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Before listening to this album, I had heard many mixed feelings on it; some claiming it a masterpiece, while others set a personal vendetta against Cradle. When I listemed to it for myself, my opinion was to neither extreme. While it might not be the best material Cradle has written, it is certainly interesting. It is much more thrashy than other other recording. (It seems as though Cradle want to experiment with as many genres as possible during their career seeing as how they have already tried death and black and are currently experimenting with gothic and thrash.) Anyway, this album seems to be highly experimental.
Dani Filth seems to try several new vocal techniques completely unorthodox to his style. He does all the old stuff like the black metal rasp, the deep throaty growl, and the piercing screech, but he also tries an almost hardcore shout, clean singing, and spoken word. This record seems to be a vocal goodie bag.
Adrian Erlandsson definitely shines in this record. The drums are drawn much more to the foreground in this record than in previous Cradle releases. Adrian gets to show off his Swedish, Melodeath-esque drumming talent. Lots of blast beats and exceptional musicianship on his part.
Dave Pybus, while he may not be a shining star in the band, still does his part to create the Cradle sound. His bass skills accentuate the album's darkness and heaviness, giving the music more depth.
The twin guitars of Charles Hedger and Paul Allender truly bring out the newest Cradle evolution in sound. This album is by far the most thrashy effort Cradle has ever put out. Cradle has done covers of some of thrash's best in the past (Sodom, Slayer, Venom) and this record seems to build directly upon their foundations. The guitarwork is surprising different from other Cradle releases, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The music on this album also seems to be faster than typical Cradle songs.
In addition to the band's change in general sound, the band seems to also be changing its policy on guests. For years, Cradle almost exclusively used Sara Jezebel Deva of Angtoria (with a few exceptions) for additional vocals until Nymphetamine (in which Liv Kristine and King Diamond made appearances). The band seems to be using more high profile guest vocalists with the usage of Ville Valo of the mainstream-successful, Finnish band H.I.M. and Harry (who was formerly known as Dirty Harry).
All in all, the album is actually not bad. It may not be the best Cradle release ever, but it is a solid release. It is definitely an interesting change from the deeply Gothic-rooted Nymphetamine and shows a new facet to the Cradle of Filth library.