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Cradle of Filth

(left to right) Adrian Erlandsson, Dave Pybus, Dani Filth, Martin Powell, Paul Allender. Not pictured: James McKillboy.

Cradle of Filth, formed in 1991, is a conglomeration of black metal and gothic metal, although their music has been somewhat difficult to classify. The group has progressed from a rawer, more traditional black metal sound to a fully orchestrated symphonic metal feel. Their music has often touched on gothic metal overtones, and has been both ridiculed and praised by critics. Most black metal fans criticise the group as coverage by Kerrang and MTV have brought them a much more mainstream and commercial image. Thus some black metal fans deem them "sell outs", while hardcore fans remain.

Basic info

  • Genre: symphonic black metal, gothic metal, Vampyric Metal, extreme metal
  • Country: Britain
  • Status: Active
  • Time: 1991-

Characteristics of the works of Cradle of Filth include complex (and long!) song structures and orchestrations. A noteworthy feature of their music is the use of vocals as a rhythmical instrument, akin to rap music (although sounding very different): timing of syllables and usage of rhymes convey rhythm rather than melody. The lyrics have certainly been influenced by the works of Marquis de Sade and they are - albeit vulgar - of a high level, considering either the use of vocabulary or expressive or poetic qualities, especially for a heavy metal band.

A common theme to the lyrics, music videos or album cover illustrations is moral decadence, often placed in the baroque era. Cradle of Filth succeed in combining the aforementioned arts of "higher" quality to a "lower" level such as splatter movie esthetics or banal, rude use of vocabulary.

Current Tour

Cradle of Filth's current tour is entitled "Swansong for a Nation" (US/Canada for November-December 2004). It began just after Hallowe'en (October 31, 2004). The set list is as follows (length: ):

  1. Satyriasis (Intro)
  2. Gilded Cunt
  3. Nemesis
  4. The Principle of Evil Made Flesh
  5. Tortured Soul Asylum
  6. Mannequin
  7. Funeral in Carpathia
  8. Her Ghost in the Fog
  9. Nymphetamine
  10. The Forest Whispers my Name
  11. The Promise of Fever
  12. Cruelty Brought Three Orchids
  13. From the Cradle to Enslave

Biography

After the band's formation and a period of rapid line-up fluctuation as four demos were recorded, Cradle of Filth signed to Cacophonous and released The Principle of Evil Made Flesh in 1994. After further member changes, the band released Dusk and Her Embrace, a critically acclaimed album that greatly expanded the band's fanbase throughout Europe and among black metal fans elsewhere. As the band became known for increasingly theatrical stage shows, Cruelty and the Beast was released to even greater acclaim, though sales were poor. The following year the band continued primarily on the touring route but did put out a DVD, PanDaemonAeon, and an accompanying EP, From the Cradle to Enslave, featuring the music from the production. One of the best-known and favourite songs the band has ever produced was the title track of the EP, "From the Cradle to Enslave."

Cradle produced their fourth full-length studio album the following year: Midian, named after the biblical city of monsters, was fittingly released on Hallowe'en night, October 31, 2000. Their style at this point was probably their most defined, with Paul Allender joining the lineup on guitars, but their music was by no means mainstream, with titles such as "Lord Abortion," and yet another cult favourite, "Her Ghost in the Fog," which was featured in the soundtrack of the movie Ginger Snaps. Their music at this point was hard, but highly melodic and as usual, incredibly verbose and eloquent.

Following the moderate success of Midian they released a "transition mini-album," as lead singer and frontman Dani Filth later referred to it, Bitter Suites to Succubi. Besides the obvious pun, the album was a mixture of four new songs, re-recordings of three songs from The Principle of Evil Made Flesh, two instrumental tracks, and a cover of The Sisters of Mercy's "No Time To Cry." Though stylistically it is similar to Midian the album is regarded as a failure by most critics.

More line-up shifts followed. In 2003 they signed with Sony Music, and produced their fifth full-length studio album, 2003's Damnation and a Day, which was much less melodic black metal than symphonic metal with black undertones, or what is referred to as black symphonic metal. Though it disappointed some fans, this concept album, showing the events of the bible through the eyes of the devil, featured a 40 piece orchestra and 32 piece choir, and even more complex songs, both stylistically and lyrically. It also produced at least two videos on MTV2 - videos and MTV2 appearances being a rarity for Cradle of Filth.

Some claim that the band is no longer playing "true" black metal music. Whilst this is for the most part true, they still have black metal undertones in their music, and after leaving Sony near the beginning of 2004, claim their most recent album Nymphetamine (released summer 2004) as their return to actual black metal. Dani Filth says that it is half-way between Cruelty and the Beast and Dusk and Her Embrace.

Interestingly, it has been in hot debate since near the time Cradle of Filth became popular as to if they are true "black metal" or not. Comparing Cradle to most Norwegian black metal, they are completely different; this has led to them being deemed "melodic black metal," and generally the Norwegian black metal community shuns them as well as bands such as Dimmu Borgir that were brought into popularity following the pseudo-mainstream success of Cradle. Regardless of how "pure" their black metal sound is, most fans disregard the whole debate, as does Dani Filth. In his words, when asked to describe what kind of metal he thinks Cradle of Filth is, "Cradle of Filth is Cradle of Filth." Drummer Adrian Erlandsson describes Cradle of Filth as "Extreme Metal" and also disregards Cradle of Filth falling into the category of black metal due to the fact they sound nothing like bands such as Darkthrone, Immortal, Bathory, etc.

Trivia

  • Dani Filth's real name is Daniel Lloyd Davey. He has a long-time girlfriend (Toni) and a daughter (Luna), as well as three cats. His favourite band is The Misfits.
  • Sarah Jezebel Deva, though she has been with the band since the start, has never been considered a band member.
  • One highlight of their career include a show during which a man jumped on stage with an eight-inch carving knife, intending to stab Dani (spoke of briefly on the Nawrdwar interview).
  • The torture room in From the Cradle to Enslave music video is a homage to Terry Gilliam's movie Brazil.

Band members

Current band members

  • Dani Filth (Daniel Lloyd Davey) - Vocals - (1991-)
  • Sarah Jezebel Deva - Female Backing Vocals - (1991-)
  • Adrian Erlandsson - Drums - (2000-) (ex-At the Gates, ex-The Haunted, Terror)
  • Paul Allender - Guitars - (1991-1996, 2000-) (The Blood Divine)
  • Martin Powell - Keyboards - (2000-) (ex-My Dying Bride, ex-Anathema, ex-Cryptal Darkness)
  • Dave Pybus - Bass - (2002-2005) (ex-Anathema, Dreambreed)
  • James McKillboy - Guitars - (2004-)

Former band members

  • Gian Pyres - Guitars
  • Brian Hipp - Guitars
  • Stuart Anstis - Guitars (1996-2000)
  • Paul Ryan - Guitars
  • Darren White - Drums
  • Was Sarginson - Drums
  • Nicholas Howard Barker - Drums
  • John Richard - Bass
  • Robin Eaglestone - Bass
  • Benjamin Ryan - Keyboards
  • Les "Lecter" Smith - Keyboards
  • Damien Gregori - Keyboards
  • Dave Hirschheimer-Drums
  • Jared Demeter-Guitars
  • Jeff Acres-Guitars
  • Mark Newby-Robson-Keyboards

Discography

Studio releases

  • The Principle of Evil Made Flesh - (1994)
  • V Empire or Dark Fairytales in Phallustein (EP) - (1996)
  • Dusk and Her Embrace - (1996)
  • Cruelty and the Beast - (1998)
  • From the Cradle to Enslave (EP) - (1999)
  • Midian - (2000)
  • Damnation and a Day - (2003)
  • Nymphetamine - (2004)

Live and other releases

  • A Pungent And Sexual Miasma (split with Malediction) - (1992)
  • Invoking the Unclean (Demo) - (1992)
  • Orgiastic Pleasures (Demo) - (1992)
  • The Black Goddess Rises (Demo) - (1992)
  • Total Fucking Darkness (Demo) - (1993)
  • Sodomizing The Virgin Vamps (Total Fucking Darkness demo + live tracks) - (1997)
  • PanDaemonAeon (VHS/DVD) - (1998)
  • RareDaemonAeon (Compilation/Covers) - (2001)
  • Bitter Suites To Succubi (compilation) - (2001)
  • Lovecraft & Witch Hearts (Compilation) - (2002)
  • Heavy Left Handed & Candid (VHS/DVD) - (2002)
  • Live Bait For The Dead (Live) - (2002)
  • Babylon AD (So Glad For The Madness) (DVD) - (2003)
  • Mannequin (DVD) - (2003)
  • Nymphetamine Special Edition-(2005))

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Regardless of how "pure" their black metal sound is, most fans disregard the whole debate, as does Dani Filth. In his words, when asked to describe what kind of metal he thinks Cradle of Filth is, "Cradle of Filth is Cradle of Filth." Drummer Adrian Erlandsson describes Cradle of Filth as "Extreme Metal" and also disregards Cradle of Filth falling into the category of black metal due to the fact they sound nothing like bands such as Darkthrone, Immortal, Bathory, etc. With an organised management, (Kamikatze records), Cunning Dorx has become a more professional youth band out of a not so serious school band experiment. Comparing Cradle to most Norwegian black metal, they are completely different; this has led to them being deemed "melodic black metal," and generally the Norwegian black metal community shuns them as well as bands such as Dimmu Borgir that were brought into popularity following the pseudo-mainstream success of Cradle. The band has obviously improved since regular rehearsals are part of their routine. Interestingly, it has been in hot debate since near the time Cradle of Filth became popular as to if they are true "black metal" or not. The Cunning Dorx started a new beginning and their 'revival' turned out well, mainly through the engagement of several new artists and involvement in new projects, doing a great deal for the realisation of their musical aims. Dani Filth says that it is half-way between Cruelty and the Beast and Dusk and Her Embrace. Moreover, rumours that the band was going to break up persisted until their first album Flauschangriff was published in 2001.

Whilst this is for the most part true, they still have black metal undertones in their music, and after leaving Sony near the beginning of 2004, claim their most recent album Nymphetamine (released summer 2004) as their return to actual black metal. The then-emerging lack of motivation held back any progress of the young band and consequently diminished their audience. Some claim that the band is no longer playing "true" black metal music. At the end of June 1995, a demo tape was created, including four songs which were also sung at concerts with other bands, such as Rank, Kurort, Back to the Saltmine, Racial Abuse, and Distorted Picture. It also produced at least two videos on MTV2 - videos and MTV2 appearances being a rarity for Cradle of Filth. That is why in most of their songs, there are no lyrics to speak of. Though it disappointed some fans, this concept album, showing the events of the bible through the eyes of the devil, featured a 40 piece orchestra and 32 piece choir, and even more complex songs, both stylistically and lyrically. According to this view, it does not matter what they are singing as long as the melody fits.

In 2003 they signed with Sony Music, and produced their fifth full-length studio album, 2003's Damnation and a Day, which was much less melodic black metal than symphonic metal with black undertones, or what is referred to as black symphonic metal. This would make them an instrumental band. More line-up shifts followed. Alfons, their most productive songwriter, has always seen the human voice as just another instrument. Besides the obvious pun, the album was a mixture of four new songs, re-recordings of three songs from The Principle of Evil Made Flesh, two instrumental tracks, and a cover of The Sisters of Mercy's "No Time To Cry." Though stylistically it is similar to Midian the album is regarded as a failure by most critics. Most of their lyrics appear to be in English but they don't really mean anything. Following the moderate success of Midian they released a "transition mini-album," as lead singer and frontman Dani Filth later referred to it, Bitter Suites to Succubi. The style of the Cunning Dorx has always been out of the ordinary so that the musicians were forced to make up neologisms like "Eclectic Iconoclasm" or "Post-Modern Alternative" themselves to give the musically minded at least a vision of their technique of mixing every thinkable genre, as exemplified in the song "Yuka-Hey", where Rap melts into 1970s Rock and Reggae.

Their music at this point was hard, but highly melodic and as usual, incredibly verbose and eloquent. A fact which actually helped them to maintain a broad musical perspective and provide the basis for creating their own characteristic style. Their style at this point was probably their most defined, with Paul Allender joining the lineup on guitars, but their music was by no means mainstream, with titles such as "Lord Abortion," and yet another cult favourite, "Her Ghost in the Fog," which was featured in the soundtrack of the movie Ginger Snaps. This means that there is an abundance of influences on their style, from Reggae to Alternative Rock, and from Rap to Jazz. Cradle produced their fourth full-length studio album the following year: Midian, named after the biblical city of monsters, was fittingly released on Hallowe'en night, October 31, 2000. The Cunning Dorx play what they call "Post-post-modern Electrical Rock". This odd genre is due in part to the varied backgrounds of the band members, who had previous played in Alternative Rock, Hardcore Punk, Blues, Jazz and even Celtic folk bands. One of the best-known and favourite songs the band has ever produced was the title track of the EP, "From the Cradle to Enslave.". The remaining lineup included Christof Ulreich (vocals), Alfons Bauernfeind (guitar), Patrick Peklar (drums) and Albert Bock (bass).

The following year the band continued primarily on the touring route but did put out a DVD, PanDaemonAeon, and an accompanying EP, From the Cradle to Enslave, featuring the music from the production. By the time of their first album release, Beno Unger was officially not part of the band anymore, although he continued to record and perform with them later on. As the band became known for increasingly theatrical stage shows, Cruelty and the Beast was released to even greater acclaim, though sales were poor. Some gigs on a larger scale, a charity concert among them, enlarged their fan base considerably. After further member changes, the band released Dusk and Her Embrace, a critically acclaimed album that greatly expanded the band's fanbase throughout Europe and among black metal fans elsewhere. A studio session followed, the result of which was the sound carrier "That's for Pedestrians". After the band's formation and a period of rapid line-up fluctuation as four demos were recorded, Cradle of Filth signed to Cacophonous and released The Principle of Evil Made Flesh in 1994. Leading in this connection were once again Beno Unger and Alfons Bauernfeind.

The set list is as follows (length: ):. This experience motivated the Cunning Dorx into writing and presenting their own musical pieces, instead of playing cover versions of well-known songs. It began just after Hallowe'en (October 31, 2004). Their first public concert took place in the country disco, Train; the gig was a success. Cradle of Filth's current tour is entitled "Swansong for a Nation" (US/Canada for November-December 2004). The career of the band members started with a contest and several performances within their circle of friends, where their first devoted fans came from. A common theme to the lyrics, music videos or album cover illustrations is moral decadence, often placed in the baroque era. Cradle of Filth succeed in combining the aforementioned arts of "higher" quality to a "lower" level such as splatter movie esthetics or banal, rude use of vocabulary. The initial repertoire contained covers of Nirvana, R.E.M., and Soundgarden songs, and some of their own songs written by Beno Unger.

The lyrics have certainly been influenced by the works of Marquis de Sade and they are - albeit vulgar - of a high level, considering either the use of vocabulary or expressive or poetic qualities, especially for a heavy metal band. In May the four of them came to an agreement about the band name "Cunning Dorx", and the first rehearsals took place soon afterwards. A noteworthy feature of their music is the use of vocals as a rhythmical instrument, akin to rap music (although sounding very different): timing of syllables and usage of rhymes convey rhythm rather than melody. Alfons Bauernfeind joined a few weeks later. Characteristics of the works of Cradle of Filth include complex (and long!) song structures and orchestrations. The band was founded by Christof Ulreich, Beno Unger and Patrick Peklar, then schoolmates in Unterschützen / Burgenland in April 1994. Thus some black metal fans deem them "sell outs", while hardcore fans remain. The Cunning Dorx are an Eastern Austrian Alternative Rock band.

Most black metal fans criticise the group as coverage by Kerrang and MTV have brought them a much more mainstream and commercial image. Their music has often touched on gothic metal overtones, and has been both ridiculed and praised by critics. The group has progressed from a rawer, more traditional black metal sound to a fully orchestrated symphonic metal feel. Cradle of Filth, formed in 1991, is a conglomeration of black metal and gothic metal, although their music has been somewhat difficult to classify.

Nymphetamine Special Edition-(2005)). Mannequin (DVD) - (2003). Babylon AD (So Glad For The Madness) (DVD) - (2003). Live Bait For The Dead (Live) - (2002).

Heavy Left Handed & Candid (VHS/DVD) - (2002). Lovecraft & Witch Hearts (Compilation) - (2002). Bitter Suites To Succubi (compilation) - (2001). RareDaemonAeon (Compilation/Covers) - (2001).

PanDaemonAeon (VHS/DVD) - (1998). Sodomizing The Virgin Vamps (Total Fucking Darkness demo + live tracks) - (1997). Total Fucking Darkness (Demo) - (1993). The Black Goddess Rises (Demo) - (1992).

Orgiastic Pleasures (Demo) - (1992). Invoking the Unclean (Demo) - (1992). A Pungent And Sexual Miasma (split with Malediction) - (1992). Nymphetamine - (2004).

Damnation and a Day - (2003). Midian - (2000). From the Cradle to Enslave (EP) - (1999). Cruelty and the Beast - (1998).

Dusk and Her Embrace - (1996). V Empire or Dark Fairytales in Phallustein (EP) - (1996). The Principle of Evil Made Flesh - (1994). Mark Newby-Robson-Keyboards.

Jeff Acres-Guitars. Jared Demeter-Guitars. Dave Hirschheimer-Drums. Damien Gregori - Keyboards.

Les "Lecter" Smith - Keyboards. Benjamin Ryan - Keyboards. Robin Eaglestone - Bass. John Richard - Bass.

Nicholas Howard Barker - Drums. Was Sarginson - Drums. Darren White - Drums. Paul Ryan - Guitars.

Stuart Anstis - Guitars (1996-2000). Brian Hipp - Guitars. Gian Pyres - Guitars. James McKillboy - Guitars - (2004-).

Dave Pybus - Bass - (2002-2005) (ex-Anathema, Dreambreed). Martin Powell - Keyboards - (2000-) (ex-My Dying Bride, ex-Anathema, ex-Cryptal Darkness). Paul Allender - Guitars - (1991-1996, 2000-) (The Blood Divine). Adrian Erlandsson - Drums - (2000-) (ex-At the Gates, ex-The Haunted, Terror).

Sarah Jezebel Deva - Female Backing Vocals - (1991-). Dani Filth (Daniel Lloyd Davey) - Vocals - (1991-). The torture room in From the Cradle to Enslave music video is a homage to Terry Gilliam's movie Brazil. One highlight of their career include a show during which a man jumped on stage with an eight-inch carving knife, intending to stab Dani (spoke of briefly on the Nawrdwar interview).

Sarah Jezebel Deva, though she has been with the band since the start, has never been considered a band member. His favourite band is The Misfits. He has a long-time girlfriend (Toni) and a daughter (Luna), as well as three cats. Dani Filth's real name is Daniel Lloyd Davey.

From the Cradle to Enslave. Cruelty Brought Three Orchids. The Promise of Fever. The Forest Whispers my Name.

Nymphetamine. Her Ghost in the Fog. Funeral in Carpathia. Mannequin.

Tortured Soul Asylum. The Principle of Evil Made Flesh. Nemesis. Gilded Cunt.

Satyriasis (Intro). Time: 1991-. Status: Active. Country: Britain.

Genre: symphonic black metal, gothic metal, Vampyric Metal, extreme metal.

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