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Malignant Hybrid Theories
on 2 January 2005
Now, if we are to look up the noun "Hybrid" in the dictionary, we would probably find "...of mixed origins or composition," or something similar. Now, this album is definitely deserving of the classification "Hybrid". Rather than pursuing the Black Metal ideals of Darkthrone, Cradle seem to have veered more in the direction of the more progressive Black Metal bands, such as Emperor and Sigh, and become less Black Metal and more accessible to the none-Black Metal hardcore fan. This album has some beautiful piano melodies (English Fire, Absinthe With Faust) some orchestral instrumentals far more interesting than, for instance, Sin Deep My Wicked Angel, (Satyriasis, Painting Flowers White Never Suited My Palette) and some tracks that are simply EPIC (Nymphetamine, Gabrielle, Swansong For A Raven, Mother Of Abominations).
Make no mistake, this album is NOT black metal. Indeed, it has more in common with the symphonic metal of Therion, and sometimes it even veers into Iron Maiden-esque heavy metal territory. This album, is, indeed, a hybrid of genres, and Black Metal simply happens to be one of the most prevailing of those genres.
Don't be expecting the poor production of true Black Metal, either; the vocals are crystal clear, as is everything else. While this music is dark and undoubtedly a little vicious, it doesn't sound as evil as such classic albums as A Blaze In The Northern Sky, but it makes up for this lack of frostiness, with its grandiose, sweeping gothic melodies.
The beautiful, epic storytelling of Her Ghost In The Fog and Beneath The Howling Stars is nowhere to be found on this album, which is definitely a shame, but such gripes are soon forgotten when hit by tracks like Nymphetamine. The first time I heard Gilded C*nt I was blown away, and was upset when it ended, and the rest of the album is definitely NOT a let down.
Overall, an excellent METAL album.