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Cradle of Filth is not a band well known for subtlety. The essence of their music has always been overblown theatrics and grandiloquence, sweeping tales of historic depravity, violence and debauchery.
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At the very heart of Existence is Futile, the British metal veterans’ latest sprawling, spiralling epic, is the track that completely lays bare all the themes and pretensions of this new opus.
Discourse Between a Man and His Soul adds a new dimension Cradle has never quite explored before – pathos. For a band whose stock in trade is shock-and-awe bombast, it’s a riveting move as they peel back the layers of symphonics and speed, a genuinely moving moment where they delve into the very core of existential dread. This is a true stand out on an album that promises more than it delivers. Cradle Of Filth has made much of their idea to bring a more organic, live feel to this album but overall Existence is Futile follows the formula honed over the last few releases – howling ferocity, elaborate arrangements filled out with symphonics and keening female vocals, rapacious speed and Dani Filth’s multifarious vocal histrionics.
For a band whose stock in trade is shock-and-awe bombast, it’s a riveting move as they peel back the layers of symphonics and speed, a genuinely moving moment where they delve into the very core of existential dread.
Existential Terror strips back the sound but the flounce and flamboyance returns with Necromantic Fantasies only for Crawling King Chaos to tear it away again; Black Smoke Curling From the Lips of War is perhaps one of the heaviest songs Cradle Of Filth has ever done, the change of pace setting up the transition into Discourse … marvellously. The second half of the album is much like the first, with Suffer Our Dominion being the stand-out here as they add a well-placed narration about climate change, and Us, Dark, Invincible offers a ray of light at the end.
STANDOUT TRACKS: A Discourse Between a Man and His Soul, Black Smoke Curling From the Lips of War, Suffer Our Dominion
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Dimmu Borgir, Old Man’s Child, Devilment