Cradle of Filth - _Cruelty and the Beast_
(Music For Nations, 1998)
by: Pedro Azevedo (8 out of 10)
So this is it. My turn to review an album by Cradle of Filth, a band almost everyone seems to either love or hate. Coincidentally, I neither love nor hate them. _Cruelty and the Beast_ is a good album, but simultaneously slightly disappointing for me. Most of the 'classic' Cradle of Filth elements are here (including Dani's well-worked lyrics, the usual imagery effort and Sarah Jezebel Deva's nice vocals), as well as plenty of quality musical sequences throughout nearly one hour. _Cruelty and the Beast_ is mostly less aggressive and especially less intense than the 'old' CoF; it's also a bit more theatrical (_CatB_ is an interesting concept album about Elizabeth Bathory, by the way) than their previous albums. The average speed is lower than before; the guitar sound is usually cleaner; and the drum sound is of strangely poor quality, tending to hurt the album. The cleaner guitar sound also sometimes becomes very thin when the keyboards are silent, which, together with the drum sound, has poor results. However, despite the production faults, _Cruelty and the Beast_ should be worthy of purchase in case you like CoF's style.

(article published 7/6/1998)

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