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.