Cradle of Filth are great. Too great, I guess, as people in recent times seem to condemn them, saying things like, “Their not TRUE Black Metal,” and other such rubbish. That’s fine, if high production value and amazing musicianship lowers a band in the public eye, then its no wonder the public is busy listening to worthless radio-friendly electro-pop with bottom-of-the-barrel “entertainers” with good stylists and expensive dance teachers. But if you try to say Cradle are “commercial,” you need to get your head checked. Their stance on Christianity alone should eliminate that from anyone’s mind, but the music is even further proof.
So, on to the point at hand; Damnation and a Day. A concept album. The black sheep, as it were, of the music business. Usually reserved for prog bands(that being, more overly talented musicians not getting their due, much like Cradle) and few others. But Dani Filth’s lyrics, aided by a band of more than capable musicians (the guitarist, Paul, and Adrian the drummer being two true stand-outs in musical talent) are more than up for the task. The use of electronic elements is tasteful (an odd word to use to describe these guys, but somehow fitting) and they incorporate a few interesting and fitting samples. All together, a very enjoyable listen musically, further enhanced by the vocal workings of the demon-possessed Filth, and unbelievable range of background vocalist Sarah Jezabel Deva.
Lyrically, Damnation and a Day is written like a masterpiece novel, a powerful tale of the TRUE ‘original rebel,’ Lucifer, cast out of Heaven for displaying emotion against God’s will. Broken up into 4 ‘acts,’ the story take us from the fall from God’s grace, to Lucifer’s temptation of Man (complete with historical and other biblical references) to his eventual position of ruler of Hell, all the while the Earth above falling to the evil nature of Man Lucifer manifested. The sheer AMOUNT of lyrics alone make this album a great READ, as I myself have spent a few hours reading over and over just the lyrics, amazed at Mr. Filth’s ability to memorize these short stories to be performed night after night in a concert setting. Just another testament to the talent and passion possessed by the band.
I don’t believe in Heaven or Hell or any other divine idea of the Christian myths, but I still find Lucifer to be one of the most intriguing and strangely endearing characters in the history of the written word. If the Bible has given us one good thing, it’s been all the things revolving around this character. To be predestined to be without feeling or emotion, and condemned for displaying the traits of “God’s Children,” Lucifer is a misundertood anti-hero, a paragon of the nature of humanity, and that nature is NOT pretty or refined, it is bestial and self-serving. He is removed from Heaven for finding love, further proving my theory of “God” as a jealous, child-like deity, one not worth worship, but as an example of how NOT to be. This album by Cradle of Filth is by and far, one of the most brilliant CD’s in my collection, and something I believe everyone with an interest in any kind of metal should give a listen to.