Black metal is where CRADLE OF FILTH started and they are definitely one band that has managed to take their sound and evolve further. Formed in England in 1991, CRADLE OF FILTH has been spreading its black magic around the world with albums that get better and better every time. Their highly anticipated eleventh outing Hammer of the Witches is out now via Nuclear Blast Records and it’s crushing from start to finish.
I’m surprised at how Dani Filth has been able to keep his high notes up during some of these eleven crushing themes, it’s a really challenging skill and something to admire when you’re in the metal community. The style that this album holds is very dark and experimental. The opening track “Walpurgis Eve” is just an introduction to get started, then a strong black metal dose of “Yours Immortally”. It holds those very long classic high-pitched long screams that only Dani Filth can handle. “Enshrined In Crematoria” has an amazing riff, a bit slow, but just enough to match with CRADLE OF FILTH’s very, very unique style.
The title track “Hammer of the Witches” is definitely another standout track from the album, representing the exact concept of the album where the prosecuted and tortured witches look for payback. “Right Wing Of The Garden Triptych” is the first video released from Hammer of the Witches and it does have a tricky intro but once you listen to it for a few minutes, you’ll realize exactly why this is a perfect song to be featured in a darkly produced video. “Onward Christian Soldiers” is also another perfect long ending for this conceptual album. I listened to that song almost at midnight in the middle of the street and I couldn’t have enjoyed better, it sure turned around a bad day.
Overall, props and excellent work to band members: Dani Filth (vocals), Richard Shaw (guitar), Ashok (guitar), Daniel Firth (bass), Martin Skaroupka (drums) and Lindsay Schoolcraft (keyboards, female vocals) and most specifically for adding the magic ingredient to Hammer of the Witches by recording it in Witch County, U.K. CRADLE OF FILTH is a band that I’ve been listening to since my early metal days in 2006 and I have never had the chance to see them…. Meanwhile, I’ll sit down with a glass of fine wine to enjoy this heavy album until it turns my running blood into a better vintage.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Hammer of the Witches”, “Your Immortally”, “Right Wing Of The Garden Triptych”, “Onward Christian Soldiers”