Cradle of Filth’s New Album Explores ‘Sex and Death Mythology’
Despite the dastardly image and blasphemous black metal, England’s Cradle of Filth have always fashioned their music and lyrics as theatrical, gothic fairy tales. The band’s latest, ‘Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa,’ is out Nov. 9. It follows 2008’s ‘Godpseed on the Devil’s Thunder,’ which tackled the controversial and disturbing historical figure Gilles De Rais, Joan of Arc’s former right-hand man who went mad and killed a lot of children in brutal ways.
This time out, the British band explores the lore of Lilith, Adam’s first wife. In addition to taking liberties with history, the album tells an original story — but it’s still Cradle of Filth’s bloodied valentine to Lilith.
Vocalist Dani Filth told Noisecreep that “musically, the main difference is this is even faster, more melodic, more elegant.” While one can argue that anything sounds more elegant in with a British accent, Cradle mix the profane with the profound on ‘Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa.’
Filth further elaborated on the album’s lyrical sphere, saying, “Conceptually, it’s a companion to the last record, like a sister album. It’s about Lilith, the queen of the night, Adam’s first wife — who is the woman underneath God. It’s epic.”
The band didn’t want to simply retell story through music, so they made up their own details. “We did not want to go back and retread old ground with the story, so we made up a gothic horror story about her re-emergence into the world,” he said. “It’s sex and death mythology, and we make it cinematic with the music.”
Cradle of Filth have always delved into history and mythology with their Victorian-inspired album concepts and lyrics; it’s almost as though they are penning fan fiction, albeit delightfully warped fan fiction. Their first album, ‘The Principle of Evil Made Flesh’ explored goddess archetypes and the strong femme fatale imagery of Elizabeth Bathory.
“Lilith predates that,” Filth said, offering insight into why Lilith was chosen as the basis of the album’s narrative. “She is originator of those stories, and she is venerated in Jewish mythology, and ‘Venus Aversa’ is reverse of goddess of love. We pick things up along the way, such as the occult or things that could have happened with entwined mythologies.”
But these black metal showmen don’t sacrifice the form for the content. “Musically, it has a unique sound and it’s eloquent,” he reasoned. “It’s taxing, but we succeeded with balance of orchestration and guitars. You can have loads of orchestra and that’s easy, but it can sound wrong.”
Something new Cradle of Filth have added to their repertoire is the guitar solo. “We are not a band that had too many solos in the past,” Filth admitted. “We have a few solos on this album, which is unique to us. They augment the story. It’s melodic as well. It’s faster, but more melodic and eloquent.”
Cradle’s adoption of controversial or often despicable characters in their lyrics cause many eyebrows to raise, but Dani Filth defends the band’s usage as appropriate, because of the way the band approaches things. “The lyrics don’t indulge in the pursuit,” he said. “We don’t go all Cannibal Corpse and graphic! It’s the dark fairy tale vibe.”
Filth also contends that the record has no fillers and no songs that act as bridges between plot points. “You can pick a track and enjoy it as a metal song, and that goes for any song on the record,” he said. “The music and lyrics are equal. We’re just a good old-fashioned heavy metal band.”