CD Reviews > Cradle of Filth

Cradle of Filth - Darkly Darkly Venus Aversa

Nuclear Blast 2010

Master storytellers Cradle of Filth’s album Darkly Darkly Venus Aversa tells a very grim tale indeed. Again based on a concept, the songs from start to finish take us to the Dark Ages, and involves the cult of Lilith, Knights Templar, strange ceremonies, and a forbidden love between young Victoria and the mute Isaac.

Hailing from the U.K., Cradle of Filth are charismatic frontman Dani Filth, guitarists Paul Allender and James McIlroy, drummer Martin Marthus Skaroupa, bassist Daniel Firth, and keyboardist Caroline Campbell.

In “The Cult of Venus Aversa”, the demoness Lilith introduces herself in the intro. The whole song is pure seduction that includes Latin chants, midnight ceremonies, and claims that the Templars are the children of Lilith and Samael. In “One Foul Step From The Abyss” – set during the Feast of Fools in the winter of 1308 AD, the Templars obliterate a village as a sacrifice to Lilith; the musicianship is also appropriately annihilating. Ruthless musicianship in “The Nun With the Astral Habit” is the perfect backdrop for the sordid tale of an abbess who tortures young girls every night, and has astral trysts with an incubus. The aforementioned character Victoria is also introduced. Raw, primal musicianship punctuates “Retreat of the Sacred Heart”, which continues to follow Victoria and her sexual explorations.

In “The Persecution Song”, Victoria is captured by nuns and hung as a Witch; her lover, the mute Isaac, is forced to dig her grave. Menacing musicianship is infused upon “Deceiving Eyes”, where Isaac steals Victoria’s body from the grave, and he engages in necrophilia. The intense “Lilith Immaculate” resurrects Victoria, who is now possessed by Lilith herself; this is a tale of debauchery, lust, and revenge on the murderous nuns.

“The Spawn of Love and War” is about an amulet which is able to conjure Lilith; this song itself is a powerful incantation indeed. Lilith is hailed as a Goddess of Desire in “Harlot on a Pedestal”; the lyrics are filled with depravity and lust running amok. The musicianship is equally chaotic and frenzied, and I love the excellent guitar solo! The fearful, tormented “Forgive Me Father (I Have Sinned)” is the confession of a man who loved and worshipped Lilith, but now fears he’s come undone. Lilith again speaks in the beautiful intro to “Beyond Eleventh Hour”, that takes us into Lilith’s pleasure temple – Dark Eden – where she makes Isaac her personal plaything. The musicianship in this wonderful song absolutely soars on ebony wings.

The Special Fan Edition features additional tracks as well, which were not available for review.

~Athena Schaffer