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The worst song from the best album - 84%

gasmask_colostomy, June 22nd, 2020

Having just named Hammer of the Witches my album of the last decade (on the basis of it being both objectively excellent and one of my most-played releases), I feel the need to return critically to one of the less obvious songs from Cradle of Filth's magnum opus. Never strangers to nude women covered with blood - as the mother album and the single cover here are both adorned - the English extreme goths had never explored their sonic anatomy quite so much. 'Right Wing of the Garden Triptych' thus constituted an especially brave choice as a promo cut that opened with an entirely alien element to Cradle's sound, what we might call a third nipple of electronic synths. Any fears that this could have been a move into Marilyn Manson territory would not have been instantly soothed by the operatic female vocals, yet the instantly recognizable violin and guitar twin lead that transforms into a roiling stream of double bass and thick guitar was the first sign that Hammer of the Witches could be something special.

Then again, 'Right Wing...' never proved itself the finest of the album's 8 main cuts, settling for a few filler riffs in the verses and a pretty basic chorus that sees Dani Filth grunting out "Gotterdammerung" in one of his lowest and least silly voices. His higher shrieks come into play along with some fast melodies played on gothic organ and even a touch of harpsichord. Lindsay Schoolcraft's introduction to Cradle includes some stellar narration too, really sealing the deal with a reference to 'Queen of Winter, Throned'. Dani doesn't overdo the lyrics on this one, though still manages to find something to rhyme with "Gotterdammerung", which is "coddle Abaddon" if you were wondering. Although the new guitar pair would have more luck on 'Enshrined in Crematoria' and 'Onward Christian Soldiers', the flurry of soloing late on in 'Right Wing...' speaks volumes about how much more daring they had made the group, slotting in with drummer Marthus instantly. As such, all elements get a fairly even chance to show off here, with the orchestral embellishments especially potent. And, though I call this average in the context of Hammer of the Witches, it still blows away everything from The Manticore 3 years before.