I can’t say that this is my favorate Cradle of Filth release, but when you look at their other works and what this is up against (Dusk And Her Embrace, Cruelty And The Beast, Etc.), you can tell that I’m not insulting this release by any means. This is probably the closest to black metal Cradle has ever come, but that, of course, is up for debate. The fact of the matter is that this is a dark, grimey, and cold release. They were definately out to make a statement in their first release, and I believe they did just that.
The music is absolutely fantastic. Everyone plays their part well. The keyboards are probably the most evil sounding keyboards I have ever heard on any album. Organ effects are mostly used in combination with the fitting, shabby production, you have the some of the most evil, atmospheric songs ever assembled. Another thing that I believe should be mentioned is Robin’s bass work. As a bassist myself, I must say that Robin is a fantastic bassist. Listen to “The Forest Whispers My Name” for a good example of Robin’s bass work. The drumming, done by the infamous Nick Barker who already showcases great talent, even for such an early release. The guitars are great, you even get a few ripping solos here and there. Dani’s vocals are great. They are not quite as high pitched as you’ll find in later releases, actually, a lot of his vocals on this release are quite deep. His lyrics are as poetic as ever, so fans of Dani’s poetry will be fulfilled. Everyone does a great job.
All in all this is a great release for fans of dark music. I’m not going to call this black metal, like I said before, that is up for debate, at least for this particular release, but it is one evil ride.