Cradle Of Filth and Savage Messiah at Electric Ballroom, London - live review

Gothic metal mavens still own their orgy

Cover art for Cradle Of Filth and Savage Messiah live at Electric Ballroom, London

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Goths… Goths everywhere. A PVC plague descends upon Camden and SAVAGE MESSIAH [6] do an admirable warm-up job. Their thrashier numbers play well, but when they end on the wet, hair metal-ish Wing And A Prayer… it’s like watching Bon Jovi support Satyricon. CRADLE OF FILTH [9] materialise and with a brutally infectious Gilded Cunt they’re off, as dancers with angle grinders shower them with sparks. There’s no fannying about here. Cradle buried 2017 with their latest record, Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness Of Decay, and they have the show to back it; Richard Shaw and Ashok are Halloween’s answer to Tipton and Downing, lacing twin-leads around each other, the former maniacally smacking his head for reasons unknown. Orchestrating these black metal-lite larks is Dani Filth, hopping about like a wankered wraith. His high screams are the dirtiest they’ve been since Midian’s tour circa 2000, and when he’s barking through rare cuts like The Promise Of Fever, Dusk And Her Embrace and the majestic Bathory Aria, duetting with keyboardist/legit superstar Lindsay Schoolcraft, it’s proper bit-between-the-teeth stuff. New tracks slay. Obscure songs fizz. Setlist staples Her Ghost In The Fog and Nymphetamine are revitalised, crackling with urgency as each member works for their pay and then some. Cradle are one of metal’s most idiosyncratic acts and, on this form, with this lineup, they deserve the fucking world.

Alec Chillingworth

Alec is a longtime contributor with first-class BA Honours in English with Creative Writing, and has worked for Metal Hammer since 2014. Over the years, he's written for Noisey, Stereoboard, uDiscoverMusic, and the good ship Hammer, interviewing major bands like Slipknot, Rammstein, and Tenacious D (plus some black metal bands your cool uncle might know). He's read Ulysses thrice, and it got worse each time.