I wish I could say that Cradle of Filth is one of the most extreme, violent and feared bands on the planet, that they have set the standard for satanic sacrifices, arrests and church burnings, but ... they aren't. They are, however, artistic, musically proficient, professional and consistent in their craft. The band has, without a doubt, brought their brand to the mainstream by combining elements of black metal with theatrical goth rock and an image that is horrific, bloody and dangerous, yet accessible. The group introduced their intense music to those who may not have heard anything like it before but were on the cusp, opening the door to explore other darker and deeper realms, if the listener so desired.
Cradle of Filth has been around since 1991 and has stayed true to what they've always done in bringing well-produced, concept-based music, lyrics and imagery to their fans. They have openly embraced mass appeal, and the criticism that comes with it. Black metal purists and music aficionados may dislike them because of their wide-reaching clout and commercial success, but it is obvious the band is a group of talented professionals that play their characters well.
Fellow music enthusiast and vocalist John Langston turned me on to a documentary program called Metal Evolution – The Lost Episode: Extreme Metal. In this program the vocalist for Cradle of Filth, Dani Filth, remarks, "I dare anybody [to say] when ... they start a band ... they don't imagine themselves up on a big stage playing to a lot of people. When Cradle of Filth was founded, that's how we pictured ourselves." When questioned about the unspoken code of keeping black metal underground Dani continues, "I don't understand why these people are making the rules, there are no rules, that's the whole point of it. I just think it's bigoted."
However, at the end of the day, when the sun sets and darkness rules, Cradle of Filth, their music and their message, is what it is and it's up to you to decide. One thing is certain, I'm sure it'll be an unforgettable live show, and after having watched an evening full of Cradle of Filth videos on YouTube, I did have some fucked up nightmares.
San Antonio music staples talk love and hate of Cradle of Filth
Metal Matt of Encrypted and Exulcerate • When they came out I found them interesting because at the time Norwegian and Swedish black metal was huge. Viking or Pagan metal was the thing. Cradle was from England which is known to be gothic. So they went with that. It was pretty different at the time. Now, they’re a bunch of sell-out[s].
Beer of Hod, Rancid Vat, Pillcrusher • Cradle of Filth is black metal for chicks spawned in the penny well of a mall.
Kyle of Hellknife • I think Cradle of Filth always gets put in the black metal category of music, but it’s obviously not the same as bands like Bathory, Blasphemy or Darkthrone, so the majority of extreme metal enthusiasts often have a negative opinion of them. I enjoy them in the aspect that they’re more of a goth rock/metal band. The elaborate makeup and costumes with satanic imagery might seem black metal in an aesthetic sense, but nobody calls Christian Death or Marilyn Manson black metal for those reasons.
Phanie of Girl in a Coma and Fea • I did wear the nun masturbating shirt once to church. Fuck it. I had one shirt and one record, The Principle of Evil Made Flesh. It was given to me in high school and it was my introduction into something other than punk and new wave. It used to make my mom sooo mad. I would pump it up, and she was like, ‘You’re doing drugs.’