"It sounds horrible, but it's really quite beautiful!"
Cradle of Filth is a metal band from Suffolk, England. They got their start in 1991, releasing three demos and a rehearsal tape, and completing one album, Goetia
, on Tombstone Records, which had its tapes wiped when the label went out of business. Eventually, they signed to Cacaphonous and released their debut album, The Principle of Evil Made Flesh
, in 1994. They have signed to several other labels since then, most recently with Peaceville (signing in 2010). All of this has happened among rapid and frequent line-up changes
, with lead singer Dani Filth being the only consistent member.
The band is probably best known for black metal fans decrying them as sellouts - the main reasons being abandoning black metal in order to move on to other metal genres, changing to a more commercial image, signing to mainstream labels (they even signed to Sony for one album), and courting mainstream publicity (hardcore black metal fans tend to frown on all of these). They still have a big fanbase, though, and, according to Metal Hammer
, they're the most successful British metal band since Iron Maiden
- Dani Filth: Lead vocals (1991-present)
- Paul Allender: Lead guitar (1992-1996, 2000-present)
- Dave Pybus: Bass guitar (2002-present)
- James McIlroy: Guitar (2003-2005, 2010-present)
- Martin Skaroupka: Drums (2006-present)
- Ashley Ellyllon: Keyboards, backing vocals (2009-present)
- Invoking the Unclean (demo, 1992)
- Orgaistic Pleasures Foul (demo, 1992)
- Total Fucking Darkness (demo, 1993)
- The Principle of Evil Made Flesh (studio album, 1994)
- Vempire or Dark Fairytales in Phallustein (EP, 1996)
- Dusk... and Her Embrace (studio album, 1996)
- Cruelty and the Beast (studio album, 1998)
- From the Cradle to Enslave (EP, 2000)
- Midian (studio album, 2000)
- Bitter Suites to Succubi (EP, 2001)
- Live Bait for the Dead (live album, 2002)
- Lovecraft and Witch Hearts (compilation, 2002)
- Damnation and a Day (studio album, 2003)
- Nymphetamine (studio album, 2004)
- Thornography (studio album, 2006)
- Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder (studio album, 2008)
- Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa (studio album, 2010)
- Evermore Darkly (compilation, 2011)
- The Manticore And Other Horrors (studio album, 2012)
Tropes associated with the band include:
- Author Appeal: Dani is a big fan of vampires, and also seems to be fascinated by good people going bad.
- Blood Bath: The concept album Cruelty And The Beast is about the Trope Maker, Elizabeth Bathory. The album cover depicts her in a bathtub filled with blood.
- Call Back: "Her Ghost in the Fog":
She was divinity's creature that kissed in cold mirrors
- "Creatures That Kissed in Cold Mirrors" is the name of the previous song on the album.
- Concept Album: All of their releases from Dusk... and Her Embrace through Damnation and a Day have been loose concept albums, based on the writings of Sheridan Le Fanu (Dusk... and Her Embrace), notorious mass murderer Countess Elisabeth Bathory (Cruelty and the Beast), Clive Barker's novel Cabal (Midian) and John Milton's Paradise Lost (Damnation and a Day). Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder is based on the life of French nobleman Gilles de Rais, a comrade-in-arms of Joan Of Arc and later a notorious serial killer of children, who is also thought to have been the inspiration for the fairy tale "Bluebeard". Their most recent album, Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa, focuses on Lilith, the first wife of Adam in the Hebrew scriptures.
- Epic Instrumental Opener: Most of their albums begin with dark, epic-sounding orchestration.
- Epic Rocking: Quite a lot, but especially "A Gothic Romance", "Bathory Aria", "Midnight Shadows Crawl To Darken Counsel with Life" and "Darkness Incarnate"
- I Am the Band: Dani Filth. The band's had almost twenty members in as many years.
- Long Title: "Painting Flowers White Never Suited My Palette", "In Grandeur and Frankincense Devilment Stirs", "Under Midnight Skies She Comes Alive Like Miss Leviathan", "Midnight Shadows Crawl to Darken Counsel with Life".
- The Lost Lenore: Arguably the band's favourite romance trope.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: Despite Dani Filth's blood-drenched, vampiric persona, he's actually very polite and soft-spoken.
- He also has a cute daughter he loves.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Started out as a high 9/low 10, later shifting towards a low 9/high 8.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Just what metal genre are Cradle of Filth, anyway? Guitarist Paul Allender has publicly rejected the "black metal" label, instead calling them "extreme metal."
- New Sound Album: Every album has a subtle shift in sound, but the main ones have been The Principle of Evil Made Flesh (yes, their first album), when the band started to shift from "true" black metal towards gothic metal; Cruelty and the Beast, where pretty much all black metal elements were thrown out for a more general "extreme metal" sound; Damnation and a Day, which had more focus on symphonic metal elements; and Nymphetamine, which introduced a softer sound and more focus on melody. Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder was similar, but slightly less keyboard-heavy.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Many, if not all of the lyrics; Dani is a literature and poetry lover, and it shows.
- Soprano and Gravel: Dani is frequently accompanied by female backing singers, most notably Sara Jezebel Deva.
- Stage Names: Dani Filth, Sara Jezebel Deva.