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. This is of course debatable, especially since Dimmu Borgir's lyrical content deals with material not usually considered "commercial". 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. Some people also accuse Dimmu Borgir of being commercially-oriented and of being "sell-outs". 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. Some people discovered that Sorgens Kammer of the Stormblåst album seriously ressembles the intro tune from an Amiga game called Agony, while Dimmu Borgir didn't give them any credit and is sampled here. Dani Filth says that it is half-way between Cruelty and the Beast and Dusk and Her Embrace. Currently, the band is expecting to re-record Stormblast, as well as begin work on a new album.

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. Recently, Dimmu Borgir toured as part of Ozzfest. Some claim that the band is no longer playing "true" black metal music. Many fans disagree, however, maintaining a preference for the band's older, less bombastic style. It also produced at least two videos on MTV2 - videos and MTV2 appearances being a rarity for Cradle of Filth. Death Cult Armageddon has often been cited by critics and new listeners as the band's strongest, most diverse album. 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. Sections of the album were recorded with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra to enhance the classical arrangements which have always augmented the band's style.

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. In 2003, Dimmu Borgir used their major record label financial leverage to create a monumental album titled Death Cult Armageddon. More line-up shifts followed. Some fans accused the band of selling out due to the mass audiences which the albums reached. 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. Dimmu Borgir's following full-length albums – Spiritual Black Dimensions (1999) and Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia (2001) – both met critical acclaim. 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. Enthrone Darkness Triumphant was a huge success for the band, and it was their first release signed to the famous German record label Nuclear Blast.

Their music at this point was hard, but highly melodic and as usual, incredibly verbose and eloquent. Keyboardist Stian Aarstad left the band due to his obligation to serve in the Norwegian army, thus he was not able to participate in the recording of Devil's Path (1996). When he returned for the recording of Enthrone Darkness Triumphant (1997), he had trouble attending rehearsals and tourdates, and he was fired from the band. 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. After Stormblåst, Dimmu Borgir's career took a sharp turn. 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. It is also the last album which features all lyrics written and sung in Norwegian. 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.". Stormblåst received high praise from many melodic black metal fans, and is often regarded a highlight of the band's career.

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. In 1996, the band released their monumental album Stormblåst (translates to "Storm Blown"). As the band became known for increasingly theatrical stage shows, Cruelty and the Beast was released to even greater acclaim, though sales were poor. This album featured musical contributions by members of Dødheimsgård and Ved Buens Ende. 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. This short EP sold out within weeks, and the band followed up with the full length album For All Tid (1994) – the title translates to "For All Time". 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. The band immediately released an EP entitled Inn I Evighetens Mørke (1994) – translated to English the title means "Into The Darkness Of Eternity".

The set list is as follows (length: ):. Dimmu Borgir was originally founded in 1993 by Shagrath, Silenoz, and Tjodalv. It began just after Hallowe'en (October 31, 2004). "Dimmu Borgir" means "Dark Castle" or "Dark Citadel" in Icelandic. Cradle of Filth's current tour is entitled "Swansong for a Nation" (US/Canada for November-December 2004). Dimmu Borgir is a famous Norwegian melodic black metal band whose music has been in the charts in several Scandinavian countries and Germany. 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. Dimmu Borgir Lyrics (http://www.darklyrics.com/d/dimmuborgir.html).

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. Dimmu Borgir Official Homepage (http://www.dimmu-borgir.com). 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. Kimberly Goss - Keyboard - (Unknown Years). Characteristics of the works of Cradle of Filth include complex (and long!) song structures and orchestrations. Tjodalv - Drums - (1993-1999). Thus some black metal fans deem them "sell outs", while hardcore fans remain. Nicholas Barker - Drums - (1999-2004).

Most black metal fans criticise the group as coverage by Kerrang and MTV have brought them a much more mainstream and commercial image. Stian Aarstad - Keyboard - (1993-1997). Their music has often touched on gothic metal overtones, and has been both ridiculed and praised by critics. Brynjard Tristan - Bass - (1994-1996). The group has progressed from a rawer, more traditional black metal sound to a fully orchestrated symphonic metal feel. Nagash - Bass - (1996-1999). Cradle of Filth, formed in 1991, is a conglomeration of black metal and gothic metal, although their music has been somewhat difficult to classify. Astennu - Guitar - (1997-1999).

Nymphetamine Special Edition-(2005)). Reno Kiilerich - Drums - (2004-2004). Mannequin (DVD) - (2003). Mustis (Øyvind Mustafarta) - Keyboard - (1998-). Babylon AD (So Glad For The Madness) (DVD) - (2003). ICS Vortex (Simen Hestnaes) - Bass - (2000-). Live Bait For The Dead (Live) - (2002). Silenoz (Sven Atle Kopperud) - Guitar - (1993-).

Heavy Left Handed & Candid (VHS/DVD) - (2002). Galder (Thomas Rune Andersen) - Guitar - (2001-). Lovecraft & Witch Hearts (Compilation) - (2002). Shagrath (Stian Thoresen) - Vocals - (1993-). Bitter Suites To Succubi (compilation) - (2001). World Misanthropy [Live] - (2002). RareDaemonAeon (Compilation/Covers) - (2001). World Misanthropy [DVD/VHS] - (2002).

PanDaemonAeon (VHS/DVD) - (1998). Alive In Torment [Live] - (2001). Sodomizing The Virgin Vamps (Total Fucking Darkness demo + live tracks) - (1997). Godless Savage Garden [Compilation] - (1998). Total Fucking Darkness (Demo) - (1993). Death Cult Armageddon - (2003). The Black Goddess Rises (Demo) - (1992). Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia - (2001).

Orgiastic Pleasures (Demo) - (1992). Spiritual Black Dimensions - (1999). Invoking the Unclean (Demo) - (1992). 2002). A Pungent And Sexual Miasma (split with Malediction) - (1992). Enthrone Darkness Triumphant - (1997) (Reis. Nymphetamine - (2004). Devil's Path [EP] - (1996).

Damnation and a Day - (2003). Stormblåst - (1996). Midian - (2000). 1997). From the Cradle to Enslave (EP) - (1999). For All Tid - (1994) (Reis. Cruelty and the Beast - (1998). Inn I Evighetens Mørke [EP] - (1994).

Dusk and Her Embrace - (1996). Time: 1993-. V Empire or Dark Fairytales in Phallustein (EP) - (1996). Status: Active. The Principle of Evil Made Flesh - (1994). Country: Norway. Mark Newby-Robson-Keyboards. Genre: Black metal, symphonic metal.

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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