Cradle of Filth remain as controversial as ever, opting to explore the life and times of notorious serial killer Gilles De Roy for their latest release GODSPEED ON THE DEVIL'S THUNDER. Long rumored to be the return to form that Cradle fans were hoping for, GOTDT disappoints, quite honestly.
The album treads the same ground as previous releases. Doug Bradley still chants in low tones at sparing intervals, Dani Filth still howls his way through each song, and the musical makeup is all standard issue COF. The album doesn't possess the rapid-fire intensity that made DAMNATION AND A DAY such a rich sonic treat, nor does it take beautiful creative risks like NYMPHETAMINE or THORNOGRAPHY. I'm a bit saddened by this, as those same creative risks were deemed by many COF fans as 'selling out,' despite their wondrous successes. Here, COF seems obsessed with getting back on track, but the track itself is devoid of too many hills or winding turns to be interesting.
Each song chugs along as you'd expect, with no difference in direction. In fact, I listened to the entire album 3 times, straight through, and couldn't pinpoint one song that truly stood out as remarkable. Dani Filth's blood-soaked gothic poetry is still in top form, thankfully. There is truly no better lyricist in metal, PERIOD...but the actual audio delivery is marred by a severe case of extreme metal writer's block. COF were very close to marrying more mainstream elements to vicious extreme metal with THORNOGRAPHY, but their sudden decision to deviate from that lush path has left GOTDT feeling redundant and less than stellar. It is truly the weakest COF album, taking the title away from MIDIAN (which was a great album itself, by the way). COF nutcases will dig it, but listeners desiring something more intense by the band will have to suffer through more of the same.