Cryptoriana — The Seductiveness of Decay encompasses so much CoF in a single collection, with soaring symphonic aspirations elevating its irritated-insect guitar riffs, nail-gun kick drums, ethereal female vocals and the eccentrically diverse proclamations of frontman (and sole constant) Dani Filth. On Cryptoriana, Filth straddles horror movie–esque spoken passages; his default phlegm-throated yap; borderline (possessed) baby talk; and moments that, quite frankly, recall a gargoyle stepping on Lego. But everything — everything — is theatrically excessive, and it’s this reliably over-the-top attitude that has kept Cradle at the forefront of its loosely defined genre for more than 20 years.
Amidst a constant blizzard of (quite deliberate) controversy over its image and marketing, and lineup convulsions that make the Trump administration look like stability incarnate, England’s Cradle of Filth have found time for 12 albums of increasingly hard-to-define, often ultra-ambitious extreme metal. Last year’s