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Beauty and the Beast - 95%

loinclarm, June 15th, 2004

The name of this album is Cruelty and the Beast, but actually, it just depicted half of its content. In my opinion, the most appropriate way to describe this one should be Beauty and the Beast.

Because in this album, cradle of filth had continued its style of pretty gothic black metal, which mixes lots of elements from other kinds of music, and makes the song itself sounds kaleidoscopic. Dani Filth¡¯s voice is adapted to the melodic song structure and many female voices that are used in this album. Actually, this one has many samplings of female sound, nearly making it a little over-polished. But you must admit, it matches their style very well. It does not sound like something of plethora, but becomes an important part of this album. With all of this samplings, beside the cruel black metal music, this album gains some erotic atmosphere, which is the most remarkable feature that cradle of filth had brought to the musical kind of black metal.

Compared to their earlier album, dusk and her embrace, this album became more fair-sounding and popular, and in some extent lost some essential spirit of black metal. The music can be accepted by much more people than some earlier black metal, and gives cradle of filth a success in commercialization. But, this is not the point we concern most, what we take care is the quality of the album itself.