Cradle of Filth - _Vempire or Dark Faerytales in Phallustein_
(Cacophonous, 1996)
by: Brian Meloon (8 out of 10)
The second release from these blasphemous English blokes shows them moving toward a more gothic, death metal sound. The production gives them a more professional sound, being thicker, heavier, and having a much better drum sound (including a tight bass drum sound), but less prominent keys and vocals. Dani's vocals are the same eerie shrieks mixed with the occasional guttural death metal belch. Unfortunately, he's mixed too low at times, making it difficult to hear (let alone understand) what he's saying, and he continues his (bad) habit of singing extremely fast, which for some reason reminds me of Ross Perot. (?) They've also incorporated some sections with female voices... which I like, though they aren't terribly original. The guitar work is essentially death metal, with some black metal influences, similar to their previous style. The keys are once again very prominent, although their new keyboard player isn't as good as their previous one. The pipe organ sound is gone, replaced by more gothic tones... synth violins and such. The drumming is much improved, with some fast double bass work (helping to give this its death metal feel), and some interesting and varied playing. Unfortunately, there are only six tracks, of which one is a cover of a song on _TPoEMF_ ("The Forest Whispers My Name"), one is an all keyboard gothic instrumental (which is a little boring and rambling, but otherwise okay), and four real tracks. Overall, this is a step backward I think, but still very good.

(article published 9/6/1996)

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