Here we go back to the sound of old, but not too old! The feel of the album reminds me of Damnation and a Day, not back to Midian etc as some people have said. I enjoyed Thornography, as most people didnt. I thought it was fresh and very catchy, but unlike Cradle. It will take some getting use to as all good music does. I wish they would keep the talky bits down a bit. I do realise this is a concept album, but it gets a bit much. Other than that, a top class record!
Cradles new album is one of their best yet! much harder with some fantastic lyrics!
Thornography was great to listen to the first time but i found myself listening to their previous work rather than thornography. I feared they would release an album very similar to thornography but i was proved wrong!
This album takes you back to the spirit of their midian era and provides great listening to any cradle fan 100% recommended!
After Thornography okay to middling effort in 2006 Cradle fans were longing for a return to the quality that had gone before. No covers of old pop songs, no collaborations with Ville Valo just sheer brutality. This delivers in spades. An awesome album that will be held up in future along side the likes of Midian and Cruelty and is arguably more complete than either. Furiously quick blastbeats welcome the new drummer in. Allender is back to his best days in terms of songwriting. Dani this time has proven the doubters wrong by offering great poetry delivered by a shuddering vocal performance many thought he had lost the ability to do. Any great Cradle album should leave the listener breathless by the end, I had to pause to catch my breath between songs. A genuine return to former glories leaving Thornography forgotten about. I retract the statement made in my Midian review, Cradle are back.
I think that the majority of Cradle fans would agree with me that their last 2 albums have been a bit of a disappointment. I wouldn't advise against having a listen to Thornography but it and Nymphetamine were very much on the commercial and crowd pleasing side, failing to really deliver on the heaviness, darkness and maleficent magic that we hope for. But times have changed and Cradle seem to have gone back to what they do best, another concept album (their 4th, if you count Midian, which is more linked by a theme than telling a story). So they return to tell the blood drenched, dark and decadent story of the notorious Gilles de Rais. Google him. Concept albums have always worked well for Cradle with Dani's deranged poetry and the band's seeming inability to write anything catchy that their fans don't hate.
Opener "Shat out of hell" isn't the most auspicious of openers, with a somewhat annoyingly shouty approach, although the powerful riff is a good start, and it gets pretty good toward the end. Then we start to get into the interesting territory. "The Death of Love" and "The 13th Ceasar" are both very impressive efforts. The former utilising Sarah's beautiful vocals to full effect to tell the dramatic and tragic tale of Joan of Arc. The latter is possibly my favourite. Gothic, spooky choral backing, beautiful strings and heavy riffs all mixed together. "Honey and Sulphur" is another winner, also employing the choirs and severely screechy vocals not to mention some very poetic lyrics. "Midnight Shadows..." is one of their more fun songs, with some melodic keyboards added. Finally, "Ten Leagues Beneath Contempt" is my other favourite, I think it somehow shows a more mature side to their music. Very beautiful lyrics and a simple but effective riff, I can't stop listening to it.
The only thing I really don't like about this album is they have overused Doug Bradley's narrative something chronic. It's a good bit of story telling the first or second time round, but mostly I just want to listen to the music, and it gets on my nerves having to sit through the narration. It depends whether or not you want to listen to the album in one go.
In a good year for Symphonic Black/Death Metal, with excellent releases from the likes of Haggard, Hollenthon, Therion and even a touch of the strings on Judas Priest's Nostradamus, this is another fine addition! Far less gimmicky and WAY more intense, than the underwhelming Thornography, this is a return to the cinematic scope of 2003's Damnation And A Day. There is much in terms of bombastic orchestration to be enjoyed - provided by keyboard/synth but none the less impressive for this. In fact, it's rivalled only by the sterling keyboard work on Epica's Divine Conspiracy in it's recreation of a real orchestral style sound. Haunting choral work is also present to chill and unease. The production is lavish, yet never loses sight that this IS Metal. Furious bass drums, harsh riffs and the demonic wails of Dani Filth liken comparison to Dimmu Borgir. The lyrics are dark and eloquently written, depicting the lifestory of a middle ages serial killer. Final exquisite touches are supplied by the superb vocal textures of Doug (Pinhead) Bradley on the narrative interludes. Class! Special mention for the superb artwork! This is so much better than the last album in every single department...
I was never much of a fan of Cradle's early works, although I admired the bands visualisations and their subject matter, I couldn't get past Dani's banshee/night after a bad curry vocal combo. However, Midian reeled me in with the fantastic "Her Ghost In The Fog" and I've been a fan ever since. I find it easy to like/dislike Cradle's albums, where Midian was an amazing album, I found Damnation hard work. I loved Nymphetamine and whilst I couldn't immediately like Thornography, I've since revisited it and found it to be an excellent album that I unfairly wrote off at first.
Godspeed is a whole different ball game though, I can't stop playing it. I've noticed other reviewers, fans of Cradles early stuff saying that this is the best since the old days...which I find interesting because I think that this album is a progression from Thornography. This album is meticulous in execution, from the concept to the ever reliable Doug Bradley's narration. The music is astounding, this band has never sounded better, I've always been impressed by the sheer poetry of Dani and this release is no exception.
I'm not even annoyed at the inclusion of two 'bonus' tracks on CD2 from "Harder, Darker Faster" (even though I bought the original Thornography) as for a change Roadrunner have given me the option of buying a special edition at the same time as the regular edition. Rare for Roadrunner!
All in all, I've never played a Cradle album as much as this one (much to the annoyance of my family/neighbours), a solid release from a band that polarize opinion but are always full of surprises.
This is arguably Cradle's best album to date, built in concept around the infamous Gilles de Rais. The narration throughout the album gives it a consistent, coherent feel and Dani's lyrics return to a more Gothic style following the relatively weak Thornography.
In Grandeur (the album intro) gives you a taste of the album in general, showcasing the band's excellent symphonic ability and creating an atmosphere that resides throughout the whole album.
Shat Out of Hell is the second track and immediately impresses with the speed and accuracy of the drums and the vocal talent with which Dani sings/growls/screams his wonderful lyrics.
The Death of Love has been criticized by some for its slightly un-Cradle riff but is in my opinion one of the highlights of the album; the story being told with female as well as Dani's vocals. Almost something you'd expect from Thornography, but it just about fits in this album and is hard to forget.
The 13th Caesar is next and is, in summary, awesome. Favorite song of the whole album.
Tiffauges serves to reiterate the album's message, and does so with only four lines spoken (this is an instrumental).
Tragic Kingdom comes in with possibly the most aggressive drumming yet by the band. The lyrics are, as usual, intriguing to listen to or read (the slightly more legible option). However, the majority of Dani's vocals can be understood which is a great improvement from their earlier albums.
Sweetest Maleficia and Honey + Sulphur are great songs. The story develops here through Dani's poetic and imaginative story-telling ability, with Honey and Sulphur being one of their more mature efforts.
Midnight Shadows starts with a perfect blend of guitar and drums, with Dani's growling and screaming bejewelling this song masterfully. The keyboard make a successful return in this song, displaying Cradle's excellent all-round ability.
Darkness Incarnate is another song which I simply love. You have to listen to it to understand.
Ten Leagues Beneath Contempt is extremely well-composed track that builds up to the title track with some of the best guitar on the album.
Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder, being the title track, does not let the album down. Ferocious drumming, ferocious growling and some very ferocious guitar make this one of Cradle's best songs of all time.
The album ends on a memorable high; Corpseflower. Though mostly instrumental, it is not to be dismissed. The symphonic performance on this track is a great display.
Disk 2 of the Special Edition is definitely worth exploring, featuring two tracks from the Harder, Darker, Faster release and some worryingly dark Demo tracks. It also has two live tracks performed from earlier albums and two extra tracks that could potentially have been on the original album.
Overall, this is in my opinion the best album to date by Cradle of Filth. If you haven't bought it yet, you're missing out. A lot.
In a good year for Symphonic Black/Death Metal, with excellent releases from the likes of Haggard, Hollenthon, Therion and even a touch of the strings on Judas Priest's Nostradamus, this is another fine addition! Far less gimmicky and WAY more intense, than the underwhelming Thornography, this is a return to the cinematic scope of 2003's Damnation And A Day. There is much in terms of bombastic orchestration to be enjoyed - provided by keyboard/synth but none the less impressive for this. In fact, it's rivalled only by the sterling keyboard work on Epica's Divine Conspiracy in it's recreation of a real orchestral style sound. Haunting choral work is also present to chill and unease. The production is lavish, yet never loses sight that this IS Metal. Furious bass drums, harsh riffs and the demonic wails of Dani Filth liken comparison to Dimmu Borgir. It's interesting that producer Andy Sneap's former band, the much missed Sabbat are often recalled here in the brutal vocal patterns, and guitar work (check out their Dreamweaver album ;-)) The lyrics are dark and eloquently written, depicting the lifestory of a middle ages serial killer. Doug Bradley (Pinhead, Hellraiser) adds the final touches with superbly spoken narrative interludes - probably no one better than the man at this. Special mention for the superb artwork! This is so much better than the last album in every single department...