Posted on July 14th, 2015 (11:00 am) by Magdalene Taylor

Cradle of Filth is probably one of the most extreme metal bands that have any vague sense of household recognizability. This isn't to say that they are actually all that extreme, or even recognizable; chances are if you asked every one of your friends' moms if they knew of the name Cradle of Filth at least one of them would act slightly disgusted and confirm having heard the name, but most likely wouldn't recognize Dani Filth's signature shrill screams.

A few of their antics have given them press in the past, and their 2004 track "Nymphetamine Fix" reached 89 on the Billboard 200. That's really about as much as an extreme metal band can ask for. Their latest album, however, isn't about to make the average home any more familiar with the band, nor is it really bound to excite the average metal fan: Hammer of the Witches is mostly uninspired, with areas of fantasy detail that never really tie together with the cold quality of the straightforward extreme metal.

Still, at the very least it's dynamic and full. With thirteen tracks, averaging about six minutes each, there’s a plethora of content in which the band exerts themselves in that exhaustive way that extreme metal bands do. There’s a handful of shorter instrumental tracks that contain theatrical classical orchestration that seems fit for Disney’s Haunted Mansion (either the 2003 Eddie Murphy film or the ride). In between the mix of those songs are a series of tracks that often repeat themselves. "Yours Immortally" serves mainly as the marking song, with other tracks standing out primarily based on their title - "Deflowering the Maiden, Displeasuring the Goddess" being a particularly egregious example.

The majority of songs mix death metal with a vague sense of thrash metal, adding an element of sterility to the precision that feels out of place with the theatrics of Cradle of Filth and the rest of the album. Similarly out of place are most of the transitions, a handful of screams, and moments of orchestra or the soft background singing of a woman. There are easy ways that Cradle of Filth could make each of these things work, and they have in the past, but Hammer of the Witches never really brings much together in an exciting way.

Track List:

  1. Walpurgis Eve
  2. Yours Immortally
  3. Enshrined in Crematoria
  4. Deflowering the Maidenhead, Displeasuring the Goddess
  5. Blackest Magick in Practice
  6. The Monstrous Sabbat (Summoning the Coven)
  7. Hammer of the Witches
  8. Right Wing of the Garden Triptych
  9. The Vampyre at My Side
  10. Onward Christian Soldiers
  11. Blooding the Hounds of Hell
  12. King of the Woods
  13. Misericord
Cradle of Filth - Hammer of the Witches
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

50 / 100
© Inyourspeakers Media LLC