It sure has been a while since our favorite British cenobite connoisseurs British gothic metal icons Cradle of Filth have released something new. Like many of you, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the new follow up to 2021’s Existence is Futile, which was a solid release by all rights. And while Dani Filth and company continue to incubate their next LP somewhere in the deepest, darkest bowels of the U.K., Trouble and Their Double Lives features eighteen – that’s right – EIGHTEEN songs to hold us over.
This latest offering from Cradle of Filth features sixteen live tracks that were recorded at various performances between 2014 and 2019. Shows from three different continents are represented, and of course, Dani’s signature banter between songs is also included.
There are also two completely new songs on this release. You may have already heard that absolutely banging “She is a Fire.” Not only is “she” a fire, but that track just consumes you like Hell’s inferno. The first time I heard it I nearly had my eyebrows charred from it’s blackened embers. I absolutely adore the guitar leads in that song and the added keys come in at just the right place. Dani’s vocals and screams are are some of the best he’s done in years, proving there’s much more left in that sadistic throat of his. “She is a Fire” brings you back to the band’s early days and as such, it’s one of the best metal songs released so far in 2023.
“Demon Price Regent” is the second new song on the record and it’s got a catchy chorus you can both sing along and headbang to the next time Cradle decides to soil your town. It has some interesting time changes, lots of guitars on top of guitars in the mix, and some symphonics to really fill out the already quite rich sound. I should mention that that I love the dueling guitar solos that chime in at around four and a half minutes. Lyrically, of course, the track is completely both satanic and blasphemous, ensuring that you won’t hear this on any future broadcasts of The 700 Club or at any Mike Pence campaign stops.
Standouts from the live track selection are definitely “Heartbreak and Seance” and “Nymphetamine (Fix),” though it is difficult to top Liv Kristine’s Espenaes Kull’s astonishing vocal performance on the studio version of that song.
Scott Adkins produced the record and I’m happy to say that he did a splendid job of encompassing the band’s live sonics. You don’t miss anything in the mix, all those keyboards are in there as well as the high pitched screeches we’ve all come to expect. I should also mention that the orchestration comes across particularly well and this is prominently found in cuts like “The Right Wing of the Garden Triptych” and “The Promise of Fever.”
Overall this is a solid record. The two new songs are reason enough to buy this, but the live material is really spot on and even through the final seven and a half minutes of the record with the stirring “You Will Know the Lion By His Claw,” it never loses steam. This is a lot of Cradle here and just perfect for pleasant evening of binging with England’s lords of goth.
Cradle of Filth’s Trouble and Their Double Lives comes out on April 28 and is currently available for preorder via Napalm Records.
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