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29
4.6 out of 5 stars
Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 2 November 2010
let me start by saying, i don't care if you would say this is black metal, goth metal, or anything else. all anyone needs to know is that is an amazing album by a really good band. having been disapointed with nymp and thorn, i was relieved when cof released godspeed as that was a really good album and restored my faith in the band. however, when i first heard this album i was blown away, this is a fast and heavy album, the fastest since dusk i would say. two things suprised about this album, number 1, the intro is very short by usual cof standards, about 30 seconds and number 2, there is noticeably a lot less female vocals and what female vocals there are tend to be talking as opposed to singing. neither of things are meant in a bad way but they are different for this band.

anyway, the long and short of it is, get this album if you are a fan of this band or metal in general as it is epic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2010
I've given this cd a few spins now & I am absolutely loving it, don't be put off by the single "forgive me father (I have sinned)" as its not an accurate representation of the rest of the album, more of a watered down sample I would say, everything feels like its fallen into place with this record I had doubts about the new keyboard player but she is really talented & brings a nice selection of sounds to the album, secondly I was a bit worried about pauls guitar playing don't get me wrong I think he can do some really good work sometimes but I reckon he needs someone to bounce off & thankfully james mckillroy makes a return for this album (we last heard him on nymphetamine), its really nice to hear some well written melodies from them again,

dani's lyrics are on top form as are his vocals I really prefer his recent style of vocals, plenty of variation instead of just relentless screech like back in the day though I must admit I love the early stuff too, the drumming is top notch with plenty of blast's & complex patterns,

this album is really high speed & gets really heavy in places which is fantastic, there are no instrumentals on this album which is a surprise but it feels justified as there are more than enough keys arranged throughout the tracks, the production is also really nice but very polished I am loving the sound of the guitars & they sound very thrashy in places,

this really is almost a return to form, its got the melody of nymphetamine, the pace of godspeed (if not faster!) & touches of the old cradle we know & love, forget what the haters say & make up your own mind, from where I'm standing this really is a great extreme gothic metal record that sits somewhere between "damnation & a day" & "nymphetamine" in terms of quality, I reckon the way forward for this band is to maybe play with the production a bit & try to get a more raw & atmospheric sound, if its too polished I reckon it looses some impact & doesn't sound as dark & they are writing some awesome compositions so I just wish there was a bit more grit in there, then they truly will be on their way back to the "dusk & her embrace" & "cruelty & the beast" era!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 June 2011
This has to be my favourite CoF album of all time.

All the songs are so dark, vaudevillian and poetic - as per usual - and every drumbeat and guitar pluck so well thought out and timed; every song becomes a guilty pleasure to listen to.
The album is constructed like a story; every song has something to do with the last, and documents (as far as I'm aware) the rise of Lilith - a dark goddess - from the point of view of Isaac.

The music isn't just astounding, but the "Story", the lyrics... If you liked CoF before; this is a must have.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2010
Darkly, Darkly Venus Adversa is the latest album from the UK's no 1 Extreme Metal Sympho-Goth band. If you haven't heard this band before then you should hear a few tracks before making a purchase, as they really are a love 'em or hate 'em band.
Don't be put off buying this album by the "Forgive me father(I have sinned) "cheesefest" single. This album is actually good! It's fast, heavy and with some good melodic guitar work. It's well written and produced and Martin Skaroupka really is one of the best extreme metal drummers around, adding his finesse to every track. It is however not entirely original musically, as it's quite similar to "Godspeed on the devil's thunder". In fact it's like the feminine version.
A great album and a must for fans, though not as spectacular as "Dusk and her embrace", "Cruelty and the beast" and "Midian".
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Following Cradle of Filth's golden age which began with the excellent `Principle of Evil Made Flesh' and ended with the equally ambitious `Midian' the band seemed paralysed by indecision. The mini-album `Bitter Suites to Succubi' offered up a perplexing mixture of covers, new tunes and unnecessary re-recorded versions of old favourites while the follow up `Damnation and a Day' was a bloated and largely irrelevant chapter in the band's history. Sadly things would hardly improve for `Nymphetamine', an album which displayed a similar lack of purpose before `Thornography' saw the band slowly return to form.

Everything changed with 2008's astonishingly good `Godspeed and the Devil's Thunder', an album which saw the band belt out the best tunes they'd written since `Midian'. Returning to high concept, the band played to their considerable strengths and with a decent story to back their musical depravity, the album had a strong focus which was irresistible despite the fact that the band left Roadrunner following the album's release amidst a blaze of recrimination (long-time fans of the band were always sceptical of Britain's premiere black metal allying themselves with the home of Nickelback - proof, as if any were needed, that Roadrunner are not exactly staffed by music fans unmoved by commercial concerns). Now safely in the arms of the excellent Peaceville records, Cradle of Filth continue their upward trajectory with the astounding `Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa' which sees the band build upon the foundations laid by `Godspeed...' and excel themselves with a brutal, furious assault on the senses that could be the best thing they've recorded since `Cruelty and the Beast'.

Opting for the vinyl version is a sensible option. A beautiful gatefold that truly gives the best view of the stunning artwork, the album is pressed on 180gm coloured vinyl and housed in printed sleeves which offer up pictures and lyrics. While a box set also offers a gratifying experience for the fan, it is the ultra-limited, ultra-special vinyl version (which comes complete with a free download for those of you who just can't tear yourselves away from digital formats) that we are reviewing.

Opening with the baroque atmosphere of `the cult of Venus Aversa', the band don't break convention by building the introduction into the stupendously fast track rather than offering it as a separate entity. Easily the best opening since the still-awe-inspiring `thirteen autumns and a widow', it offers everything that's best about the filth - razor sharp guitars, insane keyboards, more blast beats than your head can stand and Dani's depraved yelp which, remarkably, is still a multi-faceted thing of wonder. Lyrically, too, Dani is in fine form with his typically ornate prose printed on the record sleeves for those who struggle to decipher his animalistic grunts and groans. With the band seemingly at the height of their powers it is of little surprise that the second track `one final step from the abyss' maintains the ludicrous standard set by its predecessor. Opening with a darkly atmospheric keyboard section, it rapidly develops into a maelstrom of incredibly fast guitar and lyrical venom yet it is possessed of a dark groove and sense of control that keeps the track from ever sounding chaotic. Indeed, such is the quality of the production (ably overseen by Dani, Scott Atkins and Doug Cook with help from the legendary Andy Sneap) that every element is beautifully reproduced for the listener's consumption, and even if yuo hate COF it's impossible to say that they're not talented. Side one ends upon the utterly brutal `the nun with the astral habit' which sees Dani stretch his puns to breaking point while the band create a colossally fast soundtrack. It's a good song but suffers by comparison to the first two tracks which are simply immense (and thus excellent album openers).

Side two opens on a promising note with `retreat of the sacred heart', a burning, erotically charged burst of guitar mayhem with a brilliant, thrash informed breakdown which sees the band slow the pace a touch for a chugging and awesomely heavy chorus. It is, in point of fact, a simply great metal song that combines all of those disparate elements CoF have hinted at with their covers of everyone from Anathema to Iron Maiden into a single, melodic, well-crafted chunk of metal. Next up is `the persecution song' (perhaps written with the band themselves in mind given the amount of unfair flack they've had to dodge from tedious purists outraged by the notion that the band might actually be enjoying themselves) which is surely the band's token single (it is so much in the vein of `the death of love' that it could be its sequel), but then you have to forgive CoF their token `pop moment' because in fairness they've been including them in their records at least since `Midian' and they're always great ways to sucker the unsuspecting into their dark world. For those with a faster taste, then `Deceiving eyes' sees things back on track.

Side three sees the vinyl change from a dark blue to a deep, rich, Burgundy colour and the frankly ridiculous `Lilith immaculate' which deftly mixes furious guitars and guttural screams with some excellently tempered female vocals and a classical flourish in the melody line that is wholly unexpected and entirely welcome - this may be the effect of former Abigail Williams pianist Ashley Ellyllon joining as pianist and backing vocalist (replacing Sarah Jezebel Deva, who went off to release a singularly underwhelming solo album) - but certainly the female vocals have a greater weight in the mix than previously. `The spawn of love and war' opens with a suitably grandiose classical section before the guitars smash the mood to pieces and Dani lets forth a litany of beautifully phrased and thoroughly lascivious lyrics on what is easily the catchiest track on the album despite the fact that it cheerfully retains its resolute heaviness. `Harlot on a pedestal', meanwhile is an awesome slab of black-hearted metal that will silence any of the band's numerous critics if they stop harping on long enough to actually listen to the track.

That leaves only side four to round out this lengthy, and largely excellent, album. Strangely, the last side opens less-than-spectacularly with the rather odd `forgive me father' which showcases the Filth's love of NWOBHM just a little too clearly and, with all due respect, Dani really should avoid trying heavy metal vocals. His attempt is by no means bad, it's just not why we love Cradle and the effect is rather like hearing Madonna doing a Courtney Love impression - she may do a good job, but you just don't need it to happen! `Beyond eleventh hour' opens rather like a cross between a track from `cruelty...' and something by Nightwish, but happily it shifts into more familiar territory quickly enough and it's another belting Cradle tune that shows that this most devilish of bands still have talent, charisma and energy to spare. Closing number `beast of extermination' finishes the album in fine style and as the whole spinning circus of depravity ends, you're left wanting to start all over again.

Cradle of filth will always divide opinion. To be honest, to hell with the naysayers - CoF are fun, bold, exciting and often very, very good. This is easily their best album in some time and that's including the excellent `Godspeed on the devil's thunder'. If people out there want to roll their eyes and curse the name of filth, so be it, but if you like heavy, fast and intelligently written metal then this album will undoubtedly give you much pleasure. A gem from a perennially underrated band.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 November 2010
I have been a fan of cradle of filth for a very long time, there is not an album of theirs i have not got and this is the latest of them and in all the years ive listented to them they have never failed to deliver the goods and believe me i have listented to some very good bands in my time and i have to list cradle in the top of the rankings in my view they are the best of what they do this is yet another example why it is simply one of the best metal albums of this year if you dont buy this album you will regret it thats all i can say
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on 27 July 2011
It's easy to criticize when a band becomes successful, or even mega-successful, in the way that the Filth have but in this one particular case, I don't think commercial wellbeing and selling out are contermineous as they produce stunning opus after stunning opus.

Darlky, darlky returns to the same old themes admittedly but the musicianship continues to spellbind, Dani's vocal range seems undiminished by his expanding waistline (remember the eldritch wraithlike figure he used to cut LOL)but Gothic Iperatic Metals answer to meatloaf is writing the same damnable lyrics with the same panache.

Standouts, apart from the above are the drumming which seems to be exactly the right level in the mix and underpins everything tughtly in the way that the rhythm dept should in any metal band.

So nothing earthshatteringly novel to report but that's only by their own impeccable standards, just imagine if this was a new release from an unheard-of band, everbody would be freaking out but, because they're not new it seems .... as if they've been around forever.

This is just as good as their other albums, certainly MIdian et al. If it doesn't sound quite as freash as, lets say Dusk and her Embrace, imagine how difficult it must be to sound fresh when ... you're not, but the quality is still there.

I found it exciting, really. Buy it!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 5 December 2010
This is your typical Cradle CD, although it feels like it was just pushed out because they had to.

Just after I bought it, I put it on whilst I was preparing dinner. Unlike 'Dusk and her embrace', 'Nymphetamine' and 'Thornography', you'd hardly noticed it was playing. Sure, you can hear that unique Cradle sound, but it doesn't really grab your attention.

Personally, I'd wished I'd listened to a few samples before I'd bought it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 February 2011
I was not too sure what to think of this album,upon hearing the single "Forgive Me Father (I have Sinned)" but the rest of the album was a crushing slab of Extreme Metal! With Cradle of Filth you know what you are getting. Love it or Hate it,simple as that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 December 2010
This is another epic album by Cradle Of Filth. I think in terms of heaviness this maybe their heaviest album yet. However,I think this is the best album since Nymphetamine and the signs of maybe returning to their excellence of Dusk And Her Embrace!!!
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