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The band's best in a long time - 75%

gk, November 9th, 2008

Somewhere along the way Cradle of Filth seemed to lose the plot and Dani Filth’s head went very far up his own ass. Middian and Damnation and A Day left me feeling quite indifferent and 2006s Thornography was complete crap.

So this year sees the band release its ninth full length album in the form of Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder. Pre-release reports suggested that this was going to be a return to the Cruelty and the Beast Sound and the usual pre-release hype and statements from Mr. Filth. Well, probably for the first time this year, a band has managed to actually live up to the hype. Godspeed is a bit of a return to the old style. The album is cloaked in the gothic romanticism that made those first few albums so enjoyable. It also has a fair bit of the modern sound from Thornography though, so be warned. The black metal aspect is limited to Dani’s usual croaking vocal style but here too the man is not averse to trying his hand at a bit of growling and changing things around.

Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder also benefits from a surprisingly warm and organic sounding production job courtesy Andy Sneap. The sound manages to convey the atmosphere and allows each instrument enough room to be heard. Stand out tracks include the melodic The Death of Love with long time collaborator Sarah Jezebel Deva handling female vocals, Honey and Sulphur makes use of an epic sounding choir to good effect, the title song starts off like the old CoF before going in a thrash direction and Ten Leagues Beneath Contempt is an enjoyable goth metal song.

Dani Filth has had to deal with numerous line-up changes in the recent past and I guess the cohesion and focus of these songs is simply testament to the fact that CoF is pretty much a Dani Filth project now. The songs on the album should please both, fans of the old and the new and Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder is by far the best album by the band in a long while and has turned out to be a very pleasant surprise for me.

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