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Cradle of Filth "Midian" - 100%

danbedrosian, April 1st, 2011

I barely listened to Cradle of Filth. I only knew them for "Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder" but only because of the name of that album. Then a friend of mine asks me to download Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth for him. The only thing I found was "Midian" by Cradle of Filth. One day it goes on my music player then I decide to listen to it. I thought it was going to suck, especially since I heard that Dani Filth "squawks".

I actually found myself wrong about my previous expectations. I enjoy the sound of keyboards in metal and Cradle of Filth uses them very well. They add a symphonic feel to the songs and the closeness of the real instrument played on the keyboard is great, it shows they didn't use some cheap ass one that sounds like shit.

The vocals are actually well delivered. I thought I wasn't gonna like it but it was better than most black metal outfits and their singers. Dani Filth's squawk is better than whatever the hell half the black metal bands do today. The words can actually be understood and the deeper, spoken vocals made me feel like I was listening to In Flames for awhile. I thought it would be a complaint I would have but it didn't bother me as it really built on top of the atmosphere. The female vocals were interesting and a great addition.

The guitars are very interesting. They play some chords and single notes so it's more of a mix of metal genres instead of the black metal bands who abuse one note on a 16th-note count for 4 measures straight. The band really switches up the sounds with the guitars so you don't feel like you've listened to the same thing. Also, Cradle of Filth uses guitar solos in a time were solos were seen as lame but also in black metal itself where solos are used very rarely. They have solos in about 3 songs. I've never seen anything like that on another black metal release. The bass is barely audible which doesn't surprise me.

Despite the length of the songs, about six or seven minutes is average, Cradle of Filth does a lot of variation. This is good as they switch it up so it doesn't bore you. There also aren't those parts in songs where the instruments play for about 4 minutes in the song because the band wrote almost no lyrics for the song. Mentioning lyrics, Dani Filth sings a lot which adds character to the songs as they don't suck and it doesn't bore you either. The songs consist of abnormal song structures. As far as I heard there were no specified choruses and bridges which is different.

The production quality was pretty average. I was a little surprised it wasn't flawless production since "Midian" was released in 2000, a time were everyone was getting great sound quality just because they existed. The production is more reminiscent of an 80s band.

This album greatly differs to that of other black metal bands. It holds some unique characteristics. I do want to mention that the name "Midian" sounds like an "Elder Scrolls" game and this album would be the main plots premise and the game's soundtrack. Some stand-out tracks were "At the Gates of Midian", "Santanic Mantra", "Her Ghost in the Fog", and "Soul Tortured Asylum". Some tracks to definately check are "Her Ghost in the Fog", "Tearing the Veil from Grace", "Lord Abortion", "Death Magick for Adepts", and "Cthulhu Dawn". This album really changed my opinion of Cradle of Filth.