Saturday, July 18, 2015

Cradle of Filth - Hammer of The Witches (2015)

When Cradle of Filth first was formed back in the early 90's, the band was one of the pioneers and creators of extreme metal, showing off a evil the world has never seen. Now, over 20 years later, they are about as harmful as a cup of milk, especially compared to all of the endless black metal and satanic acts that is out there today. But is it possible for the English band to gain back some of the fearful respect they acquired in the early stages of their career? This new release could make the answer to lean towards the yes side.

It is not that the band's 11th effort "Hammer of The Witches" is their most terrifying record yet, but it does contain a sort of self awareness, in which the band seem to understand that they have to stop focusing on the horror and the darkness, and instead focus on what really matters, the music. And they really seem to do just that, even if some of the songs here are on the lighter side, "Hammer of The Witches" still holds that Cradle of Filth vibe that we know all too well. It is fast, technical, dark, but not as heavy as several of their previous efforts.

The quality is there though, and it is shown instantly with "Yours Immortality...", a track with a lot of mean riffing, blasting beats, and a wide diversity. And the strong attacks from the band just keeps on coming. With songs like "Deflowering The Maidenhead, Displeasuring The Goddess" and "Blackest Magick In Practice", the band has a great foundation to stand on, and to build upon.

But for some odd reason, the band loses momentum further into the album, making "Hammer of The Witches" a "are we there yet?" experience. The record is generally a pleasant listen, but it would not have hurt the Cradle to cut one or two songs to make it tighter. And the fact that I got a version which includes two bonus tracks (both fairly mediocre) does not help the matter.

Despite being a little too long, "Hammer of The Witches" is an interesting album that certainly fulfill your needs for a daily dose of good, demonic metal. It definitely seem like their move to Nuclear Blast has served the band well, first delivering a nice offering in "The Manticore And Other Horrors", and now this. I do not think that Dani Filth and the rest of his crew will ever relive the time when they were one of the more evil acts in the business, but they should gain back some recognition with this excellent release.

Songs worthy of recognition: Blackest Magick In Practice, Yours Immortality..., "Deflowering The Maidenhead, Displeasuring The Goddess"

Rating: 7,5/10 Christian Soldiers

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