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Cradle of Filth – Hammer of The Witches: A Blistering Extreme Metal Effort About Persecution [Review]

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Cradle of Filth have released their eleventh studio album ‘Hammer of The Witches’. Featuring their new lineup which consists of guitarists Marek ‘Ashok’ Šmerda and Richard Shaw plus new keyboardist & vocalist Lindsay Schoolcraft.

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I’ve never been a die-hard Cradle of Filth fan, but I consider myself a casual devotee to their unique operatic brand of Satanic extreme metal. Dani Filth is one of the best metal vocalists in his genre because he has the ability to go from shrieking gargoyle to guttural ogre demon at the flip of  a switch. Some people could be turned off from that higher pitch scream but he does it so well that I find myself drawn into it even though I’m not a fan of someone like King Diamond who originated that high frequency style of metal singing.

‘Hammer of The Witches’ is the perfect blend of symphonic elements with blistering death metal. There’s just the right amount of atmosphere because it’s only utilized to enhance the rest of the tracks. My favorite song is ‘Deflowering the Maidenhead, Displeasuring the Goddess’ and I have an issue saying that outloud because it’s evil as shit. But that’s the truth and that’s just how it goes with a Cradle of Filth record.

There’s a great deal of imagery surrounding witches, persecution and the female figure. It’s abundantly clear in the artwork, but the lyrics all deal with witchcraft too and it really works throughout. That series Salem should incorporate a track or two from here on their soundtrack — the only thing is that ‘Hammer of The Witches’ is probably too evil for the likes of anything else carrying a witch theme. Cradle of Filth – fulfilling my evil quota since the mid-nineties.

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