Cradle of Filth - _Midian_
(Music for Nations / Koch, 2000)
by: Aaron McKay (8.5 out of 10)
Bigger isn't always better. Some would point out that Cradle of Filth is the best known and/or best selling "black" metal band on the scene today. While I have issues with calling CoF "black metal", I would buy their "vampyric evil metal" label. Regardless, Cradle of Filth has enjoyed a lot of name recognition, for sure. I have never been all that fond of their efforts previously; however, I found _Midian_ to be very provoking and interest inducing -- some of Cradle of Filth's most promising material to date. Other than Cradle of Filth's cover of Iron Maiden's "Hallowed Be thy Name", from the limited edition double disc _Cruelty and The Beast_ in 1998, very few of this band's songs have appealed to me like _Midian_, as a whole, has succeeded in doing. I also enjoy the dichotomy present on this disc, as well. Midian, as some horror fans will no doubt remember, is semi-loosely based on Clive Barker's short story "Cabal", which was remade into the movie "Nightbreed". In this world of Barker's creation, Midian is where the monsters go. For these outcast protagonists, Midian was both a heaven and a hell. Much the same way this grandiose effort by England's CoF is a gratifying lesson on the topic of torment and tribulation. There are many fulfilling surprises awaiting you on this release. Maybe it was the whole "open door policy" with Cradle of Filth's membership going on for such a long time that would have eventuated a disastrous end for any lesser of a band that gave this offering its edge. However you look at it, _Midian_ is quite possibly the proof that sometimes having too many cooks in the kitchen isn't a recipe for disaster. Furthermore, I might even have gone in for an additional half point or so were it not for the completely useless and utterly unavailing waste of time, track none, I mean -nine-, called "Satanic Mantra". YAWN! Other than that -one- fifty second foul departure, the rest of _Midian_ is as solid a CoF output as I could have hoped for. They managed to pull a chiding cynic like me closer to their fan-base; not an easy thing to do. _Midian_ is out Halloween (of course). Grab it up, friends. "You are no longer Aaron Boone. You are Cabal!"

(article published 20/11/2000)

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