“Thornography” by Cradle Of Filth

Artist: Cradle Of Filth
Title: “Thornography”
Label: Roadrunner Records
Release Date: 10/17/2006
Genre: Symphonic Black/Gothic Metal
Rating: 4/5

One definitely has to give Cradle Of Filth a lot of credit for doing things the way they do and leave it to them to once again prove why they are continually going to be impossible to classify under one specific genre label. Over the course of the bands fifteen year existence they had been one of the most theatrical groups of them all and they were also among the earliest to blend the Symphonic angle into Extreme Black Metal music. It was the elements in this brand of music along with the over the top dramatics of lead singer Dani Filth that led this band to success and to become as much of a force of nature as they were a musical group. It seemed as though with Cradle Of Filth that the only constant was change and on their second release on Roadrunner Records the fans will find this definitely to be the case once again. “Thornography” is an album that might come as a surprise to the die hard fans given the fact that it is moving further away from the style they first blasted on to the scene with. Yet by the same token this release might also gain some fans based on its use of a more Gothic essence and the heavy leaning on traditional Thrash Metal vibes. “Thornography” is a recording that will allow you to redefine your perspective of COF and it’s a great follow up to “Nymphetamine”. If you had to compare the two you will find an equal part of solid and memorable songs and perhaps you will even agree that the new release is the best that the band has ever delivered to the fans. Tracks like “Tonight In Flames” will have you raging with horns raised to the sky while “I Am The Thorn” reflects in the style of the bands in Metal’s illustrious past.

This feel shows that COF is not as far from the influences of so many as one might think. As in the past so the future as guests appear once again on the new record. We have Sara Jezebel Deva (who is also fronting her own group Angtoria) on one number, while HIM’s Ville Vallo makes his mark with “Byonic Man”. I had to admit that I never expected these two singers to work together but it is a great follow up to his working with Liv Krull from Leaves’ Eyes on Nymphetamine. These guest stars add to the level of the albums appeal and potentially spark added interest from those fans who want to follow what other musical adventures that their favorite performers are involved in.

The continued change in overall style from blistering shrieking Black Metal to a more sedate and eerie Gothic Heavy Metal make it have moments that some might find as a little bit of selling out based on the songs tempo. However, the music is still incredibly strong from start to finish and the inclusion of an instrumental like “Rise Of The Pentagram” shows just how good these guys can play. Metal fans can thank them for these changes for as a result the world has received what appears to be the most accessible COF album of all. I was one of those who did not enjoy them early on, and admit to being a very latecomer to what they are about yet despite my initial misgivings I love this release. This is a perfect jumping on point if you are not already with them.

Track Listing:
1. Under Pregnant Skies She Comes Alive Like Miss Leviathan
2. Dirge Inferno
3. Tonight In Flames
4. Libertina Grimm
5. The Byonic Man
6. I Am The Thorn
7. Cemetary And Sundown
8. Lovesick For Mina
9. The Foetus Of A New Day Kicking
10. Rise Of The Pentagram
11. Under Huntress Moon
12. Temptation

Official Website: www.cradleoffilth.com

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