Cruelty and the Beast

Cradle of Filth

Track listing:
  1. Once upon Atrocity (instrumental)
  2. Thirteen Autumns and a Widow
  3. Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids
  4. Beneath the Howling Stars
  5. Venus in Fear
  6. Desire in Violent Overture
  7. The twisted Nails of Faith
  8. Bathory Aria
    I. Benighted like Usher
    II. A Murder of Ravens in Fugue
    III. Eyes that Witnessed Madness
  9. Portrait of the Dead Countess (instrumental)
  10. Lustmord and Wargasm

This is black symphonic metal at it's finest, however it reqires an acquired taste, and you'd either love or hate this album ... With a concept based loosely on the tale of a Hungarian countess, Elizabeth Bathory, "Cruelty" contains over 60 minutes of the most demented Black Metal that presents itself with a breathtaking ferocity. A new addition to the band is keyboardist Lecter, whose atmospheric renditions add a period of tranquility as interludes between tunes. The rest of the band exudes darkness which only Cradle Of Filth can.

Hammer actress, Ingrid Pitt, provides the voice of the Countess herself, while the male voice belongs to none other than frontman Dani. The lyrics for "Cruelty" are brutal and well-written, however, one may not appreciate them due to the nature of the Black Metal style vocals - it is nearly impossible to make out what Dani is singing, unless you have the lyric sheet in front of you. Songs like "Thirteen autumns and a widow", the triple tune "Bathory Aria" and "Lustmord and Wargasm", bring a demented environment to your bedroom, and they are not for the weak of heart. Enjoy ...