It’s Sunday. We are in church. Kind of. Cradle of Filth are set to melt the minds of fans in a sold out show in the beautiful venue that is The Church. This 1700 capacity has been run by Leeds own Back To Basics troop for 26 years. Mainly focusing on the dance genres its great to see metal now added to the bill, an indeed black metal on such a day. Underneath the halo-shaped lighting rig and huge stained glass windows the latest Cradle of Filth backdrop of a naked woman hangs proudly, with more naked ladies being possessed draping on the sides. Surreal is one word for it.
Savage Messiah are a band hand picked by Cradle themselves. They have the sound of 80’s metal, and in a decade have built up a large fan base. It seems that many of the people here are yet to hear them, but they do have many fans by the end. Dave Silver rallies the crowd as much as he can with bassist Míra Sláma and stand in Ali Richardson (Sylosis, Bleed From Within) for drummer Andrea Gorio. It is guitarist Sam S Junior though who for me truly stands out, he is an astonishing guitarist, such a shredder and soloist. Awesome skills. This is a new line up, with ex-members Joff Bailey and Stefano Selvatico leaving after last album ‘The Fateful Dark’ in 2014.
The heavy metal has some real stand out riffs, the duel soloing of Junior and Silver is great to watch, the only issue I have is the limited lyrics. Normally I struggle to catch the song titles of bands I am new to, but here there is no worry. ‘Scavengers of Mercy’, ‘Hellblazer’, ‘Eat Your Heart Out’, new album title track ‘Hands of Fate’ and ‘A Wing and A Prayer’ are all classic heavy metal tracks, just the inclusion of a few more lyrics would make them whole. We’ll keep the metal hair and head spinning though.
The venue has filled out now and metal fans of all types are here for what will be a memorable gig. Where were you on bonfire night under a nearly full moon? Listening to black metal in a church? One for the grandkids…
I’ll admit now this is my first Cradle of Filth experience, and the first time I have seen or heard them.And what a way to pop your cherry! As the band appear on stage with their back to the crowd, it is clear they are awaiting the arrival of their leader, Dani Filth. Known as an extreme metal band, it’s Dani’s vocals switching from false chords (low screams) to power fly (metalcore/scream/high pitched whatthefuck) all in what seems one breath.
He jokes that the talking voice he has put on sounds like a pirate so he’s stopping using it, and that he thought they would “all turn to dust when they entered the venue this morning”. The guy in the ‘Jesus is a cunt’ tshirt next to me laughs as do many others. If religion is indeed a thing we have indeed fucked it.
The band have a new album out called ‘Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay’ but do not play many tracks from it tonight. ‘You Will Know the Lion By His Claw’ gets an airing, as does ‘Heartbreak and Séance’, but apart from that the setlist features the epic eleven minute ‘Bathory Aria’ amongst others. There’s an encore nearly halfway through the set, confusing some people. It is a shame the album Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder did not feature, as songs like ‘Shat Out Of Hell’ would please this reviewer of great song names, no matter on the song. It is mainly 2015 ‘Hammer of the Witches’, 2003’s ‘Damnation and a Day’ and the much-loved follow up album ‘Nymphetamine’ that are featured, with tracks ‘Nymphetamine (Fix)’ and ‘Her Ghost in the Fog’ from 2000’s ‘Midian’ with its heavy riff that are crowd favourites.
As Dani Filth continues in a comically self-depreciating way “No fireworks on this bonfire night but you watched a shitty band”. Not that shit lad.
Beneath the Howling Stars
Blackest Magick in Practice
Heartbreak and Seance
Dusk and Her Embrace
Under Huntress Moon
You Will Know the Lion by His Claw
A Bruise Upon the Silent Moon
The Promise of Fever
Her Ghost in the Fog
Born in a Burial Gown