Cradle of Filth - _Dusk and Her Embrace_
(Music For Nations, 1996)
by: Brian Meloon (8 out of 10)
I guess there isn't really too much to say about this other than: if you liked _Vempire..._ (see review in CoC #11), you'll like this, and if you didn't, this probably won't change your mind. The similarities to _Vempire..._ are numerous; the production is nearly identical, the vocal styles (male and female spoken parts, growls, and screams) are similar, and the gothic influence is just as heavy. There are a few differences though, the most important being the more prominent guitar work. There are a few leads (which remind me of Dark Tranquillity or Iron Maiden), and even a solo. Unfortunately, the guitars have never been CoF's strong point, and some of the parts sound a little sloppy. The keyboard tones are similar, but there are a few new ones, and a (much appreciated by this reviewer) reappearance of the pipe organ tone from _TPoEMF_. The non-digipack version contains 7 real songs, and two short instrumentals, and the digipack version contains "Nocturnal Supremacy '96", a remake of the (weakest) song from _Vempire..._. The artwork is less overtly sexual (no naked chicks this time), but similar in flavor to the previous artwork. (BTW, check out Nicholas in the band pictures, he alternately looks like Uncle Fester and Rob Halford) Although there aren't any obvious flaws, overall I find this a little bit of a letdown. It just doesn't seem very striking. It's good, but nothing really stands out to me, the songs just seem to pass by without really making a statement. Perhaps a few more listens will reveal some intricacies that I'm missing, but for now, I'm a little disappointed.

(article published 2/1/1997)

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