Thornography – Cradle of Filth


2006 – Roadrunner

Extreme Metal/ Death Metal

thornography

Now, I don’t normally listen to a whole lot of metal, but at some point I seem to have picked myself up a copy of British band Cradle Of Filth’s seventh studio album Thornography, and I’ve got to say that I was really quite impressed.

The record opens up with a sweeping orchestral movement with all the trappings of Gothic decadence and, in all honesty, at that point I thought that I was going to be in for an incredibly predictable and bland experience, but when the dark medieval cliché ended and Dirge Inferno came thrashing onto the scene I actually started getting quite into it. The drums pound like a bat out of hell and the guitars provide a nice mixture of gruelling crunch and well executed melody, but, for me, the real highlight here were the vocals from singer Dani Filth.

The lyrics on this album are not so much sung as screamed at the listener with the intensity of an erupting volcano, and I understand that many people might find this incredibly irritating (myself usually included), but on Thornography I found myself appreciating Filth’s vocal talents more and more as the thing progressed. Perhaps the main attraction is the fact that, unlike many other death/black metal bands, Filth’s voice is not just a monotonous belch of evil, but rather he shifts (sometimes with unanticipated swiftness) from a guttural growl to a piercing banshee shriek and then to a mid-ranged (almost melodic) singing style a-la the rasp of Alice Cooper.

Dani Filth’s surprisingly good vocals are not the only thing that makes this record so enjoyable, however. The musical composition and construction throughout the record really is flawless, and at no point did I find myself sitting there trying to figure out if music was playing or if my CD player had just decided to play white noise at me.

There is a certain orchestral quality to much of the music with its resonant and booming sound, but there is also a healthy dose of speed and thrash which livens up what could have been a rather oppressive and boring record. Another thing that made Thornography stand out to my was the fact that the band, on occasion, casts off the heavy trappings of ‘serious’ metal and indulge themselves in a much rawer and accessible style of playing. The glorious chorus on Tonight In Flames, for example, just plays through like a stadium rock anthem inviting the listener to hold their lighter in the air and shout along and be part of the whole experience, and the final track, a cover of Heaven 17’s Temptation, is just so raucously good natured that o€ne is able to shed the heavy weight of the band’s hardcore gothic cloaking and just have some good old fashioned fun.

Despite all this praise the record does have a tendency to rehash itself and become a tad tedious in parts with almost all of the tracks running in excess of five minutes, and, really, when you’ve heard one track with a double kick-drum being played at seven-thousand beats per minute you’ve heard them all. I mean, while there are some great moments on here, there’s just not really enough killer riffs or shout along choruses to sustain interest for an entire album.

In summation I would say that Thornography really is a worthwhile record even for those not normally large fans of the metal genre. I believe there is enough good stuff on here to engage the hardened metal-heads and also to pique the interest of those not that well acquainted with the darker things in life. All the same, it doesn’t quite reach the heights of expression that music is capable of and there are a few points where it doesn’t quite stack up.

RATING: ***/5

One of the stand-out tracks from the album ‘Thornography’

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One thought on “Thornography – Cradle of Filth

  1. Pingback: Tonight In Flames – Cradle Of Filth | Lachlan J. Faces The Music

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