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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. See Winslow, Arizona for a unique tribute to The Eagles' song "Take It Easy". 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. Shortly before their "Farwell Tour I" in 2002, Don Felder was fired from the group. 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. They were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001. Dani Filth says that it is half-way between Cruelty and the Beast and Dusk and Her Embrace. Several subsequent reunion tours would follow, noted for their record-setting ticket prices.

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. In 1998, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and during the induction ceremony, all seven former members played together on stage. Some claim that the band is no longer playing "true" black metal music. Controversy followed on September 12, 1996 when the band dedicated "Peaceful Easy Feeling" to Saddam Hussein at a United States Democratic Party fundraiser held in Los Angeles. It also produced at least two videos on MTV2 - videos and MTV2 appearances being a rarity for Cradle of Filth. That tour spawned a live album entitled Hell Freezes Over (after a quote from Henley who said that the group would get back together only when Hell froze over) and a single, "Get Over It". 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. Travis Tritt insisted on having the Long Run-era Eagles in his video for "Take It Easy." After that video was complete in 1994 that the band, after years of speculation, reunited.

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. During the early 1990s, an Eagles country tribute album Common Thread was released. More line-up shifts followed. Following The Long Run tour, in 1980, the band went on hiatus, and all of them had solo careers of varying degrees of success. 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. Henley was also subsequently charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. 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 tour to promote the album intensified personality differences between the band members, made worse when on the night of November 21, 1980, Henley was arrested when cocaine, Quaaludes, and marijuana were found in his hotel room after a nude 16 year old prostitute had drug-related seizures.

Their music at this point was hard, but highly melodic and as usual, incredibly verbose and eloquent. That album took two years to make, but yielded the group's fifth and last #1 single in Billboard, "Heartache Tonight" (November 10, 1979). 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. In February 1978, the Eagles went into the studio to produce their final studio album, The Long Run. 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. Schmit (born October 30, 1947). 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 Eagles replaced Meisner with the man who had succeeded him in Poco, Timothy B.

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. During the final leg of the ensuing tour, however, Randy Meisner decided he'd had enough hotel rooms in his seven years as an Eagle and left the band for the relative quiet of Nebraska to recuperate and instigate a solo career. As the band became known for increasingly theatrical stage shows, Cruelty and the Beast was released to even greater acclaim, though sales were poor. Using California as a metaphor for the nation, the Eagles wrote about innocence ("New Kid in Town", a #1 hit in Billboard on February 26, 1977) and temptations ("Life In The Fast Lane" and the title track, a #1 hit in Billboard on May 7, 1977) of that pursuit. 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 group's next album, Hotel California in 1976, was about the pursuit of the American dream, 1970s style. 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. By this time, the personalities inside the band would start clashing with each other, and there were plenty of inter-band fights.

The set list is as follows (length: ):. The title track from One of These Nights hit #1 on the Billboard chart August 2, 1975. It began just after Hallowe'en (October 31, 2004). The addition of Walsh made the group's aim perfectly clear: they wanted to rock. Cradle of Filth's current tour is entitled "Swansong for a Nation" (US/Canada for November-December 2004). The group replaced Leadon with Joe Walsh (born November 20, 1947), a veteran of such groups as the James Gang and Barnstorm and a solo artist in his own right. 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. Between the album and the subsequent tour, Bernie Leadon left the group because he was disillusioned about the direction the band's music was taking.

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. Their next album, One of These Nights, had an aggressive, sinewy rock stance. 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. On the Border yielded a #1 Billboard single in the song "Best of My Love", which hit the top on March 1, 1975. Characteristics of the works of Cradle of Filth include complex (and long!) song structures and orchestrations. Two days later, Felder became the fifth Eagle. Thus some black metal fans deem them "sell outs", while hardcore fans remain. Szymczyk brought in Don Felder (born September 21, 1948 in Topanga, California) to add slide guitar to a song called "Good Day in Hell", and the band was blown away.

Most black metal fans criticise the group as coverage by Kerrang and MTV have brought them a much more mainstream and commercial image. After completing two thirds of the album with Johns, the band turned to Bill Szymczyk to produce the rest of the album. Their music has often touched on gothic metal overtones, and has been both ridiculed and praised by critics. The band wanted to rock, but Johns tended to extract the lush side of the band's double-edged music. The group has progressed from a rawer, more traditional black metal sound to a fully orchestrated symphonic metal feel. To record their third album, On the Border, the group selected producer Glyn Johns, who had previously worked with Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, and The Who. 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 first album, Eagles, was filled with pure, sometimes innocent country rock; their second, Desperado, was themed on Old West outlaws and introduced the group's penchant for conceptual songwriting.

Nymphetamine Special Edition-(2005)). The Eagles backed up Ronstadt on a two-month tour, then decided to become a band on their own. Mannequin (DVD) - (2003). They were short a drummer until Frey phoned Henley, a musician he'd met at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Babylon AD (So Glad For The Madness) (DVD) - (2003). The band formed in 1971 when Linda Ronstadt's then-manager, John Boylan, extracted Frey, Leadon, and Meisner from their affiliations. Live Bait For The Dead (Live) - (2002). Bassist Randy Meisner (born March 8, 1946 in Scottsbluff, Nebraska) was a car and cycle buff who preferred spending time with his family to playing bass in a rock and roll band.

Heavy Left Handed & Candid (VHS/DVD) - (2002). Guitarist/mandolinist/banjo player Bernie Leadon (born July 19, 1947, in Minneapolis, Minnesota) had a passion for country and bluegrass that shaped the band's early direction. Lovecraft & Witch Hearts (Compilation) - (2002). Drummer Don Henley (born July 22, 1947 in Gilmer, Texas) was nearly a college graduate, majoring in English literature. Bitter Suites To Succubi (compilation) - (2001). Guitarist/keyboardist Glenn Frey (born November 6, 1948 in Detroit, Michigan) escaped Michigan's cold winters and musically stultifying frat and bar scene, bringing a rhythm and blues heritage. RareDaemonAeon (Compilation/Covers) - (2001). Not one of the four group founders was a Californian by birth.

PanDaemonAeon (VHS/DVD) - (1998). On later albums the band dispensed with bluegrass instrumentation and gravitated to a more straight-ahead rock sound. Sodomizing The Virgin Vamps (Total Fucking Darkness demo + live tracks) - (1997). The Eagles took the singer-songwriter ethos to a group setting with increased emphasis on arrangements and musicianship, and the group's early sound became synonymous with the southern California country rock. Total Fucking Darkness (Demo) - (1993). The originators of this genre were gifted singer/songwriters, among them Jackson Browne, J.D. Souther, and Warren Zevon. The Black Goddess Rises (Demo) - (1992). Their early music was a hybrid of country and bluegrass instrumentation grafted onto the harmonies of California surfer rock, producing tender ballads and soft top-down country-flavored pop-rock about relationships, cars, and the wandering life.

Orgiastic Pleasures (Demo) - (1992). The Eagles are an American rock music group that originally came together in Los Angeles, California in the early 1970s. Invoking the Unclean (Demo) - (1992). 1994 "Get Over It" #31 US. A Pungent And Sexual Miasma (split with Malediction) - (1992). from Hell Freezes Over

    . Nymphetamine - (2004). 1980 "Seven Bridges Road" #21 US.

    Damnation and a Day - (2003). from Eagles Live

      . Midian - (2000). 1980 "I Can't Tell You Why" #8 US. From the Cradle to Enslave (EP) - (1999). 1979 "The Long Run" #8 US. Cruelty and the Beast - (1998). 1979 "Heartache Tonight" #1 US, #40 UK.

      Dusk and Her Embrace - (1996). from The Long Run

        . V Empire or Dark Fairytales in Phallustein (EP) - (1996). 1978 "Please Come Home for Christmas" #30 UK. The Principle of Evil Made Flesh - (1994). non-album single
          . Mark Newby-Robson-Keyboards. 1977 "Life in the Fast Lane" #11 US.

          Jeff Acres-Guitars. 1977 "Hotel California" #1 US, #8 UK. Jared Demeter-Guitars. 1976 "New Kid in Town" #1 US, #20 UK. Dave Hirschheimer-Drums. from Hotel California

            . Damien Gregori - Keyboards. 1975 "Take It to the Limit" #4 US, #12 UK.

            Les "Lecter" Smith - Keyboards. 1975 "Lyin' Eyes" #23 UK. Benjamin Ryan - Keyboards. 1975 "One of These Nights" #1 US, #23 UK. Robin Eaglestone - Bass. from One of These Nights

              . John Richard - Bass. 1974 "Best of My Love" #1 US.

              Nicholas Howard Barker - Drums. 1974 "Already Gone" #32 US. Was Sarginson - Drums. from On the Border

                . Darren White - Drums. 1972 "Peaceful Easy Feeling" #22 US. Paul Ryan - Guitars. 1972 "Witchy Woman" #9 US.

                Stuart Anstis - Guitars (1996-2000). 1972 "Take It Easy" #12 US. Brian Hipp - Guitars. from Eagles

                  . Gian Pyres - Guitars. 2003 The Very Best of the Eagles (2003) (compilation) #3 US, #27 UK (called The Complete Greatest Hits in Europe), US Sales: 2,000,000. James McKillboy - Guitars - (2004-). 2001 The Very Best of the Eagles (2001) (European compilation) #3 UK.

                  Dave Pybus - Bass - (2002-2005) (ex-Anathema, Dreambreed). 2000 Selected Works: 1972-1999 (box set) #109 US, US Sales: 1,000,000. Martin Powell - Keyboards - (2000-) (ex-My Dying Bride, ex-Anathema, ex-Cryptal Darkness). 1994 Hell Freezes Over #1 US, #18 UK, US Sales: 7,000,000. Paul Allender - Guitars - (1991-1996, 2000-) (The Blood Divine). 1994 The Very Best of The Eagles (1994) (European compilation) #4 UK. Adrian Erlandsson - Drums - (2000-) (ex-At the Gates, ex-The Haunted, Terror). 1984 The Best of the Eagles (European compilation) #8 UK.

                  Sarah Jezebel Deva - Female Backing Vocals - (1991-). 2 (compilation) #52 US, US Sales: 11,000,000. Dani Filth (Daniel Lloyd Davey) - Vocals - (1991-). 1982 The Eagles Greatest Hits, Vol. The torture room in From the Cradle to Enslave music video is a homage to Terry Gilliam's movie Brazil. 1980 Eagles Live #6 US, #24 UK, US Sales: 7,000,000. 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). 1979 The Long Run #1 US, #4 UK, US Sales: 7,000,000.

                  Sarah Jezebel Deva, though she has been with the band since the start, has never been considered a band member. 1976 Hotel California #1 US, #2 UK, US Sales: 16,000,000. His favourite band is The Misfits. 1976 Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) (compilation) #1 US, #2 UK, US Sales: 28,000,000. He has a long-time girlfriend (Toni) and a daughter (Luna), as well as three cats. 1975 One of These Nights #1 US, #8 UK, US Sales: 4,000,000. Dani Filth's real name is Daniel Lloyd Davey. 1974 On the Border #17 US, #28 UK, US Sales: 2,000,000.

                  From the Cradle to Enslave. 1973 Desperado #41 US, #39 UK, US Sales: 2,000,000. Cruelty Brought Three Orchids. 1972 Eagles #22 US, US Sales: 1,000,000. 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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