The Great and Secret Show

So both former Cradle of Filth member Paul Allender  and lone remaining Cradle of Filth member Dani Filth released their own side project/new bands in 2014. Allender had White Empress, a strange symphonic, female fronted mash up and Dani had Devilment. Devilment features new-ish Man Must Die bassist (and now Cradle of Filth bassist) Daniel Firth,  and is a band Dani was initially helping out with a  few vocal tracks, but has since become a focal member, a fact that Nuclear Blast is pushing pretty hard. But while a Man Must Die/ Cradle of Filth mash up seems pretty boner-riffic, the result is more predictable.

Whereas White Empress reaches much further away from COFs instantly recognizable sound, you’d be forgiven for thinking Devilment was simply COF cutting room floor left overs. And not simply due to Filth’s distinct vocals (and imagery) , but even with a more industrial,groove based,  simplified, and dare I say commercial gloss, the tracks simply sound like COFs more tame and mid paced left overs, complete with female vocals, voiced by keyboardist Lauren Francis and not Sara Jezebel Diva. And to be honest- if some of these songs popped up on random shuffle on my ipod, I would easily assume a random COF song was playing, but again more due to Filth’s vocal presence ( and recent COF producer Scott Atkins, delivering a familiar guitar tone and overall sound).

The thing is, while some of it is utterly forgetful,  (i.e  opener “Summer Arteries”, “The Girl From Mystery Island”, bonus “Psycho Babble”, closer “Bloodlust, Rust & Empire”), some of it is actually pretty good, again dependent on your tolerance for Filth’s voice and cadence, and simpler thrashy, sometimes almost Rammstein-y riffs littered with programming and synths.”Even your Blood Group Rejects Me” has a hearty , enjoyable solid stomp, and ‘”The Stake in My Heart”,  “Living With the Fungus”  and the title track could have come from any of COFs early/ mid 00s , more thrash based releases, simply stripped of vampyric eroticism. And tits.

“Mother Kali”, offers an alluring Arabian chug, while “Staring at the Werewolf Corps” offers a haunting intro before a pretty catchy chug saunters into earshot. “Sanity Hits a Perfect Zero” is a pretty solid track also, with a stern groove and crunch. The slower, moodier crunch of”Laudanum Skull” is one of the albums better tracks and for you children of the 80s there is actually a pretty cool little cover of Midnight’s Oil’s “Beds are Burning” and even Bam Margera’s presence can’t ruin such a classic tune.

So while it would be easy to hate on Devilment and Dani Filth, the fact is the album is actually OK, and I  hope that one thing hold true; Filth has got these more commercial song writing leanings out of his system and the next Cradle of Filth album, with an almost all new line up, will be energized and return to form after the dreadfully forgetful, yawn inducing The Manticore and Other Horrors, (this coming from a die hard COF fan).

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
January 5th, 2015


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