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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. DNA on DNA 2004 - No More Records, NoCD12. 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. American Clavé Sampler: various artists (one DNA track) 1993 - American Clave (USA), AMCL 1020/1026 (2xCD). 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. Last Live at CBGB 1993 - Avant (Japan), Avant 006 (CD). Dani Filth says that it is half-way between Cruelty and the Beast and Dusk and Her Embrace. The Fruit of Original Sin: various artists (Three DNA tracks) 1981 - Les Disques Du Crepuscule, twi 035 (2xLP).

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. A Taste of DNA 1981 - American Clavé, AMCL 1003EP (12"). Some claim that the band is no longer playing "true" black metal music. No New York: various artists (Four DNA tracks) 1978 - Antilles, AN 7067 (LP). It also produced at least two videos on MTV2 - videos and MTV2 appearances being a rarity for Cradle of Filth. "You & You" b/w "Little Ants" 1978 - Lust/Unlust Music, 11-CAN-234. 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. They have since taken the name The DNA Disciples to avoid confusion with the no wave band described above, and also produced a second Suzanne Vega remix, "Rusted Pipe".

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. DNA was also the pseudonym taken by two British dance producers for a remix of Suzanne Vega's "Tom's Diner". More line-up shifts followed. The contemporary indie rock band Blonde Redhead takes its name from a DNA song. 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. Lindsay and Mori and to a lesser extent Crutchfield have remained active in music. 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. DNA on DNA, a comprehensive CD chronicle of the band, was released by No More Records in 2004.

Their music at this point was hard, but highly melodic and as usual, incredibly verbose and eloquent. DNA's final encore was a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love." Sadly, this is not included on the CD Last Live at CBGB, released more than a decade later on John Zorn's Avant label. 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. It's a measure of the cult following the band had developed that its final concerts were three consecutive sold-out nights at CBGB. 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. Lindsay, Mori, and Wright decided to dissolve the band in 1982. 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.". Some live DNA tracks appeared on compilation albums while the band was still in existence.

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. DNA recorded but one (brief, approximately 10 minutes) album - A Taste of DNA - for Kip Hanrahan's American Clavé label (later on Rough Trade) in 1980. As the band became known for increasingly theatrical stage shows, Cruelty and the Beast was released to even greater acclaim, though sales were poor. Live shows were frequent in this period, but rarely outside of the CBGB - Mudd Club - TR3 circuit in lower Manhattan. 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. The Lindsay-Mori-Wright lineup of DNA developed something of a cult following between 1979 and 1982, but more with art than with rock audiences. 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. Song structures became tighter, briefer, more abstract, and have been compared to haiku.

The set list is as follows (length: ):. The music became even more spare and angular, with Wright's bass lines creating a sometimes menacing sound. It began just after Hallowe'en (October 31, 2004). As Wright played bass and not keyboards, and was the only member of the band really to have any conventional instrumental technique, the change in DNA's sound was dramatic. Cradle of Filth's current tour is entitled "Swansong for a Nation" (US/Canada for November-December 2004). He was replaced by Tim Wright, previously of the Cleveland band Pere Ubu. 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. Shortly after the recording of No New York, Crutchfield left DNA to form a new band, Dark Day.

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. The other three bands appearing on this album were The Contortions, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, and Mars. 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. Within their first year, they had cemented their reputation as a paradigmatic no wave band when Brian Eno selected them as one of the four groups documented on the No New York LP, the first recording to expose no wave groups to an audience outside of lower Manhattan. Characteristics of the works of Cradle of Filth include complex (and long!) song structures and orchestrations. This lineup of DNA played occasionally at CBGB and Max's Kansas City and recorded one 7" single. Thus some black metal fans deem them "sell outs", while hardcore fans remain. After the rapid departure of Stevenson and Cervenka, Lindsay and Crutchfield hastily recruited Ikue Mori - a Japanese woman with little command of English and no drum set - to be DNA's drummer.

Most black metal fans criticise the group as coverage by Kerrang and MTV have brought them a much more mainstream and commercial image. This incarnation of the band was very brief, not playing even one concert. Their music has often touched on gothic metal overtones, and has been both ridiculed and praised by critics. Stevenson went on to play bass for Teenage Jesus and the Jerks; Cervenka was the younger sister of Exene Cervenka of X. The group has progressed from a rawer, more traditional black metal sound to a fully orchestrated symphonic metal feel. DNA originally consisted of Lindsay, Crutchfield, Gordon Stevenson, and Mirielle Cervenka, and took its name from a song by another no wave band, Mars. Cradle of Filth, formed in 1991, is a conglomeration of black metal and gothic metal, although their music has been somewhat difficult to classify. Their music was described as spare, noisy, and angular and was compared to some of Captain Beefheart's output and even to Anton Webern.

Nymphetamine Special Edition-(2005)). Rather than playing their instruments in a traditional manner, they instead focused on making unique and unusual sounds. Mannequin (DVD) - (2003). Formed in 1978 by guitarist Arto Lindsay and keyboardist Robin Crutchfield, DNA were inspired by a promoter who wanted a band composed of first-time musicians. Babylon AD (So Glad For The Madness) (DVD) - (2003). DNA was a short-lived but influential New York rock band, associated with the no wave movement. 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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