Title: Godspeed on the Devils Thunder
Artist: Cradle of Filth
Genre: Black Metal
Release Date: 24th October 2008
Label: Roadrunner Records
The British CRADLE OF FILTH emerged in 1991 and initially recorded 4 demos under a constant line-up change before signing to Cacophnous in 1994 and releasing the debut ‘The Principle of Evil Made Flesh’, the following years were marked by many line-up changes corresponding with a steadily growing following on the other hand. Since ‘Dusk…and her Embrace’ from 1997 reproaches hailed down on the band for conducting a sell-out and commercialization of the Black Metal scene. But they continued anyway and in 2008 release their already 8th album ‘Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder’.
First of all, I’m in no position of doing any comparisons of this album with one of the recent ones so you won’t read any “The best since” or “This is much better than on” sentences here. So much for the prologue, now let’s start with the intro called ‘In Grandeur And Frankincense Devilment Stirs’ which is a pompous orchestral (Synth) intro with everything you would expect: Chorals, trumpets strings etc. before ‘Shat Out of Hell’ starts with an insane blast beat and raging riffs. This instrumental violence is gonna be maintained the whole song through and Dani Filth screams, grunts nags and screeches to a far-thee-well in various pitches. His screeching sometimes reminds me strongly of a vulture.
‘The Death of Love’ strikes moderate tones and speed and has a strong melodic character. Dani’s characteristic vocal warfare contradicts with the clean melodic female chant on the track. Apart from that the track doesn’t come up with a real highlight - sounds much too generic. ‘The 13th Caesar’ starting with sublime orchestral passages until the machine-gun drum attack tears us out of our lethargy and Dani gives everything again while twin guitars and choirs are rushing towards eternal damnation. The tempo varies quite often adding to a higher diversity of the track. ‘Tiffauges’ is something for the classic admirers amongst you and a tiny orchestral intermezzo. The next regular track ‘Tragic Kingdom’ then rises with a similar high speed than the last one whereas the orchestral elements stay very much in the background for a big part of the song, but we get to hear some neat riffs and a cool solo. Now let’s come to the epics of the album, both of almost 9 minutes duration.
The first one is ‘Midnight Shadows Crawl to Darken Counsel with Life’ beginning with a gruesome description of what happened to the poor souls, having the bad luck to get in the clutches of Giles de Rais, the one person this album’s about. The drums relentlessly press forward, merge with the orchestral parts and the tempo varies a little through the course of the song but the extremeness always prevails. They could have done much more with these nearly nine minutes in my opinion. ‘Darkness incarnates’ is the second one and here I’d especially like to highlight the drum parts which I think are the best and vital ones on the whole album. A nice, long guitar solo would have been great here, but therefore the bass gets a short one. The longing chorals in the background harmonize incredibly well with the Metal elements and even real choirs have a guest appearance on the track. Even if the harshness hasn’t decreased a single bit on the title track, It’s building up much more atmosphere than any of the tracks before did. Church organs and the well-known orchestral parts have their fair share on that fact. The album ends as orchestral as it has started with the outro ‘Corpseflower’ which is all the darker than its counterpart.
I wouldn’t say ‘Godspeed on Devil’s Thunder’ is a groundbreaking album; it’s a solid one though it doesn’t differ much from the few CRADLE OF FILTH tracks I know and heard some time ago. It seems like they’ve found their perfect style and if you liked that mixture before you won’t be disappointed I believe.
01. In Grandeur And Frankincense Devilment Stirs – 2:27
02. Shat Out Of Hell – 5:03
03. The Death Of Love – 7:14
04. The 13th Caesar – 5:36
05. Tiffauges – 2:14
06. Tragic Kingdom – 6:00
07. Sweetest Maleficia – 5:59
08. Honey And Sulphur – 5:38
09. Mignight Shadows Crawl To Darken Counsel With Life – 8:59
10. Darkness Incarnate – 8:56
11. Ten Leagues Beneath Contempt – 4:59
12. Godspeed On The Devils Thunder – 5:37
13. Corpseflower – 2:42