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Cradle have come under much criticism lately, Thornography was shunned due to lack of gothic melodies and an increased focus on the guitar work, while Nymphetamine was the opposite. Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder thankfully is a mixture of both, it showcases Paul Allender's amazing guitar work (see Tragic Kingdom) and grandoise gothic melodies (The Death of Love).
Lyrically Cradle go back to the winning formula of concept albums based on serial killers, this time the topic is that of Gilles de Rais, a French nobleman, warrior and one time lover of Joan of Arch. Dani Filth as ever brings his dark poetry to the table with the intent of spewing forth a story of woe, death, murder and the occult. Not only are Dani's lyrics up to scratch but he also gives the vocal performance of a lifetime, from low death grunts to King Diamond-esque shrieks placing him as one of extreme metal's finest vocalists ever.
Godspeed also shows a return to the heavy for Cradle that they have lacked recently, new stickman Martin "Marthus" Škaroupka in my opinion is the greatest drummer Cradle have ever had, the evidence is clear, from opening salvo of the brilliantly titled "Shat Out of Hell" to the blasting of the title track, Cradle have compiled a set of songs heavier than they have ever done, a complete album all in all. In other words the ultimate metal package.
It is then my hope that people will stop holding onto the fact Cradle are not black metal and just enjoy this purely excellent slab of extreme metal for what it is.
Recommended tracks; Shat Out of Hell, The Death of Love, Tragic Kingdom and Midnight Shadows Crawl to Darken Counsel with Life, although the whole album is excellent these tracks really stood out more than others.