Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Review: Cradle Of Filth – 'Dusk... And Her Embrace – The Original Sin'

'Dusk... And Her Embrace – The Original Sin'

Cradle Of Filth continue their nostalgic re-release schedule with the remastered 'Dusk... And Her Embrace', reconstructed in the way it was originally envisioned on the label that it was originally scheduled for release on.

For those who didn't know, Cradle Of Filth left their first label Cacophonous in the mid 90s due to a legal dispute which ended when the band supplied the label with the 'V Empire Or Dark Faerytales In Phallustein' EP. Some tracks scheduled for 'Dusk...' ended up on 'V Empire...', while others were kept back and re-recorded for the eventual Music For Nations release.

It seemed a given that the original version would never see the light of day, but after the 2014 official release of 'Total Fucking Darkness' (the band's often bootlegged demo tape) it now seems Dani and co. are delving into the archives and exhuming their darkest wares.

What we're presented now in the form of 'Dusk... And Her Embrace – The Original Sin' is a ten-track album (instead of nine), with a new running order, and two bonus demo tracks for good measure.

The original album was typical of the band's early raw black metal period (encompassing 'The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh' and 'V Empire...') although it is the most refined of the three before the grand leap ahead that was 'Cruelty And The Beast'.

'Macabre, This Banquet' an instrumental from the original master tapes is the new intro replacing 'Humana Inspired To Nightmare', that in-turn leads into the classic 'Nocturnal Supremacy'. 'Heaven Torn Asunder' follows on with the title track, then 'A Gothic Romance (Red Roses For The Devil's Whore)', 'The Graveyard By Moonlight', 'Funeral In Carpathia', 'Beauty Slept In Sodom', 'The Haunted Shores Of Avalon' (previously 'Haunted Shores'), and 'Carmilla's Masque' to complete the new track list.

The bonus track sees the demos of 'A Gothic Romance' and 'Nocturnal Supremacy' each given another resurrection for good measure.

'Dusk...' was Cradle OF Filth with one foot firmly in the black metal underground but also where their ambitions for greater ideas were coming through. The gothic punctuations were becoming more pronounced and the female vocal counterpoints to Dani's infernal screeches, courtesy of
Sarah Jezebel Deva and Danielle 'Cneajna' Cottington, become more distinctive.

The remastered production has brought the best out of the original recordings and updated the album nicely. It still sounds raw and underground, retaining Cradle's early roguish charm that they would soon upgrade to gothic gaudery, but it has improved the quality of the listening experience without a doubt.

'Dusk...' is still one of the band's great albums, and this version reinforces that. There is a more concise and intact sense of narrative running through this version that the original didn't have (but despite this was still great). The only real let down is the fact the band opted for artwork more in keeping with their latest releases when something along the lines of the original or perhaps the re-release of 'Total Fucking Darkness' would have been a better visual accompaniment to the music. Nevertheless this is still worth the money of long-time fans.  

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