For those of you unfamiliar with Cradle of filth, CoF is usually left as in a mixed genre,but quickly came to pass as a black metal band.For many of us,this is vastly untrue,at least soundwise.Lyically and vocally Cradle has some of the darkest material to offer,and hopefully falls right into your alley. This album is no different.Centering on the story of Elizabeth(Erzsebet) Bathory,a 16th century countess of Hungary.She embarked on a nefarious endevour to get every last drop of virgin blood she could find.In the end, killing over 600 young virgin women.This album takes the story and puts it into a wild opera that will leave you craving for more.-First,is the instrumental track “Once Upon Atrocity”.While soft,this track does not compromise its brooding evil,full of brass,strings,and a bit of a choir to get the full effect across.THe track slowly leads into the 1st song of the cd,”Thirteen Autumns and A Widow.” This song makes a wonderful mix of everything in it.While,for the most part,keeping a medium pace.Everything in this piece fits perfectly into place,while maintaining a feel of surprise with every change.-Onto the 3rd work of this album,”Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids”,A high piece in Cruelty’s perspective,making light of Bathory’s prime.This is powerful track,once again revealing Cradle’s time and effort put into each and every song on this album.Next, is”Beneath the Howling Stars”,an exquisite track proving Dani’s lyrical genius again and again.Followed by the instrumental “Venus In Fear” where Les,or Lecter,puts the spotlight on his amazing musical talent,not to mention a few “orgasmic” efects to go along.-6th is the track “Desire in Violent Overture.”one of the shorter pieces on cruelty,this song makes no stops along the way,dominated by Guitar and a few keyboard effects to compliment,this song isn’t hadicapped by the 4:16 minute time.”The Twisted Nails of Faith”,a wonderous tale starting with a great keyboard intro,this song goes through all the stops with very nice transitions;to compare the beginning and and of this song would be night and day.8th is “Bathory Aira” ,a work of musical and lyrical art.A true aria this is,comprised of three parts endindg in insanity and the death of the countess.This Track is my Favorite for its wonderful soundscapes and obvious articulation as a piece of art.”Portrait of the Dead Countess”,another instrumental,about the sorrow of the Death of the countess Bathory.-Finally, is “Lustmord and Wargasm:THe lick of Carniverous Winds.”the vocal expression of the countess’s passing.THis track,to me,seemed very passive;creating a wonderful blur of emotions to leave you in awe.The only bad thing I can say about this album is the quality of the drums,sounding like playtoys in a crowded kitchen.While not to say the drums weren’t fantastic,Nick Barker does a wonderful job on this album,which was also his last Cradle cd.In all this album is the best cradle has to offer,from passage to passage you’ll never grow bored of this cd.Plus,there’s a bonus cd with great covers of Cradle’s own inspiration.Absolutley worth the Money.
Limited Edition Japanese pressing of this album comes housed in a miniature LP sleeve. 2007.
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I’m a pretty big Cradle of Filth fan and I must say this is their best album.
It blends the pure metal agression of Midian with the classic CoF sound of Dusk and Her Embrace.
If you are new to Cradle of Filth get this album.
Cradle’s best work without a doubt. This is a masterpiece to the fullest. Just buy it and listen, you will be blown away!
If you’re bored of today’s American “metal” movement, I strongly reccomend this album! I guarantee it will be a breathe of fresh air! Although this band does not stay true to pure black metal (though most people label them that), this CD is without a doubt one of the best of 1999! This is Cradle of Filth at their very best! However, if you’re looking for 1000 mph soloing free for alls, you won’t get it from CoF. This band has plenty of method behind the madness. Any guitarist who appreciates teamwork, will appreciate the way Stuart and Gian play off of each other instead of fight each other for solos. Their guitar work is often reminiscent of those classic Iron Maiden harmonized riffs! Real guitar fans surely will not be dissapointed. And needless to say, the drums are insane on this album! It might take a while for you to get used to it, but after you get used to those neck-breaking beat changes, they will grow on you faster than a beastiophile runs for a Petting Zoo. The only thing that could turn some listeners off is Dani Filth’s vocals. At first, his screeching might come off as just plain annoying, but after a while, his voice begins to fit the music. At times he sounds like a demonically possessed madman (low-bellowing growl), and other times he captures the sounds of a demon emerging from the fiery pits of Hell (demonic shrieking). Nonetheless, this guy’s voice will grow on you, no doubt. And contrary to what some people think, no struggling is needed to get accustomed to this album; just an open mind. If your new to Cradle, I strongly suggest this album first! And as for Cradle fans, this album without a doubt surpasses “Dusk…And Her Embrace”. I feel that they took the basic idea of “Dusk” and took it to a brilliantly brutal level! I can’t even begin to name my favorite tracks on this album; the whole album is epic. Songs like, “Bathory Aria”, and “Beneath The Howling Stars” contain some truly melodic parts in them, while songs like “Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids” and “The Twisted Nails of Faith” just plain rock! So if your looking for a huge breathe of fresh air, and a band that combines raw emotion, beauty, and unsettling melodies,and yet is still very much capable of bashing your head in, check out this CD and there’s no way in hell you’ll be dissapointed!
While not as Heavy as “dusk and her embrace” or as fast as “the principle of evil made flesh” this is some of the most beautiful music i have ever listened to in my opinion. “cruelty and the beast” tells the story of a one Elizebeth Bathory from the 1600’s ( I apoligize if that isnt the exact time) Whom had a liking for virgin blood. It follows her from her Rise to her demise. Through Dani’s lyrics the story is wonderfully told. This is an album, where I can find something special about every track. I feel they really had a goal to set for themselves as a band when they recorded this album and I believe they reached it. Now I hear many whom aren’t fans of cof complain about the style of dani filth’s vocals, are they a little odd and unique? Yes. Now onto my thoughts on the tracks. I will not explain the concept of the album because chances are you already know it. So i will just give my personal opinions. Once upon atrocity – 4/5 I really believe cof trys there best with there short insturmentals and they are usually worth a few listens Thirteen autumns and A widow – 10/5 The 1st song I heard when I bought this album it truly blew me away. Cruelty Brought thee orchids 5/5 Definetly a fan favorite and for good reason I love dani’s style of vocals in this song. Beneath the howling star – 6/5 A beautiful song I love Sara’s (backing female vocals) In this song Veuns in fear – 3/5 Probably the only cof insturmental I have not been able to get into. Desire in violent overture – 5/5 Another incredible song I lvoe the guitar in this one, it goes from a heavy solo and it becomes more melodic throughout the song. The twisted nails of faith – 5/5 I love the lyrics in this one has a very eerie violin intro. Bathory Aria – 20/5 Truly an epic if forced to pick a favorite song on this album it would be this song. Clocking in at over 11 minutes its truly beautiful and a masterpiece. Portrait of the dead countess – 4/5 A good insturmental sets the mood for the final song. Lustmord and wargasm( the lick of carnivorous winds) – 6/5 Incredible song beautiful intro. The final chapter in the incredible story that is “cruelty and the beast” DISC 2 ( BONUS CD) Now, onto the bonus cd. (NOTE: none of the these songs are involved with the story, unless you count the redone version of Lustmord and wargasm) Lustmord and Wargasm ( therelicking of cadaverous wounds) – 6/5 As good as the origional. Nothing to say about this that I haven’t already said. Black Metal – 4/5 A good cover song Dani definetly did well here vocal wise. Hallowed be thy name – 20/5 Incredible iron maiden cover. Just incredible possiblly the best cover song I have ever heard. Sodomy and lust 4/5 A good Metal song not much else to say. Twisting further nails – 3/5 a DECENT remix of the twisted nails of faith. Seems to techno at points to be cof worth a listen though. In conclusion a beautiful album you will need to hear for yourself. Enjoy.