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A perfect symphonic opus - 100%

TheSkrypter, April 13th, 2012

This album could very well be Volume 2 to an opus in which ‘Dark Faerytales in Phallustein’ would be Volume 1. Both albums deliver a superb intricacy of deepest darkened black metal atmospheres and gothic-like ambiences. ‘Dusk and her Embrace’ is perhaps an album that nobody except for Cradle of Filth could have ever dreamt possible. Why? Because they manage to mix two tendencies that the vast majority might consider impossible to unite: black metal and gothic ambiences. The fact is that they do it in a way that makes them shuttle this album out to the horrific satanic orb beyond the common human understanding.

Pease allow me to elaborate on that: each song presents a perfect performance from all quadrants of the musical assets hereby present in the making of this piece. Dani Filth’s voice is diverse beyond the range of any commoner, for he manages to shout incredibly high, at a pitch that might rip the vocal chords of anyone who dares imitate him. But then again, he can also reach many other tones, from the deep cavernous conversational, to the enraged thunderous grasp - I can find no better way to describe his amazing ability.

The keyboards assume a wide variety of sound, form the solo violin to the magnificent organ echoing through ancient manor parlors. They create a web of acoustic elements that will create a desolate and painful atmosphere surrounding the incredibly fast, precise and meticulous drumming of Nicholas Barker’s, even though he can also deliver some extraordinary accurate slow passages. The guitars are very dynamic, presenting some crushing riffs assuring to please any hardcore head banger, and altering those with melodic parts filled with sludgy and doomy sequences conveying such a sense of pain and misery that will make your heart weep. But don’t be fooled by my words, because the music never gets mellow or soft, these guys just keep on pounding you relentlessly. The bass is also extremely good, not always serving as a mere appendix to the guitars, but actually being capable of assuming an important role at fixing the flow of the song and giving them depth in terms of heavy sound. The female vocals are very pertinent; they never take on that angelical sound, so typical of many bands focused on sadness and desolation. Instead, female vocals on this album take on a devilish approach, conveying evil and presenting a “vampyric” satanic mood. The overall result is a very diverse album, sometimes symphonic, sometimes straight forward metal, but always extremely dense, thick and heavy.

The lyrics are among the richest in the entire metal discoraphy. Each song has an enormous text accompanying it; each text tells tales which circle around the idea that there is a race of demonic vampires which are evil in nature, satanic creatures whose main goal is to corrupt anything that is pure and good in nature, being it heavenly or earthly.

The atmosphere in this album picks up where Bram Stoker’s Dracula left things and carries them forth deeper into the frightening shadows where evil is alive and hungry. This album is a sort of black metal which has nothing to do with the Scandinavian cold and raw of the northern winter mountains; this is a sort of black metal richly embedded in the profound British gothic tradition of cold stone castles in the middle of dense impenetrable forests where the fog is eternal and evil spirits rampage freely…