Back in 1999, Cradle Of Filth were not only the UK’s biggest black metal band, but they were exciting, challenging and prepared to take musical risks. The EP From The Cradle To Enslave that year was a visionary stride forward into the mists of the onrushing new century.
While the band still had a vicious bite, with Stuart Anstis’s guitar ripping out chunks of rotting flesh and Dani Filth’s nasty vocal croak having a manic sadism, they were also opening up fresh musical avenues. Lecter’s keyboard approach had a diabolic, symphonic presence and the songs were remarkably well honed.
You can hear the emphasis on allowing the tracks to develop at their own pace through the title song and Dark Brooding And Fucking, while the cover of Misfits’ Death Comes Ripping adds a mature moodiness to the text, and Sleepless, a version of an early Anathema tune, is gothically brooding.
The band also show their ability to immerse themselves in electronics with Pervert’s Church, a remix of the song From The Cradle, showing a welcome Depeche Mode influence.
Funeral In Carpathia (Be Quick Or Be Dead Mix) has a surprisingly deft melodic feel beneath the savage torque. And they incite a rhythmic riot to embellish the tone of Dawn Of Eternity, a Massacre cover.
Now available on vinyl for the first time, and appropriately pressed in blood red, this stands as one of the band’s finest achievements. As such, it should be praised for being among black metal’s landmark releases.