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Cradle of Filth: Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa

Cradle of Filth...most folks either love 'em or hate 'em. There are few bands around that always seem to garner as much controversy or debate as Dani Filth & Co.. Quite frankly, you either get their version of 'gothic & theatrical black metal' music or you don't. Their latest CD, and first for Nuclear Blast after a bunch of years on Roadrunner, Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa, is probably not going to convert you if you haven't been into the band up to this point, but if you have been a Filth follower, chances are you'll dig this one quite a bit.

OK, so I've been on board the CoF express for a while now, but for good reason. These guys just seem to know how to put together dramatic, compelling extreme metal music that always has a story to tell. If you are into Gothic Horror, then this band has the lyrical imagery to really float your boat. Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa is another dark & twisted tale from Dani, and he's once again housed his horror fable within a framework of symphonic black metal arrangements. Sure, it's a formula the band has done to death for many years now, but they do it quite well. Most of the tracks here are quite fast & frantic, like the raging "The Nun With The Astral Habit" and the blast beat/tremelo picked riff madness that is "Retreat Of The Sacred Heart", as the band seem more intent on hitting on all their black metal cylinders and easing back on the gothic material this time around. Expect plenty of symphonic keyboards throughout, and Dani's vocals, as always, are some of the most unique in the genre. His wide array of high-pitched screams, rasps, and deep growls appear in just about every song, keeping the listener on his or her toes at every juncture.

Above all, the songs here are extremely melodic, and just like the most recent Dimmu Borgir release Abrahadabra, quite memorable & theatrical. Cuts such as "Deceiving Eyes" and "The Spawn of Love and War" just stick in your head thanks to their crushing riffs, catchy keyboard orchestrations, and wild vocalizations from Dani. Again, it's a formula that's just going to work for some, but be way too over the top for others. Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa is another winner from Cradle of Filth, a great sounding album filled with catchy symphonic black metal music and horror themed, gothic lyrical imagery. The packaging, as always on almost any CoF album, is fantastic, featuring killer artwork, lyrics, and photos of the band. So, take the plunge if you dare.


Track Listing
1. The Cult Of Venus Aversa
2. One Foul Step From The Abyss
3. The Nun With The Astral Habit
4. Retreat Of The Sacred Heart
5. The Persecution Song
6. Deceiving Eyes
7. Lilith Immaculate
8. The Spawn Of Love And War
9. Harlot On A Pedestal
10. Forgive Me Father (I Have Sinned)
11. Beyond the Eleventh Hour

Added: February 5th 2011
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3491
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Cradle of Filth: Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa
Posted by Jeff B, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-02-05 11:30:08
My Score:

The Cult of Venus Aversa

In their near-20 year history, Cradle of Filth has established themselves as one of the most consistent and influential gothic black metal bands, and Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa is a perfect sentiment to this. Taking everything that we love about symphonic black metal and its overblown bombast while transporting it into a gothic, horror-filled nightmare, it's safe to conclude that Dani Filth and co. have created another winner here. People who've hated Cradle of Filth since their inception won't have a change of heart with Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa, but anyone who can moderately consider themselves a fan should definitely give this one a listen. I was mightily impressed by this effort; Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa has no shortage of killer material. On this album you'll find uncompromisingly heavy riffs, unforgettable melodies, and chilling symphonic arrangements. If that at all sounds like something you'd be interested in, by all means give this one a shot.

Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa is unquestionably Cradle of Filth for almost every reason in the book. Dani Filth's distinct vocals take the forefront among raging black metal madness and horror-filled lyrical and musical atmospheres. While music this overblown and bombastic isn't usually my thing, I must confess that I was blown away by Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa. Every song is filled with highly memorable hooks and a level of complexity that doesn't wither even after many repeated listens. Most of the songs here are fairly long and encompass many sections and tempo changes, which adds plenty of progressive tendencies and variation. The music here is the blend of symphonic black metal and gothic metal that made Cradle of Filth famous, so you should expect some female vocals in addition to Dani Filth's demonic shrieks. The musicianship is, of course, top-notch. I especially have to give a nod to the magnificent drumming from Martin "Marthus" Skaroupka; he's among the best out there.

The production polished, clean, and bombastic - and I wouldn't have it anyway. This is the perfect sound for Cradle of Filth's music. Kudos to Scott Atkins, Doug Cook and Dani Filth for the killer sound.

Conclusion:

Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa is yet another top-notch album in a long string of excellent releases from Cradle of Filth. People who detest their decidedly overblown sound will find a lot to bash here, but anyone who even moderately enjoys symphonic/gothic black metal will be amazed. 4 stars and my warmest recommendations are due in this case. I'd strongly recommend any Cradle of Filth fan to check out Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa - it's hard to believe that after such a long history these guys are still the masters of their respective genre!

Cradle of Filth: Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa
Posted by Scott Ward, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-12-27 10:01:50
My Score:

Dani Filth would have been right at home writing for Hammer films. Once again he brings you a gothic horror story that is based on the ancient Jewish folk tale of Lilith who according to the tale was the first wife of Adam. She would not serve him and left the Garden of Eden. Dani expounds on this idea and brings her back as a demon or god depending on your point of view.

The dramatic brand of dark twisted extreme metal that Cradle of Filth is known for is the perfect vehicle for this tale and the band delivers one of their most dynamic musical performances along with the multiple incarnations of Dani's voice. His patented growls, screams, barks, howls and spoken word vocals bring this story to life. They seem to take a more direct storytelling approach this time and the soundtrack really is magnificent.

From the opening harpsichord the gothic tale of evil grips you just like those old movies spoken of earlier. Their symphonic black metal is the perfect vehicle and CoF are the masters of this theatrical approach. Setting the stage with the wildly bombastic "The Cult of Venus Aversa", the band takes you on a diabolical ride with Dani leading the way.

You can also say that this is the band's most melodic work yet also with songs like "Lilith Immaculate" leading the way. While they still melt your face there is sections that really could be almost called mainstream. Some of this is due to Dani's choice of Lucy Atkins as the voice of Lilith and her almost soothing style on this song.

Don't get me wrong, this is not a soft album by these guys. It is as brutal as ever but they manage to let the pendulum swing a little farther the other way this time. I think that by doing so they make the harsh side even more effective.

Cradle of Filth has been a band that is either loved or hated. This new disc is more of a bridge that should bring them a much wider audience. Current fans will eat it up and many who were on the other side of the fence will find much to enjoy here. The band has outdone themselves and Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa will eventually find its place as one of the truly great pieces of work in the genre.



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