Cradle Of Filth / Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa


Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa

Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa is the ninth studio album by English extreme metal band Cradle of Filth. It was released on November 1, 2010 by Peaceville Records. Earlier the album was erroneously referred to as All Hallows Eve,[2] probably because the announced release date was close to Halloween. This is also the first Cradle of Filth album to not feature any instrumental tracks.

Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa is a concept album in the same vein as its predecessor Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder; this time centring on the demon Lilith, the first wife of the Biblical Adam.[3] Dani Filth revealed to Metal Hammer in September 2010 that it will be a “feminine” companion piece to Godspeed, “which was a very masculine album, obviously due to its protagonist, Gilles De Rais.”[4] Unlike previous historically based concept albums Godspeed and Cruelty and the Beast, Darkly, Darkly will tell an original story. “It’s about the resurgence of Lilith into modern society as a deity,” Filth said. “There’s a bit of Victoriana in there. Essentially, at heart, it’s a nice gothic horror story.”[4] Reference to Greek mythology and the Knights Templar will also be made, in what’s referred to by the label as “a dark tapestry of horror, madness and twisted sex”.[5] At an early stage of the album’s development in late 2009, Filth hinted that its sound is “creepily melodic, like Mercyful Fate or a dark Iron Maiden“.[6] The Metal Hammer interview also likens it to King Diamond.

The Analysis:

The Cult Of Venus Aversa—-Beginning rather quiet with an almost acoustic, spanish style acoustic guitar, the intro of the song is led by the female spoken word that introduces the track before the mayhem actually begins. Dani enters the fray..in fine voice and with a welcoming shriek that makes me at once comfortable with the sound of the song. Trust me, if you are looking for something new and fresh, you really will not find it here. If you are looking for a new fix..a consistent sound and a welcoming blast of aggressive Metal…well, here it is!!!

One Foul Step From The Abyss—-With huge orchestrated overtures and plenty of dark mood settings, this song opens up and catches me attention from the first aggressive chords. This is classic SHIT!!! For the past 15 years or so, this band has kept me very happy and they continue to do so with this release. This has some catchy melody lines that sit with me from the very first listen…this is huge, dark, aggressive and full of that classic Filth vocal..alongside the gentle female backdrop vocals that add atmosphere and mystery to the whole damn thing. Freakin’ incredible!

The Nun With The Astral Habit—-Beginning with little fanfare or buildup, the heavily orchestrated mayhem is there right at the onset of the song. Filth delivers line after line at a blistering pace…making me question how the hell he manages to keep track of all of his words. Even more remarkable to me, is his ability to go from a growl to a shriek to a whisper at the drop of a dime. Some of the deep sounds he produces on this song are better than anything I have heard since Nymphetamine!!!

Retreat Of The Sacred Heart—-With really nice aggressive lead guitars and short keyboard blasts of orchestration, Dani enters with his vocal and delivers a track that is trademark and fairly rote. sounding like it would have for perfectly on any of the last three releases, the band and Filth himself seems to have found a very comfortable place in which to create music. I still question how long this guy can really continue to sing like this, but for me..on this song, the star is the stellar music..with huge and monumental chord changes, tempo shifts and exquisite mood..you are always guessing as to what comes next. Fantastic!!!

The Persecution Song—-This is fantastic right from the onset…although this bears a striking resemblance to a song from the Godspeed release. The melody is so dark and attractive…it is quickly becoming a favorite of mine from this CD. This is sharp, moody and incredible dark…with a damn accessible vocal to boot. This is stellar!!! The guitars are just incredible….I love MELODY!!!!

Deceiving Eyes—-This begins with a much more classic Heavy Metal sound than I have heard from Cradle in sometime…the keyboards don’t really kick in until the vocal does. At that point, the song becomes much more layered and symphonic and that sound seems to increase as this almost 7 minute track progresses. This is stellar though…classic Cradle with all the trimming…right in time for the Great Thanksgiving!!!

Lilith Immaculate—-With thunderous drums ushering in the song, the guitars and orchestration provide the perfect backdrop for the murderous and tortured screams from Dani…the gentle interludes that the female vocal provides round out this track as masterfully as anything the band has produced. Sarah does not sing with Cradle anymore right? This female is so damn close I have to wonder. Anyways, the melodies that all of this noise produces is freakin’ amazing…it is hard to imagine order through all of the chaos, but it is well in tact…this is another favorite track of mine!!!

The Spawn Of Love And War—-This is one of those familiar filler tracks…that helps to round out the story and seems a bit weak on substance but delivers a powerful Metal element none the less. Dani sounds possessed at times on this song…the epic lines of the song are believe it or not a bit too overblown…but this seems to be the only misstep on this release for me…to me it sounds like the band is just going through the motions…although there are some stellar vocal moments!

Harlot On A Pedestal—-With some overt Maiden sounds, this song travels at an amazing pace..pleasing me to no fucking end. This is intense and may very well be the most ‘brutal’ track on this release. I love the speed and the drums with leave you in a damn coma…this is fast…furious and delivered with an energy that you don’t even get from brand new bands..let alone bands that have been in the game for this long. Dani delivers a great vocal…I love his growl as much as his shriek and you get a nice mix of both. The lead guitar solo on this track is something that is missing from most music today and it is almost refreshing to hear. This is incredible…another favorite track of mine!!!!

Forgive Me Father [I Have Sinned]—-The first ‘single’ release from this CD, this is classic and a bit predictable. delivering to new and old fans alike a sound that is trademark and reliable, I rather like the tone of the vocal from Filth….indeed it is the most accessible on the release. The music is full of that magnificent kind of pompous music that filth has built the career upon in the past few years, and it plays damn well. This is melodic..almost bordering on contagious!!! this is stellar..another of those songs that I will turn to again and again when I need a ‘quick fix’!!! Fantastic!!!

Beyond Eleventh Hour—-Ending the release, much as it began, the female spoken word introduction is rather wonderful. You wait and wait..knowing that the onslaught is not far behind…this is stellar…full of energy and the kind of mayhem that will make you a bit crazy after repeated listens. This is soooo classic and expected that it somehow catches you off guard. The band sounds better than ever…delivering the closing lines with the same mastery as the opening lines. Filth sounds like these are the fist notes he has ever uttered…the sound is that genuine…this is just incredible…another release that finds itself in my ‘favorites’ catalog…long live the Cradle!!!!

****3/4 out of 5

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