Ryan Murray | Co-Owner | Chief Editor | Contributor
Needing no introduction, extreme metal icons Cradle of Filth are set to release their first live performance in over 20 years, and it’s exactly what fans have been waiting for, and more! “Trouble And Their Double Lives”, releasing Friday, April 28th via the band’s new label Napalm Records, has all of the hair-singeing musical excretions you’d expect from Cradle of Filth. With intense energy, Dani’s signature guttural growls and banshee-like screams, incredible guitars, heart-pounding drums, keys and incredible orchestrations, this live album is going to punch you in the gut and rattle your insides, but don’t worry – you’ll come back for more.
I’ve been listening to Cradle of Filth since 2001, but had fallen away from them after the “Thornography” album. However, with the release of “Cryptoriana: The Seductiveness of Decay” in 2017, I picked up right where I had left off. For me, their music has always been really well written, but something felt missing for me during those off years. Since 2017, there has been a renewed energy for me personally, with a more modern edge and mix, but with the older sound of CoF that had enticed me in the beginning, just with a more modern and big production.
Having been recorded from different locations between 2014 and 2019 during their Cryptoriana World Tour, this live album contains a blistering 16 live track offering, including two new studio tracks. Just like millions of fans, I myself have been patiently awaiting the follow up to 2021’s “Existence Is Futile”, the band’s final album with Nuclear Blast before signing with Napalm Records, which for me was one of their best works in a long time. “She Is A Fire”, the first new studio track released for this latest live album is an incredible example of the band’s current trajectory, lighting a path through the band’s deepest bowels for their new home at Napalm. Everything from Dani’s vocals, perfectly added keys by Zoë Federoff, incredible leads, and heart-racing energy show why this latest era of Cradle of Filth is probably the best the band has ever sounded. Just when you think Dani would have nothing left to offer because of all of the intense screaming he’s done over 30+ years, he continues to surprise time and again with some of the best and strongest screams in metal in history.
The band also has added a second brand new studio offering entitled “Demon Prince Regent”, which is yet another filthy example of the band being in their strongest season yet. Starting off a bit more down-tempo with an almost sludge-like intro, this track hears Dani’s low, almost grumbling like vocals before all of the spewing hits the fan. Yet again, another intense vocal performance shows Dani’s vocals being at a peak, and instead of getting weaker over time, his vocals are stronger than ever. With a bigger sound and a more modern production, Cradle of Filth can again be seen going back to their roots, yet the guitars are stronger than ever with an almost progressive metal feel to them at times, with incredible leads and fire-breathing riffs. With dramatic symphonic elements as well, this track is layered incredibly well. This track gives off vibes of “Suicide And Other Comforts” off of their “Bitter Suites to Succubi” EP. “Demon Prince Regent” is set to be another fiery classic that will more than likely make itself onto their live setlist for the foreseeable future.
The live tracks are not all from one concert, but with Filth’s repartee between songs, you can’t even tell. It’s both expected and welcomed, and in his own filthy way, gets the crowds louder and louder.
With an incredible spread of tracks such as “Born In A Burial Gown” (which has always been a personal favorite), “Honey and Sulphur”, “The Promise of Fever”, “Nymphetamine (Fix), and closing this large musical excretion with “You Will Know The Lion By His Claw”, this album was well worth the 20+ year wait. While “Live Bait For The Dead”, the live album that was released in 2002, had a great sound with great tracks and great musicians, for me, the band’s current lineup is their strongest to date. Lindsay Schoolcraft was of course on live keys and female vocals on these live tracks, whose voice always sounded incredible with Dani. This new live album perfectly encapsulates the band’s fresh energy and the musical direction that’s being taken.
Produced, mixed and mastered by the talented Scott Atkins, and recording captures by Danny B., this album couldn’t be anymore well balanced if it tried to be. With some live albums, sometimes the mix kind of middles certain parts out, but that’s not the case here. Each part can be heard with absolute precision, and not one part outweighs the other.
As we patiently await Cradle of Filth’s new full-length studio album, the two new studio tracks and the incredible live sound heard on this live album, we can rest assured that the band isn’t going anywhere, but in fact may be ready to unleash their best work ever. I look forward to seeing the growth this next chapter will bring!
If you haven’t already, be sure to pre-order “Trouble And Their Double Lives” HERE!
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