Date: October 22nd 2015
Venue: Academy 2, Manchester
Support: She Must Burn / Ne Obliviscaris
Few bands offer connotations of Satan, Hell, demons, the Occult, witchcraft, and all things of that nature as much as British extreme metal veterans Cradle Of Filth. Even now, more than two decades and eleven albums into their career, they’re still revered as one of the forerunners of the genre today, and still maintain the same level of respect and appreciation as they did in their heyday. With new album ‘Hammer Of The Witches’ still fresh on our ears, a headline tour across the UK is more than justified.
She Must Burn (***) are new pups on the scene, and though some people in the crowd make a few comments that frontman Joe Sinclair looks like a gothic Ken doll and the mix of the vocals through the PA sounding a bit choppy, for the most part of their first song ‘Possessed’, things seem to level out quick enough. You can tell they’re still a little new to the game, at least on a stage of this side, and keyboardist/clean vocalist Aimy Miller is clearly fighting with a bit of a cold, there’s certain potential held here. This London outfit are ones to look out for.
Heading on over from the other side of the world, Australians Ne Obliviscaris (**) certainly enter the more progressive side of things. The vocal trade-off between singer Tim Charles and screamer Xenoyr may prove to both very skilled in their respected choices of vocal delivery, but this combined with their performance as a whole is just a bit lacklustre. Yes, their craftsmanship is very impressive, and to consider them anything short of talented is an overlook and a lie, things get a bit over-the-top and a bit same-y and, ultimately, just boring.
It becomes almost like a religious gathering for Cradle Of Filth (***) to perform a sacrament once they take to the stage; a huge Baphomet standing tall and proud in the background and Dani Filth stepping forth to the stand like a priest to give his sermon to the Manchester crowd. The build-up is fierce, and everyone stood before them is ready to bow to their every whim. Everything is as grand as it can be, considering the size of the venue, but aesthetics aren’t everything.
Filth‘s vocals are as demonic as they have ever been, and the malice instrumentation that backdrops the few pickings from the band’s huge catalogue of material this evening reeks of witchcraft and demonology as it always has. Of course, mainly cuts from latest full-length ‘Hammer Of The Witches’ rear their heads, such as ‘Blackest Magick In Practice’ and ‘Deflowering The Maidenhead, Displeasuring The Goddess’, but nothing quite hits home as much as staple favourites ‘Nymphetamine’ and ‘Her Ghost In The Fog’, with the heavy as fuck guitars and high as fuck shrieks that incite the pits and for every gothic black heart in the room to fill with joy.
Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)