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We've always known that CoF has been one of the most popular (but maybe not the most loved by die hard fans) black metal bands ever, and because of their new label we all knew it was going to be over produced, and while over-production may not suite some bands as Immortal and whatnot, CoF definately pulls it off.
CoF has always loved their gothic/vampyric lyrics, and Dani Filth is by far an above average writer when it comes to lyrics. But this album has some of their best lyrics, because in this album Dani couldn't make up his own stories he chose to expand on other people's story (namely Paradise Lost). The lyrics are apocalyptic, dark, epic, and above all...poetic, while still having his vampyric hints.
The track listing is almost perfect, with a mix between a romp through the Bible and Paradise Lost, the track listing is nearly perfect. The album starts, and ends, with the cryptic words "And Darkness Was Upon The Face Of The Deep".
The instruments are much more melodic, and focus more on power then sheer speed or technicality. Every song uses a live recorded orchestra and a live choir, and it really adds to the atmosphere that CoF has always been looking for. Dark, melodic, beautiful, and ugly all at the same time. The drums focus on sheer power, and it's needed with all the over dubbing the band does with it's instruments. The guitars are some of the most powerful instruments I've ever heard. They aren't heavy, they're just powerful. Paul Allender at his best, it's almost like he tried to be apart of the orchestra with his instrument.
This abum was Dani Filth at his best, between his low gutteral growl and his high shriek, he is a more extreme version of King Diamond. But sadly this was his last album with this much vocal talent, as his high shriek became less powerful, and his low growl had to try and take it's place.
If you're not all about speed and you like other types of softer music, as well as heavy metal, I suggest you give this one a listen at least once through.