There is often talk about what band will be the next Iron Maiden. To my mind, a strong contender has to be Cradle of Filth. Their music is first class, easily up there with the Iron Maidens and Judas Priests of this world. Moreover, like the aforementioned Iron Maiden, they are steeping in the story-telling tradition. Cyptoriana: The Seductiveness of Decay is their twelfth album. It’s heavy, beautiful (Cradle always have fabulous and clever album covers too), and made with a lot of love for metal. Lyrically here they are influenced by the likes of Arthur Conan Doyle, M. R. James and the ilk. They are steeped in English Gothic lore and that is part of what gives them a strong identity of their own.
A millstone around Cradle’s collective necks has always been a misconception that they are a black metal band. They were in the early days but have not been for many years. Indeed, what they are, and this is no mean achievement, is one of Britain’s consistently best metal bands over the last twenty years plus. Every album is guaranteed to be high quality. And Cradle are easily able to stand up to any of their influences on The Seductiveness of Decay.
It doesn’t hurt too, that Cradle are on Nuclear Blast, a label that truly loves metal and does everything the way it should be done.
When whatever the trend is today is gone, Cradle of Filth will still be standing tall. An outstanding album from one of Britain’s all-time great metal bands.
Album cover artwork by Arturs Berzins.