What a disc. That's my first reaction to Godspeed. The thing with it that makes it so good, so interesting is that this is, in my opinion, Cradle's very first TRUE concept album, with narration from Doug Bradley on almost every song (Tragic Kingdom doesn't feature any, but as the song is a virtual continuation of Tiffauges, this makes no difference to me). Damnation may fit this bell as well, but I feel this album more fully realizes that objective.
Some of the songs themselves are by far the best since the Midian era. Think melding the more metal-oriented keyboards of Damnation and Midian (vs. the atmosphere-oriented keys of old) with the technical songwriting of Thornography. (I still feel that, while different, as a general metal album, Thornography was amazing. Cradle, though? Definitely not).
Gone are the days of the Nymphetamine era, and back in with the way Cradle was meant to be realized (for the most part). If you've heard Dimmu Borgir's latest output, In Sorte Diaboli, consider this album to be similar, but minus the repetitiveness that plagued the aforementioned.
The only true comparison to the Nymphetamine era could be "The Death of Love," which soars above every song on that album except for "Guilded." Without a doubt, as well, it's one of the best songs on the album. It has its hooks, melody, and yes, Sara really hits the spotlight on this song. It's probably one of their only songs in recent years that's really stood out to me ("The Foetus of a New Day Kicking" [prior to it getting and popularity from that. The video is horrible] and "Under Huntress Moon" really come to mind here).
So that said, how can it recover from infectious sound that many fans have recently been dubbing "pop-ish"? You'll hear "Shat Out of Hell" long before "The Death of Love" and you'll know right from there just how vicious the album is. Not only that, but Bradley's cold and remorseless narration really help add to the dark atmosphere of the disc. One notable factor of Bradley's narration is how he begins to slowly sound crueler with each song. Listen closely to his tone of voice and you will see what I mean.
While not nearly Cradle's best (by far, their first 3 albums are so heavily separated from the band's last three that I dare not even compare them) it's still a wonderful breath of fresh air. No doubt it will once more leave fans divided, but in truth, doesn't this happen with all bands? Nothing lasts forever after all. Come what may, Cradle is still alive and kicking.
All said and done, I offer one final word of consolidation for fans and, in the rare event they will, the band: Cradle will never again truly realize their potential until they jump ship with Roadrunner. Until they do, though, I'm at least satisfied that they are at the very least giving it their all with what they have available to them.
Til next time, boys (and girl).