just don’t cut it.
Fans of the band will be relieved and amazed all at once with Damnation and a Day. Haters will keep on hating. And Cradle themselves will only get bigger and bigger.
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