Scriptures and Screams: Cradle of Filth: Hammer of the Witches CD Review

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While such amazing bands like Nile, Behemoth, Mortician, Carcass and Death are amongst the elite bands that compromise the Extreme Metal, Cradle of Filth has been and continues to be the backbone of the genre. With the release of Hammer of the Witches (inspired by the 1486 treatise on the prosecution of witches by Heinrich Kramer) , COF shows that even with changes to the line-up (Richard Shaw and Marek “Ashok” Šmerda joining as guitar players after Paul Allender left for his new band White Empress and James McIlroy leaving to have surgery for a spinal injury as well as the addition of new keyboardist & female vocalist Lindsay Schoolcraft ) they are still a force to be reckoned with.

The amazing highs and lows that Dani Filth incorporates into his guttural vocal style never cease to be amazing, and the blazing accompaniment of drums, keyboards and orchestra only make the darkness that much better. Many of the tracks take you back to previous releases and shows you the many levels of complexity that goes into their creative process. Tracks like “Right Wing of the Garden Triptych”, “Onward Christian Soldiers” and “Misericord” are the tracks that really stand out as the pinnacle of this release and take me back to The Principle of Evil Made Flesh (1994). The hypnotic sounds and voiceless tracks “Walpurgis Eve”, “The Monstrous Sabbat (Summoning The Coven)” and “Blooding The Hounds of Hell” all resonate with a foreboding darkness that is unnerving and yet soothing at the same time, very similar to several songs on Mideon (2000) and Nymphetamine (2004). The rest of the songs on the CD whisper to your soul and slice through your flesh like a razor, all wrapped in the poetry of darkness and the brutality of damnation. Cradle of Filth has never sounded better and the future has never looked and sounded more bleak! A must have for fans of COF and Extreme Metal!

For the CD’s release, Nuclear Blast Records has released several versions, including three different 2 record vinyl versions (in black, green and picture disc), the standard CD (that includes tracks 1-11) and the Digi-CD that includes the bonus tracks “King of the Woods” and “Misericord”.
All are still available the Nuclear Blast Records online store and directly through COF’s official site!

The Dedman’s Verdict: 9 out of 10

Track Listing
01. Walpurgis Eve
02. Yours Immortally…
03. Enshrined In Crematoria
04. Deflowering The Maidenhead, Displeasuring The Goddess
05. Blackest Magick In Practice
06. The Monstrous Sabbat (Summoning The Coven)
07. Hammer Of The Witches
08. Right Wing Of The Garden Triptych
09. The Vampyre At My Side
10. Onward Christian Soldiers
11. Blooding The Hounds Of Hell
Limited-edition digipak cd and vinyl bonus tracks:
12. King Of The Woods
13. Misericord

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Posted by Dedman

Writer for House of Tortured Souls website, Coffin Cuties & Digital Dead Magazines, Podcast Host for The Calling Hours & Owner of Slit of the Wrist Fx

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