Cradle Of Filth: Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa

Carry On black metal troupe return with concept album.

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

The Spinal Tap of Death Metal, Cradle Of Filth sway dangerously on the edge of parody – witness, for example, the name of their label, Abracadaver, or indeed the title of this, their ninth studio album.

Now advancing in years, even Dani Filth can’t take himself entirely seriously any more, and their ferocious swirl of sound is now accompanied by a hokey ‘concept’ that encompasses Lilith [‘Adam’s first wife’] medieval nuns, Knights Templar and Greek mythology, an unlikely brew that even Dan Brown would reject as implausible.

It’s fun, though, in an odd kind of way. It would take a heart of stone not to laugh along with Harlot On A Pedestal, and the opening effort, The Cult Of Venus Aversa, is gloriously tongue in cheek.

“It’s a gothic horror themed slay-ride of fervour and perversion,” says Dani. Of course it is, dear. Released at Halloween, panto season would have been more appropriate.

Jon Hotten

Jon Hotten is an English author and journalist. He is best known for the books Muscle: A Writer's Trip Through a Sport with No Boundaries and The Years of the Locust. In June 2015 he published a novel, My Life And The Beautiful Music (Cape), based on his time in LA in the late 80s reporting on the heavy metal scene. He was a contributor to Kerrang! magazine from 1987–92 and currently contributes to Classic Rock. Hotten is the author of the popular cricket blog, The Old Batsman, and since February 2013 is a frequent contributor to The Cordon cricket blog at Cricinfo. His most recent book, Bat, Ball & Field, was published in 2022.