With a return to older form on “Godspeed On The Devil’s Thunder” it was only natural to hear that CRADLE OF FILTH would even go further in that direction on their latest Extreme Metal opus “Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa.” Thusly, if you are a fan of their initial Melodic Black Metal era, say “Midian” for example, then this latest album is going to be right up your ally.
Although there have been a few changes in the line up since even their previous record, “Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa” has a band that sounds as tight as ever in their focus and execution of the album. With its Symphonic Black Metal roots being brought back to the surface, the album ably brings CRADLE OF FILTH back to the era that made them what they are. Melodies of guitars, keys, and orchestral builds blend into blistering flurries of pounding rhythms of riffs, blast beats, and bass pounding. The band seems more willing to layer it down to levels upon levels of depth to give the album multiple listening value. Partnered with Dani Filth’s guttural gurgle/soaring shriek and the occasional female duet, then this is CRADLE OF FILTH doing what they do best.
Granted, with the band’s new focus on this older more intense style, they have forgone some of the great variety that they have been incorporating as of late even more so than their last record. This in turn makes for a more cohesive album, but a less diverse one that tends to stick to its guns a bit more. The one track that does stick out more than the rest is “Forgive Me Father (I Have Sinned),” which definitely has its own single-worthy sound in its catchy melodies; it also makes it one of the more memorable tracks.
With another stellar concept, this time about the story of Lilith, and its stylish and beastly execution, “Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa” comes across as one of the best CRADLE OF FILTH records to date. It may lack variety in its musical inclusions, but its chemistry and tight sound more than make up for it. “Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa” only further proves that this band is far more than Hot Topic fodder for youngsters.
Songs to check out: “One Foul Step From The Abyss,” “Lilith Immaculate,” “Forgive Me Father (I Have Sinned).”
(Online December 19, 2010)