Review by Shezma for Cradle of Filth - Dusk... and Her Embrace (1996)
Godfathers of Symphonic Black Metal
Cradle of Filth has been a band I've only known since Nymphetamine, and that was probably my first Black Metal album of any kind. It didn't resonate with me and besides hearing stuff from these guys off and on never really was all that interested for one reason or another. I really don't know why I never went back and listened to their older stuff like this one. This is the album I always had pictured in my mind of what Black Metal was before I ever really listened. The first album I did listen to was Dimmu Borgir's Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia and though that album and this one Dusk... and Her Embrace are both symphonic death metal there's still a big difference in sound between them.
Dusk... and Her Embrace is so much more powerful then I had expected going into this. I'm not sure why I've had a negative connotation about these guys, but I have and it kinda hurt my experience going into this album. This is like a haunted forest in a snow storm. The other albums I've listened to for The North's 2nd Decade challenge have been way more atmospheric and you can live in that open ambient space. The ambiance in this album full of pounding moving drums and unrelenting guitar rifts. There's not a bunch of down time in this album which is a pleasant change of pace for everything else. Even Dani's voice helps keep the story moving along nicely. Even when the songs do get a bit 'slower' they still move a story along. There's always something around the corner such as a wolf's howl that keeps you guessing and engaged in.
Everything is good in this album. I'm not sure why, but I can't give this a 5* rating. It feels like it is missing something to me, maybe it's an album that I feel won't stay with me. I've listened to this a few times, and even have wanted to go back and listen to it again a few times more for pleasure before writing this review but I have this feeling like the rest of the bands discography that I will remember it fondly but rarely ever put it on. There's nothing earwormy (for lack of a better real word), that sticks out and urge me to look it up again and listen. It's really good though, and makes me when I have more time to really dive into the rest of their discography and see where they go from one of their earliest records until now.