Despite a catalogue rich in extreme metal delights, ‘Dusk… And Her Embrace’ is widely regarded as the definitive Cradle Of Filth masterstroke, a fully realised vision which hoisted the band completely free of their primitive death metal roots and into their career defining, candelabra lit blackened horror thematic. Although, die-hard fans will be aware that the incarnation of ‘Dusk…’ we have lived with this past twenty years is actually the Suffolk miscreants’ second bite of the cherry, with their intended version scrapped due to line-up turmoil and label difficulties, and left to languish in the vault unheard.
And so, ‘The Original Sin’, looking past any quarrels of its rather thin production and songwriting miss-steps, gives us a rather fascinating glimpse not only into the development of a landmark record, but the evolution of one of the UK’s most reliable and consistent forces in aural extremity. Still balancing that trademark blend of opulent arrangements and flat out metallic assault, there’s an undeniably more visceral, underground aesthetic to these tracks, the likes of ‘Heaven Torn Asunder’ a feral call to arms treat teeming with all the blast-ridden theatrics of peak form CoF, ‘The Haunted Shores Of Avalon’ and ‘Beauty Slept In Sodom’ impressing similarly with their wildly melodramatic yet untamed, Norway-esque attack.
Indeed, whilst there’s little doubt that ‘The Original Sin’ is a wholly worthwhile look into the Cradle Of Filth ‘missing link’ as it were, there are glimpses of why the band were none too happy with the record in the first place. Noisy, Slayer-ized guitar leads and some rather ragged atmospheric touches sound amateurish when stacked up next to the imperious power of the latter version, or even the same year’s ‘Vempire’ EP. Yet, these issues, whilst understandably problematic at the time, only serve to make the record a that more intriguing peep into a erstwhile slice of buried history.
The cauldron spilling over with stately melodicisms, shadowy horror and elegant menace, not to mention Dani Filth‘s fearsome arsenal of characterful shrieking and deranged poetics, ‘The Original Sin’ taps into the spirit of a CoF having their first flush with infamy nearly two decades ago. Sure, to delight underground purists who scoff at the band’s stylistic advances beyond the nineties, this long lost rarity dusts off a fragment of the past which many will hail as the definitive version of a classic, whilst others will see an unnecessary glance at what could have been. Either way, it’s devilish, filthy fun.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)