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Cradle Of Filth
with Wednesday 13 and Black Raven
From the Promoter
CRADLE OF FILTH
Sometimes, it seems, the monsters are very real. We live in increasingly dark times and it is the duty of the most inspirational musicians to create a soundtrack that provides both escapism and a jolting dose of real world grit. For the last quarter of a century, CRADLE OF FILTH have assumed the role of dark metal diarists, exploring the amorphous horrors that lurk in humanity’s shadows and reveling in the opulence of mortal sin across centuries powered by bleak romance and a lust for the sensually grotesque.
Formed in England in 1991, CRADLE OF FILTH generated an immediate underground buzz with their early demos, before stamping their authority on the UK’s burgeoning black and death metal underground with their debut album, »The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh«, in 1994. A monstrous blend of ornamental terror and pummeling vitriol, it marked the band out as a unique proposition and one of few modern bands capable of driving heavy music forward while honoring its traditions. Not surprisingly, a combination of front man Dani Filth’s insanely evocative lyrics and the intensely detailed and the compelling imagery that the band harnessed with great skill have since ensured that CRADLE’s music has both endured and expanded over the best part of three decades. A relentless series of invigorating and enthralling studio albums have kept the band firmly in the bloodshot public eye and despite numerous line-up shuffles and subtle stylistic shifts over the years, CRADLE OF FILTH have slithered from grand triumph to grand triumph.
The 21st century has seen the band enhance their allure and fortify their artistic achievements. Early albums like »Dusk…And Her Embrace« (1996) and »Cruelty And The Beast« (1998) are widely regarded as classics, but it is more recent feral fare like 2008’s grim conceptual splurge »Godspeed On The Devil’s Thunder« and, most recently, »Hammer Of The Witches« (2015), the band’s debut for current label Nuclear Blast, that have cemented and sealed Dani and his cohorts’ reputation and renown. Currently enjoying a collective creative renaissance that is driving them to new heights of elegant fury, the band - Dani, guitarists Ashok and Richard Shaw, bassist Daniel Firth, keyboard & vocal siren Lindsay Schoolcraft and mercurial percussive mainstay Martin Škaroupka - are more potent and devastating than ever before as they approach the release of their latest and perhaps greatest studio effort, »Cryptoriana - The Seductiveness Of Decay«.
“This album represents an onwards and upwards drive for the band, building on the success of »Hammer Of The Witches« and pushing further with the venomous musicology to create something that is both unique and loyal to our previous incarnations,” Dani Filth states. “We mutate, breed and run totally amok with this album. Plus we covered 'Alison Hell' by ANNIHILATOR, a thrash metal classic that has been on our proverbial lips for centuries!”
A monstrous tour-de-force of utterly distinctive but reassuringly destructive heavy fucking metal, laced with spectral disquiet but delivered with muscular aplomb, »Cryptoriana« was conceived during the summer of 2016 as CRADLE OF FILTH convened in Ashok and Škaroupka’s native Czech Republic, before being meticulously pieced together by the band and now long-time producer Scott Atkins back in the UK during the first half of 2017. From the exhilarating melodrama of opening two-fisted salvo 'Exquisite Torments Await' and 'Heartbreak And Seance' onwards, the twelfth CRADLE album manifestly represents yet another wild expansion of the band’s sonic manifesto across nine epic and elaborate new anti-hymns and, as Dani mentions, a fervent blast through Canadian thrash legends ANNIHILATOR’s ageless 'Alison Hell'. From 'Achingly Beautiful'’s synapse-scorching holocaust of the heart to the flesh-ripping, thrash-driven grandeur of 'Wester, Vespertine' and the pitch-black lysergic gargoyle attack of 'You Will Know The Lion By His Claw', »Cryptoriana« is simply the most musically and visually startling record in CRADLE’s history; one that grittily upholds the band’s tradition of conjuring warped narratives that linger long in the memory.
“The album, both lyrically and artistically, is infused with Victorian gothic horror and thus the title is a reflection of that,” Dani explains. “»Cryptoriana« implies the Victorians’ infatuation with the supernatural, the grave and the fervently ghoulish. The subtitle, »The Seductiveness Of Decay«, further cements the attraction to death and the glittering lengthy process of self-annihilation. To immerse myself in the subject matter and courtesy of his good friend H.G. Wells, I built a time machine and went to live amongst the clandestine underworld of late Victorian England...”
Due to be unveiled on September 22, 2017, »Cryptoriana - The Seductiveness Of Decay« is exactly the kind of commanding artistic statement that fans of this indestructible British metal institution have grown to expect. The difference this time is that CRADLE OF FILTH appear to have clicked into a new, higher gear and the results are fascinating, terrifying and electrifying in equal measure. As they prepare to introduce these stunning new songs to their dedicated global fan base, CRADLE OF FILTH have never been more powerful or their excellence so undeniable.
“The general vibe in the band is exceedingly positive as we gear up for the album’s release,” Dani concludes. “We have an amazing album and video under our collective belts, a new manager who has religiously prepared an upcoming world tour for everyone to look forward to and the band are still white hot and collectively firing on all cylinders, much like a ballistic missile fired upon Horsell Common, in the last years of the 19th century when human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space!”
A grimly glamorous ghoul who first slithered from the cobwebbed shadows of Charlotte, North Carolina, in the early 90s, WEDNESDAY 13 has firmly established himself as the world's premier purveyor of balls-out horror punk insanity. With a vivid and vile imagination that has endeared him to countless fans of riff-driven macabre over the last two decades, he has been one of rock's most prolific protagonists, spreading his credo of grave-robbing rock 'n' roll and Hallowe'en debauchery around the globe and unleashing a seemingly endless stream of blood-spattered albums and EPs.
“All my favourite stuff, like KISS and ALICE COOPER and TWISTED SISTER, those guys set the bar pretty high,” he states. “I always wanted to do something in the worlds of those bands. That's the blueprint. It had to be as outrageous and crazy as that and I wanted to be on someone's wall one day and have their parents say 'Oh my god, what is that?' The formula's still there from when I started doing it as a kid and started wanting to be in a band. It's just GI Joe and Dracula!”
After several years of sharpening his creative teeth, WEDNESDAY 13 emerged from the fetid crypt of obscurity with his band FRANKENSTEIN DRAG QUEENS FROM PLANET 13, those masters of snotty schlock rock that released an astonishing five studio albums and six EPs between 1996 and 2002. Always the leader of the revolting pack, WEDNESDAY 13 then became a bona fide international rock star as front man for the MURDERDOLLS, his collaboration with SLIPKNOT’s Joey Jordison. The band took the world by storm, with Europe and the UK in particular succumbing to the feral charms of 2002 debut album, »Beyond The Valley Of The Murderdolls«; a raucous eruption of big tunes and bad attitude that noisily redefined the horror punk genre. After MURDERDOLLS went on an extended hiatus in 2004, WEDNESDAY 13 embarked on a widely lauded solo career that again provided him with an outlet for his relentless outpouring of fiendish musical and lyrical ideas. Albums like »Transylvania 90210« (released by Roadrunner in 2005), »Fang Bang« and »Skeletons« all cemented our pallid hero's reputation as the bastard son of ALICE COOPER and THE MISFITS, while his outlaw country project, BOURBON CROW and one-off glam metal vehicle, GUNFIRE 76 proved that he had sufficient versatility to survive outside the graveyard and abattoir.
MURDERDOLLS reconvened in 2010 for the vicious »Women And Children Last« album and another successful world tour before disappearing once more into the freezing midnight fog, leaving WEDNESDAY to revive his solo career with a few thousand volts of wicked electricity yet more highly praised albums and tours including 2014’s scintillating acoustic opus »Undead Unplugged« and the following year’s thunderous »Monsters Of The Universe: Come Out & Plague«. However, absolutely nothing that WEDNESDAY has created in the past has even touched upon the horrifying potency and allure of his brand new studio album, »Condolences«.
Frustrated with the arduous process of releasing his own music, our favourite black-hearted freak has thrown himself and his music into a whirling maelstrom of reinvention. The result is not just the heaviest and most authentically disturbing record of the great man’s career but also a huge creative leap forward, neatly encapsulated by the new album’s simple and direct title.
“It’s more of a serious WEDNESDAY 13 record, I guess,” he says. “The campiness has gone and it’s taken a darker vibe. It’s definitely not in the camp, sleazy world anymore. The band is visually stronger and that’s taken things to a new level. Normally my album titles are parodies of something, like »Women And Children Last«, that’s a VAN HALEN album title gone wrong! (laughs) So I wanted to make sure that this record came across as a brand new version of WEDNESDAY 13.”
In musical terms, »Condolences« showcases WEDNESDAY’s growing obsession with the world of heavy metal and its endless possibilities for exploring tales of horror and violence. Produced by renowned studio guru Zeuss, new songs like anthemic first single 'What The Night Brings' and the pile-driving 'Blood Sick' still exhibit a dash of B-movie weirdness and are full of WEDNESDAY’s trademark twisted lyrics, but where previous albums were rooted in the worlds of punk rock and glam metal, »Condolences« is a full-on modern metal record with gigantic balls and the attitude to match. From the glowering menace of 'Good Riddance' to the grandiose hellishness of the album’s 7-minute title track, it’s living, breathing, murdering proof that the WEDNESDAY 13 of 2017 means business. And business is mean.
“The punk rock vibe has left the building and it’s become a full-on metal vibe,” WEDNESDAY agrees. “I’ve been the horror-punk guy for years, but this is horror metal. It’s just evolution. Over the last ten years I’ve become a metalhead for the most part. That second MURDERDOLLS record just amped the whole thing up, and the guys in the band have influenced me with so much other stuff. It’s not just me with my SEX PISTOLS, ALICE COOPER and RAMONES records anymore! (laughs) Now I’ve got my band incorporating everything from death metal to rock’n’roll. It’s all across the boards. There are no rules. We can do whatever we want, whatever fits.”
Manifestly the strongest, heaviest and most individual album of his lengthy career, »Condolences« promises to push WEDNESDAY 13 into heavy music’s upper echelons once again. With determined plans to tour relentlessly in support of the new record, the future is looking dark, dangerous, exhilarating and wildly, unapologetically theatrical.
“It’s non-stop touring once the record comes out,” WEDNESDAY concludes. “We just did our first video for 'What The Night Brings' and the visuals are really cool. I’ve incorporated a lot of stuff I’ve been doing live, like this devil character I’ve been transforming into at shows, and that got worked in. We’re taking the music, the imagery and the entire stage show up a level. It’s gonna be a full-on theatrical stage production, so I’ll be busy as fuck on stage! I’ve been doing this shit for so many years, I started thinking ‘How can I make this fun again?’ (laughs)”
WEDNESDAY 13 online:
Wednesday 13 | vocals
Roman Surman| guitar
Jack Tankersley | guitar
Troy Doebbler | bass
Kyle Castronovo | drums
Rock 'n' roll / rockabilly band from Neuss, Germany.
The band started in 1992 with the members
Julian Wiethoff (vocals, guitar),
Zlatko Tudja (vocals, guitar),
Andy Tudja (drums),
Torsten Leyhausen (bass).
At the 2008 release Rock In Threes! the lineup was
Julian Wiethoff (vocals, guitar),
Jan Ferres (drums),
Torsten Leyhausen (bass).
The the current lineup is
Julian Wiethoff (vocals, guitar),
Bojan Lutz (bass),
Jens Feldhaus (drums).
In 1998 Black Raven had a project, The Falcon & The Raven, with »Ginger« Nigel J.Cawley from the band The Falcons (12) as vocalist.