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When I saw that this album came out, I thought "oh no, are these guys still at it...".
It is easy for anyone to let prejudice get in the way of how they view something. Try and let it go and give this album a listen to a few times around - whether you love this band or hate this band. I myself used to love this band for albums such as 'Dusk... and Her Embrace' and 'Cruelty and the Beast'. I did not hate all later albums; I appreciated them for what they were and not for what they were not. To be honest, listening to Cradle of Filth became a guilty pleasure, because it was embarassing to see the Cradle praised so highly by every moron in a goth dress-code. I wanted nothing to do with those people, and I never will. I can imagine I'm not the only one who feels like this, so I ask you all to let all prejudgements go and take this album for what it is. What it is, to say the least, is fucking great! Speaking with some prejudice though - it's a fucking SURPRISE!
This album is a bit of a ressurection - the Cradle sound is still there - it's the same style, but it's just much better than anything they've done in the past. It's like the band started in one direction, changed course to see what else is out there, and finally decided that the original direction that they were going was the best for them. You should not really hate musicians for wanting to try new things - I myself am always exploring new ways to grow. This album is very similar to their old albums but it's not an absolute return. Dani has, in my opinion, finally perfected his vocal style. His shrieks, love them or hate them, could not be better and he does not overuse them as he has done so in the past, which used to get on my nerves at times. BUT - if you hated Cradle because you cannot stand Dani's vocals overall, you will probably find reasons to hate everything else about this album.
Their current drummer suits this band perfectly, similar to Nick Barker, as another reviewer already stated. But Nick Barker's sound on Cruelty and the Beast was absolute garbage - this is what it SHOULD have sounded like. The guitar riffs should remind you of what was on that album as well. One thing though, I think this album really compares with Damnation and a Day (which I actually thought was a great album with great ideas and awesome production). I'm not too into the whole tr00 sound by the way - I like to hear decent production and well executed ideas.
One thing I wish they would not do is make cover art that looks like this. Sorry but it's just fucking stupid. I wouldn't take points off for it, because I guess they like it, which is what matters, really. I just hate it and think it cheapened a really great "comeback" if you want to call it that.
The Doug Bradley parts on most tracks can get a bit annoying if you forget that it is supposed to be a concept albums. Dani is a great and witty lyricist and I think he only really shines when it comes to concept albums.
Give it a chance. Seriously. You might be surprised.