whoa! I just got this album and the moment I put it in adrenaline rushed through my skull and went madly insane! I headbanged like crazy till I found my head on the floor rocking and body still moshing! Nymphetamine is Cradle’s freshest and most rocking! I think they just created a metal masterpiece! pick it up and play it in your church!
The 2 LP limited edition re-issue album was originally released in 2004. Roadrunner Records. 2005.
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Now it may say 4 stars which is great but I have alot of problems with this cd, I have been a die hard fan since 1999 and From 94-02 they released nothing but beautiful metal (no NOT black metal) then Damnation and A Day came out, and the story behind DAAD was great and Dani told it very well, to bad the actual music just wasn’t up to par with it. Then a few months prior to the release of Nymphetamine, Dani Filth said the next cof album would sound like DAAD meets Cruelty and The Beast. Being that Cruelty and The Beast is one of my favorite COF records, I had early high hopes. The day the album came out I bought it and listened to it one time through, I had early mixed feelings and a sense the album had Zero direction. It just seemed to have less emotion then on earlier cof work. I despise the new guitarist James wish they would bring Gian back he is in a completly different league then James. Hell most of the riffs sound like recycled riffs taken from other cof songs. The lyrics aren’t as good neither are Dani’s vocals he used to have balls when it came to his vocals. There is nothing ballsy about this record period. It is a good album though and still the best of the year, thats how good cof is. Now onto the single Nymphetamine Fix. It finishes what Mannequin started. Getting all the nu-metal kids into cof, its pathetic you can always tell when you are reading a review from a new cof fan because he jsut goes on about how great the songs are here, but has no comparrision, or analogy of it. I mean one reviewer said “All metal bands have some satanic element” Yeah well what about christian metal bands lke Zao and Norma Jean? THink before you speak kid. Another one bashes “True black metal fans” by not liking this. I can’t say this enough, well COF is nor has really ever been BM so really stop the comparrision of melodic gothic BM crap. If this cd was released by any other band I would have thought it great but I exspect more from my favorite band. The only person from COF to do well on this record is Adrian, I personal liked him more then Nicolas and I am glad to see he is still around. While Paul is an incredible guitarist he is held back by James way to much. The keyboards lack on this cd not because I feel they needed to be played more its just the time where the keyboards would kick in at the wrong time and lose any atmoshpere in the song. I mean look at songs like “Swansong For A Raven” the intro is beautiful the rest garbage, I mean this is the sequal song to “Her Ghost In The Fog” you need to be on your A game for that not just tossing together whatever garbage B-side riffs and lyrics you have somewhere around the studio. The only song that really showed some originality was “Coffin Fodder” and “Filthy Little Secret” the riffs show atleast some originality I also like the way how filthy little secret calmly and smoothly rides over into Swansong For a Raven (One of the fewe things I like about Swansong), “Gilded C*nt” is also decent but I mean prior to this release they made that song sound like it was the begin all end all of Metal.When in all honestly it is no where close. Yet, your average nu-metal fan will lvoe it for having a curse word in the name! I mean look at your average cof fan these past two years, cof is losing alot of credability not just by the lack of genius in there music since 03 but the fact, that every dumbass calling “Every metal band satanic” listening to it. Maybe it was because COF signed to there first major label in 03. I honestly don’t know.I just really hope they don’t continue this path because if they do in 5 years they will be washed up. This is not classic COF in any way or form, that is not an opinion that is a fact. I mean listen to Dusk and Her Embrace then this. Then I am sure you will have the same opinion. Then again no COF release is EVER the same, thats why I do have hope for COF in the future.
To me, this British black metal bunch reached their creative peak when they made “Damnation and a Day” in 2003. That album was a brilliant concept album that told a story about a war between Satan and God. Once you reach your creative peak, and it is impossible to out-do yourself, the most you can hope for is something that is equally as creative.
The philosophy behind 2004’s “Nymphetamine” is that it is “a lot easier to swallow than `Damnation and a Day.’” This is an album without a concept behind it; an album that you can listen to it without worrying about following a story or understanding the lyrics. “Damnation” sort of put a dividing line between fans (some thought it was “cheesy” and “boring”). So, making a follow-up album that is relatively simple and “easy to swallow” is a smart move, in my opinion.
That’s not to say that this album isn’t creative, because it is. It’s just not AS creative. For an example of “Nymphetamine”’s creativity, I suggest you proceed directly to the two title cuts. (These two tracks fuse melody and prettiness into the brutality and ugliness.)
But, aside from the lyrics, “Nymphetamine” isn’t very far removed from “DaaD.” It actually almost picks up where they left off in 2003. Both albums are full to the brim with opaque riffs, brutal blast beat drum patterns, and blood-curdling shrieks. Furthermore, like its predecessor, “Nymphetamine” has Satanic chants (what sounds like “eeyah, eeyah, ktulu, katagen”) and instrumental interludes. Therefore, I don’t see how anyone can call this album “a return to form.” Calling it that is sort of insulting “Damnation and a Day.” I mean, come on! It’s not like Cradle ventured into mainstream, nu-metal territory and are just now getting back to their brutal, black metal roots.
“Gilded C***” is a scorching opener. It sums up the album’s entire sound in one song (the fast, driving double bass and fast, dark, chugging riffs make this song fairly typical.) Some good drum work by Adrian here, but I suppose that’s not out of the ordinary, either.
“Absinthe with Faust” is a good speed/momentum gainer. It begins slowly with a piano, but Dani is wheezing and grasping for air by the end. The heavy guitar riffs (which chug and throb) help make this song a highlight.
“Nymphetamine (Overdose)” is the epic title track, and a personal favorite. The beginning and end of this song is just like any other Cradle of Filth song, but things get interesting at around the three-minute-mark. A piano (or something that sounds like a piano) makes an appearance, followed by harmonic female vocals. Then a deep, devilish sounding voice comes on, and the male and female voices take turns singing. The female vocals make this song pretty, but the devilish growl of the male voice makes this song equally ugly.
“Painting White Flowers” is a short but pretty instrumental which gives the listener a little bit of an oasis. But the band plunge back into brutal music on the very next track, “Medusa and Hemlock.” The power-chords combine perfectly with the rapid-fire drumming to create an explosive give-and-take onslaught
The beginning of “Filthy Little Secret” sort of sounds like a Nine Inch Nails song. The piano begins the song and remains throughout the beginning, even when the guitarists play machine gun riffs.
“Nymphetamine” is the type of album that I could recommend to any type of fan. Diehards should love it, obviously, but it is also a good place to start if you’re new to the band (because it’s not complex or confusing, like the concept albums-thus, this album shouldn’t be a huge shock to the first time listener.)
The bottom line you should know about “Nymphetamine” is that it isn’t as smart or creative as “Damnation and a Day”…but it isn’t supposed to be (Cradle of Filth didn’t try to out smart themselves with this album.) What they DID try to do (successfully) is make an easy to absorb, “what you see is what you get” album that pleases all of their fans and rocks as hard as anything they have ever done.
But what should this band do next? Since I believe they’ve already reached their creative peak, they could become one of those bands that simply recycle old albums. Or they could become a nu-metal band, or a band that turns into self-parody. If Cradle of Filth are a great band (not just a good band or an average band), they will evolve somehow (while still remaining true to their black metal roots). They should also set their standards high, and try to reach another creative peak (even if they try, but fail). It’s as the saying goes: “Aim for the sky. Even if you miss, you’ll be among the stars.”
As always Cradle of Filth puts out another perfectly produced album. Although I do have to say that Damnation In A Day is still number one to me. However the tittle track did get them a Grammy nod. In my oppinion this is what well written music deserves. As always, the album of the year seems to always go to some half-witt hip-hop or pop performer that couldn’t compose, much less speak a proper english sentence if their life depended on it.
*takes deep breath* Alright, people… You have made me peeved to the highest extent with all your complaining of “oh, CoF isn’t tr00 black metal, they ruined the name” or garbage such as “dani sounds like a little girl”. GET OVER IT!! I DON’T CARE!! If you have absolutely nothing worthwhile to say, don’t even say it. Constructive criticism is one thing, but childish bashing is the lowest form of reviewing you can go by. The last thing I want to read is some elitist saying, “cradle of crap suck, go listen to dark funeral or gorgoroth.” Listen. I consider myself a metalhead of all sorts. I like CoF, but I also happen to like Burzum, Darkthrone, Judas Iscariot, Mayhem, Leviathan, and many other BM bands. Heck, I even like power metal! I could just as easily listen to a band like Dimmu or CoF as I could Graveland, Krieg, or Xasthur. “Elitist” has become a tab for “narrow-minded parasite”. So to everyone that complains without reason, open your mind. Go listen to Ulver or Agalloch, it opens a whole new world to you… With that out of the way, on to the music!
Alright, I admit it. I was scared about CoF signing to Roadrunner, home to many nu-metal/metalcore bands, which formerly held mentionable death metal bands as well. (How the mighty have fallen, I suppose?) The metal community in general was left in skepticism and doubt after 2003’s bombastic “Damnation and a Day”, and this album was said to put the fellows in CoF back to their old formula of Maiden-like goth metal with tinges of dark romance. And it has, without a doubt. No symphonies or choirs to be found, but we now see the beloved twin guitars, gothic keys, and vampiric atmosphere known to old CoF releases. Dani’s lyrics mark a return to sexual bereavement and debauchery laced with vampirism and romance. His vocals this time around are more mid-pitched, much like the previous album.
The guitars… Wow, what can be said? Paul and James switch off twin harmonies beautifully on songs like “Absinthe with Faust”, the epic title track, and the “Dusk..”-esque “Swansong for a Raven”, but there are a lot of meaty riffs to be found, especially “Gilded C***” and “Filthy Little Secret”. A top-notch performance here.
The drums are pretty good, but I don’t think it’s the best Adrian can do. That’s not to say they’re bad, becuause the music speaks for itself most of the time. He gives battering double bass on “Nemesis”, and blasts away with ease on “Mother of Abominations”. His rhythms strongly compliment the guitars. Great performance, again.
1. Satyriasis- You would hear this and think it would be DaaD all over again? Maybe… but not quite. It sounds like it’s straight from a horror movie with its terrifying atmoshere, which busts into..
2. Gilded C***- This song pounds the listener like a round-set hammer with furious drumming, chugging guitars, and a powerful chorus before breaking into a Maiden-esque harmony, and the song retains its speedy feel and headbanging mood. A blistering opener. 5/5
3. Nemesis- Brilliant guitar harmonies here, and some great drumwork. The lyrics focus on revenge, and Dani describes his misnthropy beautifully. To me, this song has somewhat of a “mournful”, resentful mood to it. Great song, reminds me of “Cruelty..” in a lot of ways. 5/5
4. Gabrielle- The most “romantic” song on here, illustrated with its pizzacato strings, melodic guitars, and provocative lyrics. This song marks a return to the mood of earlier material, especially from 95-97. Though, this song isn’t very memorable, exception of the solos. 3.5/5
5. Absinthe with Faust- Starts off with haunting keys, accented by a breathtaking guitar melody. This is my favorite song on the album, and has some great guitar work, melding pefectly with the atmosphere of this song. 5/5
6. Nymphetamine (Overdose)- The epic title track sums up the whole album in a nutshell. Haunting keys, brilliant guitars… This song has it all. Another highlight on the album, featuring some great female vocals on the chorus. 5/5
7. Painting White Flowers Never Suited My Palette- Eh, I expected better out of a CoF instrumental. A but useless, really. 2/5
8. Medusa and Hemlock- This is probably the most accessible song on the album, using a verse-chorus structure. The guitars and drums meld together perfectly for a rapid-fire assault of tremolo picking and double bass. The keyboards don’t play a huge role here, except for the backing choir. This song would probabl be better if it wasn’t so predictable… 3/5
9. Coffin Fodder- Great bass work and drumwork here, and some amazing lyrics as well. The guitar melodies are really nice too. A typical song I’d say, nothing special but nothing bad. 4/5
10. English Fire- A slower song dominated by keyboards. Doesn’t really do anything for me, it seems a bit redundant for my liking… 2/5
11. Filthy Little Secret- The most varied song on the album. The punk influence shows through here with its “boppy” tempo and simple but effective guitars. Very catchy, really. The guitar solos are great too. 4/5
12. Swansong for a Raven- The beginning here reminds me of CoF’s earlier material, before busting into a piano-laden assault. The song speeds up and stays like that for a few passages before going back into a breakdown with mournful pianos and bleak guitars. This song is good, but goes on a bit too long. 3.5/5
13. Mother of Abominations- Starts off with some rather…erm… odd chanting… For some reason or another, this reminded me more of Mayhem or Dark Funeral than CoF. Definitely the most aggressive song on the album with its hyper-speed tempo, ominus vocals, and foreboding atmosphere. 4.5/5
14. Nymphetamine Fix- The stripped-down version of the title track, which is being seen often on Headbanger’s Ball and other shows. It’s alright, but I like the long version better. 4/5
Well, CoF are back to their old selves, like it or not. The goth metal masters have left another mark/stain on the metal community, and are back for more mischief. Definitely one of the best metal albums of 2004, highly reccommended to fans of CoF, old or new.