As the lights dim & the gothic sounds of Humana Inspired to Nightmare ring out the excitement within the crowd is infectious. It might not be the most full venue tonight but those who are there are loud enough to make you think it’s a full house.
Cradle of Filth take to the stage with roars of approval, the loudest being saved for the man himself, Dani Filth looking like something that has literally crawled out of the bowels of hell.
Any worries about sound quality disappear with the opening song Heaven Torn Asunder. It sounds excellent, the KOKO being a perfect venue to pick up every instrument & Dani’s incredible vocal range. The band stalks the stage clearly enjoying themselves & it has to be said that this current iteration of Cradle feels like the most definitive version yet.
Still sticking with early stuff, Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids is dropped next to rapturous reaction. A Cradle favourite for long-time fans it’s never have sounded this good.
The stage show is dominated by a huge screen at the back that showcases imagery from the albums as well as accompanying videos from certain songs. It’s a welcome change from a standard backdrop & the smoke spewing skeletons on crosses at the side add just a little bit of the gothic touch we’ve come to expect from the band.
The latest album Hammer of the Witches has been well-received with some calling it the best album since Midian & with the airing of Blackest Magick in Practice it’s hard not to agree. That’s followed by a quick trip back to Midian for one of my favourite songs, Lord Abortion.
Dani has kept the chatter to a minimum but his brief spouts of banter are funny & endearing. The man is a metal institution & Cradle of Filth have never felt more relevant.
The band continues to jump between eras showing just how much quality music they have to draw from playing Right Wing of the Garden Triptych, Dusk and Her Embrace (another favourite of mine) & Deflowering the Maidenhead, Displeasuring the Goddess.
With an early curfew because of a club night the band look to be wrapping things up with a very surprising airing of Queen of Winter, Throned off the Vempire EP. It’s an interesting choice if not quite as well-received as it should be; the crowd seems a little deflated as it goes on for over 10 minutes.
Thankfully we get an extended encore as the band return to the intro off Hammer of the Witches, Walpurgis Eve before smashing through an incredible sounding Yours Immortally…
Fan-favourite, Nymphetamine (Fix) sounds amazing with the female vocals being ‘hairs standing up on the back of your neck’ stuff while The Twisted Nails of Faith sounds louder & heavier than ever before.
The band’s set is wrapped up with Her Ghost in the Fog, a song that is always great to hear live. Cradle of Filth have been of fire tonight & while it feels like it’s over too soon no-one can really complain considering the range of songs we’ve heard. If you watched this show you saw a band clearly reinvigorated & ready to take on the heavy metal world again.
Cradle of Filth @ The KOKO, London (23/10/15)