Thornography is much like Nymphetamine, but heavier. Therefore, the lyrics aren't AS good as, say, Dusk And Her Embrace or Cruelty and the Beast, but are still better than a lot of other music out there. The album's title itself has to do with the human obsession between sin and self, which is reflected in many of the lyrics. Many songs have a surprisingly darker feeling than a lot of the stuff on the album's predecessor. This is an odd shock because most of the songs actually had very little keyboarding because of Powell's departure from the band.
However, the album doesn't just get the return of Douglas Bradley as the album's "narrator," but there are two other guest artists on this album. "Byronic Man" has H.I.M.'s Ville Valo and blends so well with Dani's lowly growls that it's very difficult to hear him without listening closely. The closing song, "Temptation," a cover of an old 80's pop song by Heaven 17, has Harry from Dirty Harry. That song actually sounds very good, despite being a pop cover (the song "Devil Woman" on the Nymphetamine Deluxe Edition is the same way).
It's not just the guests that make the album great. Dani's vocals have actually, for the most part, changed from a high-pitched wail/screech to a deep, raspy growl. While it's still not everything people want, it should keep many from complaining. This actually makes some songs, like "The Foetus of a New Day Kicking" enjoyable and surprisingly catchy.
To make things more interesting, the band has finally created an instrumental track that contains more than just keyboards. I don't mean the opening track with the unnecessarily long title, but "The Rise of the Pentagram." It opens up with Doug using spoken voice alone and then shifting to loud and raging guitars and drums. Though the song itself turns into keyboards occasionally, it often seems to be like Metallica's masterpiece instrumentals, "The Call of Ktulu" and "Orion" with a more sinister and melodic feeling.
Final Word: Cradle fans who were disappointed by Damnation and a Day and/or Nymphetamine will be disappointed again. However, the band has by no means sold out. They are definitely rising back up in ability, even if it is slowly. For the CoF newbies, have a listen of Dusk...And Her Embrace, Cruelty and the Beast and Midian if you want to know why people think the band is losing their touch or to find out where the band started. If you want similar music, check out some of the band's influences such as Slayer, Venom and Mercyful Fate. Keep headbanging and stay filthy!
** 4 out of 5 stars **