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Not a Huge Fan of the Older Material, Honestly... - 65%

EvilAllen, June 2nd, 2019

Time for some honesty... This record doesn't do it for me. I feel that the band were too dedicated to one sound and were frightened to do stuff on this record. I mean, it's just a more extreme version of their previous record. And it's been enhanced. That still doesn't mean I'd give it a higher rating than their 1994 release. Fuck no... In fact, this is generally "good" but it's not "great". Now, speaking for the majority of fans, this shit is the prime rib, but for me... I might be an idiot for stating my opinion, but the band seem better as a "mature" group, than they did back then. I feel like too much energy was being put into virtually everything and it wasn't well-made as a concept. That's not to say that everything sucks, I'm pretty impressed by some of the cool stuff on here, but in all fairness, this just isn't for me, compared to later Cradle albums. Now, kindly shut your fucking mouth behind your computer screen and read the review. And maybe you'll see what I mean.

I feel a little bored listening to this record as a whole. Though, individual tracks work fine for me. I only like maybe three songs on this record, that I'd listen to more often than the rest. Not telling you guys, because it's none of your business. The atmosphere is very hazy, almost too thick, like China's pollution. My air is being taken away from me because this album's essence is too thick. The production reminds me of standing outside a violent bar with the doors and windows closed, basically muffled. But you know...we are talking about the '90's of course. It really takes away from the vocals and instrumentals. Whatever...time for another paragraph.

The guitars are better on all these tracks than the previous release. They're more high-toned and solo-related this time around. So, at least that's a different approach, but I still feel like there's too much relation to the 1994 album with that. Sure, everything might be a little fancy and shit with some new twists, but it's not a huge step-up in giving something hugely different. If melody structures would have been created differently entirely, I think this record could have done better than it did (and according to a lot of people, it does fine, and that's fair to state). Plus, I feel the guitars are too quiet (especially the bass) because Dani has to be the fucking center of the whole release, with his damn vocals consuming the solid-based construction of the guitars. It's almost enraging. I wished this shit could have been remixed with different audio levels. It just feels so needlessly bland. Maybe I could have appreciated the work if the quality was better in the first place.

The drumming seems pretty extreme, perhaps more extreme than they were before. That's always a plus. I wonder what it was like for Cradle to have competition back in the '90's with Hecate Enthroned breathing down their necks with some considerably strong releases back at the time. Which, I should check into more, just to see if I can "back-up" that little statement...you know, just to be entirely sure of that. The drums production in audio is bland though, that's not a good thing. They feel almost...too soft because of the recording machinery back then wasn't "crisp" like it is today. So, with the muffled audio, you might as well just muffle a victim by placing a feathered pillow over them at night, resulting in cold-blooded murder.

The keyboards remind me of "Dark Shadows" from the '60's. This release is like....a '90's version of that whole concept, in my eyes. All-dark and vampyre-related. It really sets the stage for greater things. It's really a theatrical vibe that you would see in a live show. Different keys and synths throughout the record, it's almost amazingly good. Then we have Dani boy... Oh yes, the man from Mars, the little Dwarf-man. I shouldn't be talking, I'm very short as well. Dani's lyrical style is probably the best of modern metal, he's not an idiot...but he just write lyrics and sings...a small part, but whatever, right? He's got a Shakespearean style, something people like myself can't write because we're generally idiots with no educations, right? Am I right?! Though, Dani stated sometime in 2012 (I think), that he became less wordy...probably because his ego dropped or he just became lazier, who knows? He could still out-word me any day since I'm such a fucking idiot. His highs sound really distorted, but natural vocal distortion. So, he didn't really reach good pitches, but he hit them aggressively, if that makes sense? He really hits instense medium-ranged and low vocals, too. Back then, (not like now), he could probably hit the lowest vocal range in metal, too...

The artwork is a nice...greenish-blue. It's so gothic-like. It reminds me of the Victorian era, when shit was all-fancy and sometimes dark. Even the "normal" people had good taste in style back then. This stuff is basically memorable for in-depth fans of the Cradle of Filth, but for some others...eh, I strongly doubt it. A lot of people in the metal scene can easily live without Cradle of Filth, but people like me, can't. It's a shame that they didn't gain the huge respect they did "kind of" deserve, I guess it's because in their later years they "sold-out" and became too "commercial"...but hey, that's how it goes, right? At least they still made music, even if some (or most) people hated it. I personally like their later stuff more than stuff like this, it feels more mature than this, more experimental...not constricted like "Dusk... and Her Embrace" (1996).