Cradle of Filth – Existence Is Futile

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British extreme symphonic metal institute Cradle of Filth are back with their thirteenth opus “Existence Is Futile” released via Nuclear Blast Records on October 22nd, 2021. Since “Hammer of the Witches“, Cradle Of Filth reawakened the ancient roots within, now ushering to a new era the sextet defines an ultramodern vibe that matches the antique flair of their classic albums like “Midian”. The fabulous lineup is fronted by Dani Filth (vocals), MarekAshok Smerda (guitars), Daniel Firth (bass guitar), MartinMarthusSkaroupka (drums, keyboards, and orchestration), Rich Shaw (guitars), and Anabelle Iratni (keyboardist and backing vocals), the newest member to their ranks. Cradle of Filth once again draws inspiration from the worlds of horror, with impeccable artistry the twelve songs are ultimately thrilling and overladen with symphonic spectacles.

In this dramatic crescendo of blistering riffs and soaring choruses that rise to peaks, the musical flamboyance surpasses everything they have achieved in recent years. From the spellbinding soundscapes of the album’s intro “The Fate Of The World On Our Shoulders”, the chilling cinematic piece lends an apocalyptic tone for the following track “Existential Terror”. The symphonic themes are draped in dark fantasies and textured with blazing guitar lines. Cradle of Filth took drastic steps to refine the foundations of songwriting, where the guitars are energetic and multilayered providing plenty of melodies. The album is filled with evocative musical scores when it comes to melody and rhythm. 

Necromantic Fantasies” is a wonderful bewitching track that brings the devilish snarls of Dani Filth, while the secret of the success lays upon the creativity of the lineup who gathered the magical ingredients. “Existence Is Futile” is grandiloquently epic and heavy as hell. Although this is not the first time Cradle Of Filth employs such gimmicks, the orchestration is magnificent and dark. At times the thirteenth opus uncovers an unprecedented scale of intensity. The unique amalgamation of multiple metal styles combining gothic symphonic elements and modern aesthetics of melodic black metal. Mainly the musical climaxes are reached through the dynamic escalation of the ferocious riffing. The twin guitars emanate a dark quality, riffs are aggressively strewn between heavy, black/death metal showcasing aesthetic virtues, with the melodic lead guitars capturing the sublime peaks the thumping bass guitar of Daniel Firth booms like thunder.

The dual guitars are the charm of the cadence. “Crawling King Chaos” offers the traditional trademark of NWOBHM melodies while the orchestral textures are profusely embellished and elegantly pleasing, resulting in supreme musical performance as well as a theatrical presentation. The guitars unleash fast bombastic attacks more vigorously where they emphasize varied riffs and catchy hooks. Martin Skaroupka proves to be the band’s best drummer with his pounding blows and potent blast beats serving a perfect complement to the swelling riffs and the hellish pandemonium. The songs are steered by excessive orchestration and Cradle Of Filth managed to capture the essence and creativity of the songwriting.

Existence Is Futile” outshines the dramatic role of Anabelle Iratni‘s quasi-operatic vocals with her emotive and ghostly serenaded verses on “Black Smoke Curling From The Lips Of War”. The haunting Vampyric aura permeates throughout and then there is the binding element to the dichotomy of the guttural vocals, and the high-pitched screams that fuel the infernal pandemonium. Weaving some of their most melodic hits to date, songs like “Discourse Between A Man And His Soul” display the melodic and harmonic quality. Darkly amusing the beautiful piano passages invoke their past albums like “Dusk And Her Embrace”. Guitar melodies are densely layered every tone from the macabre crescendo showcases a dramatic and theatrical grandeur. “The Dying of the Embers” portrays the opulent gothic flair of the mid-nineties with the textured melodies maintaining a morbid tone. The essence of the songs remains in the twin guitars that boast musical dynamics from speed to mid-tempo sections. 

Deep screeches, croaks, and high-pitched vocals have always been the hallmarks of the band while the ominous melodies are brought to the forefront. “How Many Tears To Nurture A Rose?” is fairly dark and innovative. Cradle Of Filth enthralls you with their sonic bewitchment and the innovation and uncluttered aesthetics clearly resonate through the catchy rhythm. The symphonic components are infused with ghostly synth. When the guitars waltz into symphonic swells, the catchy hooks and chugging riffs come to perfect unison. “Suffer Our Dominion” brings back actor Doug Bradley to reprise an apocalyptic tale of extinction. Unfurling a refined grandiosity through the vast musical universes, the guitars sound raw and full of vibrant riffs with delicious melodies providing emotional dark hooks. 

The vocals shift between raspy black metal vocals and the guitars unleash waves of lush memorable solos. The elements of gothic horror are more rhapsodic than ever on the closing track “Us, Dark, Invincible”, a dark and melancholic slow track dominated by Dani‘s haunting vocals. On “Existence Is Futile”, Cradle Of Filth plunges into the dark horror themes of hell, the songs shimmer with innovative composition and are ultimately driven by the morbid principles of the Filths.

Release Date: October 22nd, 2021
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Tracklist:

  1. The Fate Of the World On Our Shoulders
  2. Existential Terror
  3. Necromantic Fantasies
  4. Crawling King Chaos
  5. Here Comes A Candle – (Infernal Lullaby)
  6. Black Smoke Curling From The Lips Of War
  7. Discourse Between A Man And His Soul
  8. The Dying Of The Embers
  9. Ashen Mortality
  10. How Many Tears To Nurture A Rose?
  11. Suffer Our Dominion
  12. Us, Dark, Invincible
  13. Sisters Of The Mist (Bonus)
  14. Unleash The Hellion

REVIEW SCORE

  • Music10/10
  • Vocals/Lyrics10/10
  • Production10/10
  • Artwork10/10
  • Originality10/10
10“Existence Is Futile” is grandiloquently epic and heavy as hell. Although this is not the first time Cradle Of Filth employs such gimmicks, the orchestration is magnificent and dark, at times the thirteenth opus uncovers an unprecedented scale of intensity.
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