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Truly A Masterpiece - 98%

Draconist, September 29th, 2003

Cradle Of Filth's third release denoted the end of the band's involvement with Cacophonous Records and the new contract with Music For Nations. In addition to this the band experienced a massive line-up change. Guitarists Paul Allender and Paul Ryan, together with keyboardist Benjamin Ryan walked out of the band. The replacement consisted of Stuart Anstis and Gian Piras on guitars and Damien Gregori on keyboards. An interesting fact about 'Dusk And Her Embrace' is that it was originally recorded in January 1995 with the now ex-members of the band. Disappointed with the current effort, it was decided to re-work the original recording.

'Dusk And Her Embrace' is the ultimate black metal album. The atmosphere is stunningly eerie created by synth based instrumentals and song intros. It could be described as a majestic masterpiece, rich in quality songs and a cinematic feeling. Dani's romantically evocative lyrics are yet a further asset to this release. Music-wise, the album is a combination of melodic delicacy as in 'Malice Through the Looking Glass' and ruthless aggression like 'Heaven Torn Asunder'. They're still good at epic-songs, this element present in 'A Gothic Romance (Red Roses for the Devil's Whore). Powerful atmospheric synths reign supreme throughout the whole album and it is obvious that it is an extremely polished and solid performance from professional individuals.

Overall, I believe this is one of their best releases to date striking the right balance between fast and slower tracks, breathtaking drumming, skilful guitars and extreme vocals making 'Dusk And Her Embrace' so special.

Standout tracks:- 'Heaven Torn Asunder', 'Funeral in Carpathia', 'A Gothic Romance (Red Roses..)', 'Malic Through the Looking Glass', 'Dusk and Her Embrace'.