Album of the Year 2017 – Number 16

Welcome to day 15 of my ‘Album of the Year 2017 top 30 countdown’.

I have reached the half-way mark of this year’s labour of love otherwise known as my ‘Album of the Year 2017 top 30 countdown’.

If you are new to this series, welcome! If you are a regular reader, then I thank you very much for the loyalty.

Either way, as always, if you have missed any of the previous posts in this series, links can be found at the bottom of this post along with links to the entire countdowns from previous years.

And now, on with the main event:

Number 16

Cradle Of Filth - Cryptoriana - The Seductiveness Of Decay - Artwork

Cradle of Filth
Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay
Nuclear Blast

“…this is yet another step up in quality and another indication that perhaps some of the magic that was present in their halcyon early years is well and truly making a comeback.

I’d actually take my comments a little further and say that Dani, alongside guitarists Richard Shaw and Ashok, keyboardist Lindsay Schoolcraft, bassist Daniel Firth and drummer Martin Skaroupka have delivered their best record for 20 years with ‘Cryptoriana…’

Cradle of Filth have always explored songs of a more epic length but on ‘Cryptoriana…’, the compositions weave and dart around more than ever, twisting and writhing with vim and vigour as they make their way through the dark fog-drenched streets of a bygone era. The result is that there is simply more variety and drama within each individual track, heightening the overall impact greatly. I’m not suggesting for one second that this is a progressive metal album, but occasionally, the songwriting hints at it just a touch

If ‘Hammer of the Witches’ was a welcome return to form, then ‘Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay’ is the sound of a band building on a new-found belief and a rich vein of creativity to deliver, without doubt, one of the best records of their career.”

Read the full review here.

Cradle of Filth are one of those bands that has a reputation and an image that often eclipses their musical output. The bold imagery, the deliberately provocative merchandise and the outspoken musings of band leader Dani Filth have all played a part in this. As a result, Cradle of Filth are something of a love them or hate them band. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who hasn’t got an opinion on Suffolk’s finest musical export (yes, I’m including Ed Sheeran when I say this).

The fact remains however, that when Cradle of Filth are on form, their musical creations are nothing short of brilliant. That’s why I was a paid-up member of the fan club in the very early days and why their latest album, ‘Cryptoriana…’ has found its way into my end-of-year best-of list. And rightly so too. There’s no nepotism in this decision at all – the fact that they share my fair county of birth is neither here nor there – the music on this record is easily their best work for the better part of two decades. Simple as that.

From the lush Gothic atmospheres to the bombast of black metal, and from the sumptuous melodic sensibilities to the boldness of the inescapable NWOBHM influences, ‘Cryptoriana…’ is the wonderful sound of overblown excess, the kind that only Cradle of Filth can seem to pull off. And on top of all this, you get the trademark growls and ear-piercing shrieks of Dani as he delivers his verbose and poetic diatribes with venom, gusto and a cheeky mischievousness.

In previous years and with previous releases, I have felt that Cradle of Filth got the balance wrong. ‘Nymphetamine’ was too safe for example, whilst ‘Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder’ was too extreme without being memorable enough. ‘Cryptoriana…’ for me is the closest that they have got to the perfect blend of all of their myriad influences since ‘Midian’, maybe even ‘Cruelty and the Beast’. One minute the material will blow your head off with lightning-fast riffs and machine-gun drumming whilst at others, it will caress you with sublime melodies, gorgeous solo. And in the blink of an eye, you’ll be grooving along with a Maiden-esque galloping riff or being drowned in cinematic atmospheres. This album really has it all and does it so well.

Cradle of Filth never really went away but with ‘Cryptoriana: The Seductiveness of Decay’, I can’t help but say: welcome back Cradle of Filth, welcome back to your dark and malevolent best.

If you missed either of my 2017 ‘honourable mentions’ posts, here they are should you be interested:

Album of the Year 2017 – honourable mentions Part 1
Album of the Year 2017 – honourable mentions Part 2

Previous posts in my 2017 Top 30 countdown:

Album of the Year 2017 – Number 17
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 18
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 19
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 20
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 21
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 22
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 23
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 24
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 25
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 26
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 27
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 28
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 29
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 30

And from previous years:

Album of the Year 2016
Album of the Year 2015
Album of the Year 2014
Album of the Year 2013
Album of the Year 2012

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