Unquestionably one of the greatest and most influential British metal bands of all time, CRADLE OF FILTH have cast a commanding and macabre shadow across the metal scene for nearly a quarter of a century. Armed with their trademark, cross-pollinated assault, that taps into myriad strands of sonic extremity and morbid opulence, they have steadily conquered the entire world, unleashing a malevolent slew of classic albums along the way. From the raw and rambunctious savagery of their 1994 debut »The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh« (info) to the wickedly monstrous, technicolour bombast of 2012's »The Manticore & Other Horrors« (info), the CRADLE ethos and aesthetic has had a huge impact on the evolution of metal, the band's insatiable appetite for performing live and frontman Dani Filth's unerring charisma and sense of occasion ensuring that they have established a powerful and enduring connection with Hell-bound acolytes everywhere.
But despite their indubitable authority and prowess, CRADLE OF FILTH have never been immune to the shifting sands of time, resulting in an almost comical reputation for line-up changes that, unusually, has had the parallel effect of imbuing the band with an omnipresent air of ongoing evolution and mutation. With that in mind, the exhilarating reaffirmation of malicious values showcased on the new album »Hammer Of The Witches« (info | shop) stands out as a clear milestone in CRADLE's lengthy history, as the ferocious chemistry that has swiftly developed between these virtuoso miscreants – Dani Filth, newly recruited guitarists Richard Shaw and Ashok, bassist Daniel Firth, keyboard priestess Lindsay Schoolcraft and stalwart percussive powerhouse Martin Skaroupka - is laid bare across 56 minutes of extravagant, adventurous and thrillingly extreme heavy metal. Striking a sublime balance between the classic, twin-lead grandiloquence of 90s triumphs like »Dusk & Her Embrace« (info) and »Cruelty & The Beast« (info) and the tougher, gnarlier textures of recent masterworks like »Godspeed On The Devil's Thunder« (info) and »Darkly Darkly Venus Aversa« (info), the new album »Hammer Of The Witches« is arguably the most focused, absorbing and fearless album the band have ever produced, as fresh blood and a renewed sense of purpose collide in a shower of bloody sparks.
Continuing their grand tradition of infusing each album with a unique atmosphere and conceptual elements that embolden the songs' dramatic execution, »Hammer Of The Witches« is classic CRADLE from start to finish. And with typically mischievous aplomb, the album's title gleefully flips the historical script, turning the tables on the gruesome witch hunts of 16th and 17th century Europe and exacting some hard-earned vengeance on behalf of all of those who suffered persecution at the hands of religious zealots during that turbulent period in history.