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Music Review: Cradle of Filth – Nymphetamine

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Cradle of Filth is a band that I have been meaning to get into for quite some time. I think I was intrigued more by their name than anything else, it just struck me as something I’d like.

So, I decided to give their latest album Nymphetamine a spin. What I was expecting was something in the hardcore or grindcore arena. What I got was black metal.

Black metal has always been an interesting genre. I take the occasional trip to the darker side of metal. I never stay too long, but each visit is always an experience. I think the thing that I like about black metal as opposed to many of the xcore type styles is the increased use of melody. There is a stronger sense of flow throughout the music. It isn’t quite as broken apart.

There are more interesting and complex arrangements and an increased use of keyboards. Cradle of Filth has done a good job bringing these elements together to deliver a good album.

A friend has told me about how he thinks that there is a sense that Filth has sold out to the Hot Topic crowd of faux-goths. I cannot really comment on that as it is not a circle in which I travel, nor am I terribly familiar with the band’s back catalog. What I hear, may not be quite as extreme as, say, Emperor, but it is still an edgy dark album. I cannot claim that it has turned me into a lifelong fan, but I can say that I enjoyed the trip that it took me on.

I have listened through the album a few times and can honestly say that most of the time I have no idea what Dani is saying, not necessarily a bad thing as he does some interesting things with his voice, but the words escaped me. What I liked was that it was not as far to the black metal side as some I have heard, making this seem a bit more accessible to the non-black metal fan. There is an epic feel to the songs going through numerous tempo changes, bringing the moods all over the map. At times it’s somber and sad, at other times aggressive and biting. Sometimes floating between the two.

Dani Filth’s voice is an interesting beast, always seeming layered with effects, playing in a grating upper register most of the time, and occasionally dipping into the depths conjured by the back of his throat. It’s more another instrument then a conveyor of words. It creates its own rhythm on top of the instruments laying down a complex sound board for him to weave in and out of.

The two guitar players, Paul Allender and Germs Warfare, have some interesting interplay, lead harmonies, screeching solos, hard clipped riffs, and open chords, melody fills. They give a lot of the body to the sound.

I must admit, that bassist Herr Pubis is not terribly evident. There is a definite low end, but he seems to be following the kick drum or rhythms and gets lost down there. Drummer Adrian Erlandsson has a good sound, mixing up straight speed with some good kick drum fills and keeping the rhythm going strong. Finally there is Martin Foul, who adds a lot of atmosphere to the chaos with his keyboard playing. It may not be as technically evident as some I have heard, but the atmosphere supplied is more than enough. I have always enjoyed the use of keyboards in the extreme metal styles, they often add a new dimension to the sound.

There are some songs that grabbed me right from the start. The first being the third track, “Nemesis,” a long grinding dirge, with a repeated line backed by a chunky chord progression that just begs for the slow head bang. Another is the title track, “Nymphetamine (Overdose),” which features a slower somber moment with a female singing lead – an interesting opposite to Dani’s growl.

Then there is “Filthy Little Secret,” which features a more straight forward power metal styling. Throughout the album are keyboard intros to maybe half the songs which go a long way to setting the mood. I would be remiss if I failed to mention the bizarre “Mother of Abominations.” It opens with a bizarre chant which grows in power and number of voices only to give way to some speedy guitar progressions leading into the song proper.

There is also a bonus track, “Nymphetamine (Fix),” which is more mainstream sounding and features more interplay between Dani and the female singer. It plays out a bit slower, and has this eerie segment where Dani is whispering and it switches between the left and right channels (especially eerie when wearing headphones). An excellent alternate version.

Bottomline. It is an interesting album to say the least, one that would not be recommended to the novice metal listener, but for those with a bent towards the more extreme, this may be a good one to check out. As I said earlier, I may not be a completely converted fan, but I would not be adverse to delving into other releases.

Recommended.

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  • Jasen Weber

    Cradle of Filth is the best band ever, and that fued with Dimmu Borgir is ok because everyone knows that Cradle of Filth is way better all the same i wish the best to both bands. CRALDE OF FILTH RULES!!!!

  • noidea

    Man last album from cradle of filth is no black metal… if u dont know that better dont review an album like that….

  • cradleoffilthfreak

    The cd NYMPHETAMINE has to be one of the best cds ive ever heard from CRADLE OF FILTH… To me i think there still dark and scary like from there demo TOTAL FUCKING DARKNESS…. Still dark still metal still the same cradle of filth i no…. I dont care what people say when they say that CRADLE OF FILTH lost there touch or that they are not the same…. I say f**k you, you really dont listin to CRADLE OF FILTH that much then…. Dark as ever and heavy as ever…. Well thats all i have to say about that

    STAY ROCKING AND

    I LOVE CRADLE OF FILTH

  • Pandora

    Brilliant album, brilliant songs.Keep it up cradle!

  • daisy

    YEh i reckon cradle OF filth fuckin ROCKS
    THEY R SO GD AND DANI’S VOICE IS FUCKIN AMAZING!

    SO IS DIMMU BORGIR

  • DAISY

    SO DOES DIMMU BORGIR**

  • pedram

    Cradle of Filth is realy marvelous.i can say it s a kind of exception in its genre.Dany s lyrics realy rocked my mind the first time i read,i think “bitter suites to succubi” has been their best release.

  • http://allpoetry.com/poets/noun Noun

    I own a fair share of CoF albums (around eight?), and Nymphetamine is one of them. In fact, my first. Perhaps that is why I favour it over the rest. No, it is not their best album (Midian, perhaps, qualifies for that), and yes, it is very different than the others, but it is unquestionably still Cradle. I have to say that I agree with this review wholeheartedly.

  • this guy

    cradle of filth is really amazing not just for their music but their lyrics too, I believe that alothough many people have criticed cof to be death adoring and not to make sense i think that the lyrtics are really in depth and poetic much better than fallout boys lyrics. But then again i dont know why i made that comparison they r pretty much opposite types of bands. Nyway cof is my second fav band next to a great underground punk band called thinkpol ( spelt like that ) i recentally saw them and their singer had the best voice i have ever heard. No quivering in his voice or nything at all absolutaly fanytstic.

  • muggendevlieg

    YEAH! Dusk.. is really their best album, but Midian and V Empire are also very close! I don’t think that CoF SUCKS!!!! Shoot the ones who think that!! NooOOo CoF makes my life better!! 😀

  • holly666

    I love Cradle of Filth! They are the best band ever! Dani’s voice is awesome…he is also HOT! Nymphetamine is definately not their best work…maybe you should try the Lovecraft and Witchhearts cds, or Midian, Hell you might as well try them all! I listen to Cradle of Filth all the time. I know the words! Dimmu Borgir is excellent, too…also you should listen to Lamb of God. Cradle Rules.

  • lord_abortion

    mmmmmm i think that Nymphetamine isn´t the best work of CoF…………but it´s very good……… my favourite song of that album is “Nymphetamine Fix”…jaja it´s a little slowly but i love it……….and the lyrics………simply perfect……………..

    the best album of CoF i think that is Midian………..or can be Cruelty And The Beast or Dusk and Her Embrace…………..

    I love all that albums…………

    I love the dynamic or Cof……………….

    Dimmu also is a good band………
    but my favourite style is Cof´s style
    😀
    xP

  • lord_abortion

    sorry…….. my english isn´t good……….

    I´m not an expert english speaker and writter…

    xD

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Luckly, help is ready standing for to assist in the learning of the English Conversation.

  • Guppusmaximus

    Necrophagist would dust these generic hacks!!

    Good Review though, Chris….

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    Thanks Guppus, surprised to see the recent comments on this, it’s well over a year old!

  • courtney

    hey hey hey i love this band its the most koolest band ever made well gtg in class lax

  • Deano

    Ive listened to cradle for about 9 years now! Nymphetamine is know way their best album, but it does kick ass!! Personally I think Vempire is their best – Dark, Poetic just awesome! Up the Cradle!!

  • Aleee

    I don’t think its fair to lump Cradle of Filth in with Black metal, or indeed any other genre. They’ve really taken parts of black metal, symphonic metal and gothic metal and moulded it alltogether in their own hardcore melodic sound. I’m an extreme fan of their work: their music is beautiful whilst still being heavy, and dani is a lyrical mastermind. They’ve had a lot of criticism for ‘selling out’ but hey, it makes them money doesn’t it. I know thats not what music is all about but a man has to earn his bread and butter. Its really none of my business. I just like the songs, whatever genre it is and no matter how many albums they’ve sold or interviews they’ve hammed it up for. Does it matter if they’re ‘not true to black metal’ if their songs are a in a masterclass of their own? I don’t think so.

    I rambled for quite some time there ^.^
    Anyway, Nymphetamine is an excellent album. But you cannot, in my opinion, top Midian. Tearing the Veil from Grace is one of my no.1 songs. And I like A LOT of songs. XD

  • 999Amber666

    Cradle of Filth changes to much. But what band doesn’t do that anymore?? Its like they have to change to keep up with the time. Of course theres other reasons too. But like i said, ALOT of bands have changed. and i dont listen to Cradle of Filth much, so i dont know alot about them. But i do know bands change, mostly for the worst. Just gotta live with it 😛 i mostly listen to bands that start in the 90’s, and i seem to like them better then. haha, just saying XD

  • http://hubpages.com/hub/Cradle-of-Filth Bud Gallant

    Nymphetamine is still one of CoF’s best albums I think. I was surprised to learn of the Grammy nomination, though, when I was researching for the band for an article myself. Goes to show how mainstream Cradle of Filth really has become.