Originally released in May 1998, Cradle of Filth’s heavy metal classic, ‘Cruelty and the Beast’ is regarded as one of the milestones in the Gothic Black Metal genre.
Now 21 years later this lustfully dark masterpiece has been wickedly remixed and remastered by Grindstone Studio’s Scott Atkins and will be reissued on 1st November 2019 through legendary UK label Music For Nations. Dani Filth comments:
Released on the 5th of May, around the same time as we were arrested at the Vatican, ‘Cruelty.. and The Beast’ had been a painstaking labour of love, a year of intense writing amid ever growing popularity and distraction. The album’s concept of the Hungarian blood countess Elizabeth Bathory -both historically astute and fictionally correct- was to become a dangerous obsession of mine and one that saw many a first light of dawn working on the lyrics, hellbent on making the story worthy of her legend.
Released on CD, transparent red vinyl and digitally, this elevated version of ‘Cruelty and The Beast’ features new artwork from band illuminator Stuart Williamson, exclusive linear notes from Dani Filth and Cvlt Black Metal writer and documentarian, Dayal Patterson as well as a bonus track cover of Iron Maiden’s ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’.
75 limited edition test pressing vinyl versions will also be available, each coming with a personalised signed letter from the prince of darkness himself.
Cruelty And The Beast remains a phenomenally important album in the band’s back catalogue and one that I am exceptionally proud of, as I am exceptionally proud of this Re-Mistressed version, 21 years on from the original release. I hope the listener -sitting there by the flame-lit hearth with his/her walnut pipe on the go- thoroughly enjoys this Cradle classic, so vividly brought back to life for the fickle world today.
Let’s get this out of the way first… I love this album. I love this band. Cradle of Filth have had a massive impact on not just mine but other members of GBHBL’s lives for longer then we can remember. They were my first proper taste of black metal and I’ve never looked back.
It’s funny that with Cradle on an absolute hot streak musically over the last few years, in 2019 I’d find myself listening to Cruelty and the Beast for review purposes. I mean, how do you review something you know the ins and outs of? What else can we possibly saw about this wonderful album?
Well, the obvious is that if you’re new to the band then this Re-Mistressed version is the one to listen too. Remixed and remastered, what we have here is the definitive Cruelty and the Beast. Tracks like Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids, Beneath the Howling Stars, The Twisted Nails of Faith and Bathory Aria (a personal favourite) have never sounded so good.
This is an opportunity to hear layers that just weren’t there before or were too subtle to notice. It’s not quite like hearing them for the first time but it’s certainly the best time you’ll hear them.
However, if you are after something else, the good news is that Cradle have included a cover song and an unusual one for them. What is it? Only Iron Maiden’s Hallowed Be Thy Name! Some might see this as blasphemy while others for exactly what it is…a bit of fun.
It’s a competent cover that sees the band ‘Cradle of Filth’ it up with an added touch of gothicness and Dani Filth’s unmistakable vocal screeches.
Cradle of Filth – Cruelty and the Beast Re-Mistressed Full Track Listing:
1. Once Upon Atrocity
2. Thirteen Autumns And A Widow
3. Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids
4. Beneath The Howling Stars
5. Venus In Fear
6. Desire In Violent Overture
7. The Twisted Nails Of Faith
8. Bathory Aria
9. Portrait Of The Dead Countess
10. Lustmord And Wargasm (The Lick of Carnivorous Winds)
11. Hallowed Be Thy Name (Iron Maiden Cover)
Cradle of Filth - Cruelty and the Beast - Re-Mistressed (Music For Nations)
The Final Score - 10/10