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I'll start with saying that Cradle of Filth went a little overboard with this album by putting in 17 tracks, 5 of which are interlude. You know if you have that many tracks it can't all be good, and it isn't.
I'll start off with the good aspects of this album. First one is the track "Hurt and Virtue". This one has some pretty decent riffs and some memorable melodies as well as some great riffs to start of Carrion. For a second you may even think that you are listening to real metal and not some silly ass band. "Presents of the Poison-Hearted" is another great track although we could have done without the "AHHH", "HHHAAAHH" etc. effects in the beginning. This one of the little problems with this album. It is a great example of overproduction. "Mannequin" is also a decent song with some memorable melodies although once again it reeks of overproduction. The rest of the tracks might have some decent riffs/melodies, but they just don't stand up. And the interludes just do nothing, they are boring. If they cut the interludes to one or two it would be fine but 5 is overdoing it.
Some more problems besides the overproduction and too many interludes is the damn drumming. It gets on your nerves in a matter of minutes. The constant same "tick...tick...tick" drumming style. It is bland and boring and has an annoying noise. You know, you could vary your drumming...
Another thing is that sometimes Dani's ear-piercing shrieks just go over the top. Makes me just want to cut my ears off. It is just horrid sometimes. And in the second track, "The Promise of Fever" they just go way over the top by giving us 20 seconds of just the same damn shrieking organs or whatever getting louder and louder. I felt like just crumbling my CD player to seconds...you should avoid piercing sounds like that like the plague. Its not that bad for the first 10 seconds but as it gets louder and louder it just kills you. God I've never heard a more horrid sound in my life before. I'd rather listen to someone scratching their nails on a blackboard than that. God.
It kind of hurts me to give such a low grade when there are actually some decent pieces on this album, but I can't knowing also how much crapola is in here. If you cut it down to 10 tracks and kept the good stuff you'd have a pretty decent album, but not with 17. This is definately one of Cradle's worst. Avoid it!