CD Reviews > Cradle of Filth

Cradle of Filth - The Manticore And Other Horrors

Nuclear Blast 2010

Cradle of Filth has long been one of the Crowgrrl’s personal favorite bands – their seamless blend of elegance and macabre always creates gorgeous dark tapestries. Their lyrical content probably evokes smiles from H.P. Lovecraft’s spirit from beyond, and their adrenaline-packed yet polished musicianship is worthy of being featured in the most regal diabolical or vampiric throne rooms. I couldn’t get their newest The Manticore And Other Horrors playing fast enough! I was not disappointed.

Check out the video for “Frost On Her Pillow” .

Hailing from the U.K., Cradle of Filth’s current line-up includes charismatic frontman Dani Filth, guitarists Paul Allender and James McIlroy, drummer Martin Marthus Skaroupa (who also performed keyboards on “Manticore”). They were joined on this album by Lucy Atkins, who provided the female vocals, and bassist Daniel Firth.

Although “Manticore” does have an underlying theme uniting its songs, it diverges from the “concept album” storylines of some of its predecessors like “Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa”, “Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder”, and of course – my favorite – “Midian”. Plus, I was a little disappointed that “Hellraiser”’s Pinhead – Doug Bradley – hasn’t had a spoken part on a Cradle album since “Godspeed”. That out of the way, “Manticore” is still a fantastic album!

The haunted, atmospheric instrumental intro “The Unveiling Of O” leads us into this mythological bestiary of an album. I love “The Abhorrent” – an explosive demonic invocation. “For Your Vulgar Delectation” depicts orgiastic pagan revelries. “Illicitus” explodes with passion as someone is put under the inescapable spell of a seductress.

The title creature, “The Manticore” (for those of you who don’t already know, it’s a legendary Persian winged beast with the body of a lion, a human head with three rows of shark-like teeth) indeed conjures this beast – who then proceeds to leave a trail of carnage in her wake; the musicianship is also appropriately threatening, with a hint of a Middle Eastern flavor. “Frost On Her Pillow” is a glimpse into necrophilia, with equally disturbing musicianship sending chills down the spine. The tormented “Huge Onyx Wings Behind Despair” is the soundtrack to desolation. The predatory “Pallid Reflection” depicts a stalking vampire giving into urges yet harboring romantic love as well – this is my favorite on the album! The fretwork is phenomenal on this song as well.

The epic, apocalyptic “Siding With The Titans” releases the Kraken along with his other pre-Olympian monstrous brethren. A beguiling demon enchants us in “Succumb To This”, which features incredibly powerful musicianship. The keyboard-driven instrumental “Sinfonia” is a gorgeous haunted symphony designed to entertain the creatures of the night.

The Deluxe Edition of “Manticore” also contains the songs “Nightmares of an Ether Drinker” and “Death – The Great Adventure”, but neither of those were available on the review copy of the album.

This album has already earned a slot in The Crowgrrl’s personal Heavy Rotation Stack. I highly recommend it!

~Athena Schaffer