Cradle Of Filth - Evermore Darkly

As is their wont, Cradle Of Filth have cobbled together Evermore Darkly, another stop-gap EP designed as an appendix to last year's full length Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa. On the CD half, there is a veritable assortment of odds and ends, varying in interest: new track 'Thank Your Lucky Stars' is an imperious blast of black metal, as fine a five minutes as the band have composed in the last decade with its vicious riffs and haunting synths. The full extended version of 'Lilith Immaculate' similarly evokes the band's younger days, with the reinstated orchestral passage in the middle breaking that track up like a lot of the more proggy efforts from the 90s.

But the three demos of tracks from the last album, sans female vocals, are less enthralling, sounding as they do incomplete and a touch dull as they serve only to fill space. The Rob C (of Anthrax fame) remix of 'Forgive Me Father' is equally worthy of derision; standard fare as far as remixes go, the trancey beats and toy synth lines don't do anyone any favours, and is best forgotten.

Of most note however is the final track, a full classical reworking of old favourite 'Summer Dying Fast', here previewing the upcoming Midnight In The Labyrinth project; this sort of crossover might be the "in" thing at the moment, but given Cradle Of Filth's overt theatricality and heavy use of strings, it does seem like an obvious move. And on this little teaser, the signs are indeed promising; the piece has been turned into a lush score, one that retains integrity as a piece of music and is still recognisably 'Summer Dying Fast'. Unlike other efforts, there is a complete absence of any metal instruments present, with timpani drums coming closest as they boom out the rhythm.

The accompanying DVD is also worthy of a gander, packed as it is. Alongside the titillating and blood-strewn video for the 'Lilith Immaculate' single is the documentary 'You Can't Polish A Turd, But You Can Roll It In Glitter' (I know...), an irreverent glimpse of the band on the road in Russia and at a few festivals. Whilst hardly the most insightful or in-depth of works, it will keep you entertained for the solitary viewing it deserves.

Much better is the hour long set the band performed at Graspop this year; the audience might not be the most vocal, but Cradle Of Filth do pull out some old hits such as 'Ebony Dressed For Sunset' and 'Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids'. The nature of it being a run of the mill festival gig sees it relegated to this EP, but is still a fine demonstration of the band tearing the place apart deliciously, and adds good value to this bits-and-pieces tidy up that is Evermore Darkly.



out of 10
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