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Most people now-a-days call Cradle of Filth mainstream. Most people also write off all of their albums after Midian claiming that they have "sold out" and "abandoned their roots." Thats not the case. Just because the albums aren't "kvlt black metal" like The Principle of Evil Made Flesh that doesn't mean that they don't kick some serious ass. Thats exactly the case with their 2006 release Thornography. On this album, the band keeps their usual blend of symphonic black metal and gothic metal, but they also add in another element and that is thrash metal. They even go as far as to make a pretty much pure thrash song with The Foetus of a New Day Kicking. They experiment like this throughout the whole album pretty much and the end result is great.
Like I said earlier, the band mixes three different types of metal on this album. You have the black/thrash songs like Dirge Inferno, the pretty much pure black metal songs like Cemetery and Sundown, and like I mentioned earlier the pure thrash songs like The Foetus of a New Day Kicking. They also add a pure instrumental song that lasts a little over 7 minutes with Rise of the Pentagram. No matter what style they go with on this album, it always sounds good. Every song on the album is in at least one of the styles mentioned above.
Now to the instrumental aspect of this album. When most people think black metal drumming they most likely think blast beats. This album is probably the heaviest album the band has released in their career and yet there are no blast beats to be found on this album. Most of the time Adrian is playing some pretty fast and complex beats, but he never gets to the blast beats. The guitar playing by Paul and Charles is more often than not fast, melodic black metal tremolo picking. They also throw in some thrash riffs on the purely thrash songs. They also add some rare guitar solos on Tonight In Flames and I Am the Thorn. The bass by Dave Pybus is audible on some songs such as Dirge Inferno and Libertina Grimm and he keeps the fast rhythym of the songs going along with Adrian. Now if you think these guys forgot how to make epic, vampyric songs then you're wrong. Lovesick for Mina and Under Huntress moon will take you back to the days of Midian with their great symphonic arrangements and keyboard domination.
Dani Filth has changed his vocals a little bit on Thornography. At the time when this was made in 2006, Dani was having problems with his voice and he couldn't go as high pitched as he usually does. His voice on this album is still high pitched, but he does a lot more deep talking and growling than on previous albums. This is by no means a bad thing. He still sounds amazing and this might be some what of a relief for people that couldn't get into his higher pitched vocals from albums such as Dusk and Her Embrace and Cruelty and the Beast.
I'm going to state a very important fact right now. This is Cradle of Filth's best album since Midian and for all the people who write this album off because its cool to hate Cradle of Filth, you're missing out on one hell of an album. It is definitely the band's most experimental album to date, but its still Cradle of Filth. The only thing that's wrong with this album is that god awful cover of Temptation. If they got rid of that, this album would be extremely close to being perfect.