British extreme metallers CRADLE OF FILTH will release their tenth studio album, “The Manticore & Other Horrors”, in North America on October 30 via Nuclear Blast Records.
Speaking to Metal-Trails.com at this year’s Wacken Open Air festival, which took place August 2-4 in Wacken, Germany, CRADLE OF FILTH frontman Dani “Filth” Davey stated about the musical direction of the band’s new album (See video below), “It’s a slightly different direction for CRADLE OF FILTH. It’s very fresh for people who appreciate our other works. It’s a slightly shorter album, but we’ve concentrated on melody and different techniques that have been slightly missing from our music — it’s a bit punkier, a bit more structured, a bit more singalong, but it’s still extreme and it’s still CRADLE OF FILTH.”
He continued, “It’s very hard to speak about it, because it’s only been two years since our last record, so if it was so familiar, trying to explain what that record was like and what this record is like… Because there’s so much going on in our music — there’s symphonic parts and then there’s really fast parts and slow, romantic interludes and, like I said, punk and New Wave Of British Heavy Metal in there. But it’s all kind of wrapped up in theology and cinematic kind of soundscape. So it’s hard to break it down and say, ‘Well, this is what we’re doing this time that’s a bit different from the last time.’ But it’s good. We’re really proud of what we’re doing. I think people are gonna be very surprised when they hear it and go, ‘Wow, that’s CRADLE OF FILTH for 2012.'”
On the influences they have incorporated into the songwriting process for “The Manticore & Other Horrors”:
Dani: “We’re influenced by loads of stuff. We like recording out in the countrysides. We get a lot of influence from where we live. Music, obviously… [We’re] very big fans of soundtracks, films and cult literature, 19th-century literature. Anything, really, can influence you, depending on the environment in which the album is created.
“We’re very inspirational people, we’re very artistic and stuff — sometimes autistic — and I couldn’t actually where ideas come from, but, fortunately, we’re not too few of them.”
On whether CRADLE OF FILTH intentionally experimented on the new album:
Dani: “We had a mind to experiment with different sounds, and different instrumentation, different structures, different guitar sound, different drum sound, different vocal techniques… But again, at the end of the day, it’s really about writing good songs and we think we’ve written 11 really good tracks for the new album and some bonus material for later on. And that can’t be contrived — you can’t just say, ‘We’re gonna do this, we’re gonna do that,’ it really has to be from the heart and the soul. But it doesn’t hurt, along the way, to pick up influences from all the things I mentioned.”
On CRADLE OF FILTH’s touring plans for after the new album is released:
Dani: “The new album comes out October 31 or thereabouts — Halloween — and then we undertake a full European tour called ‘Creatures From The Black Abyss’. It’s us headlining, GOD SEED, ROTTING CHRIST and DARK END in support of us. There’s gonna be a big stage show, it’s gonna be very new, very novel, vey heavy metal, very CRADLE OF FILTH.”
On whether “The Manticore & Other Horrors” is a concept album:
Dani: “It’s probably a concept album as far as other people’s concept albums go. ‘Cause when people say, ‘We’ve written a concept album,’ it’s generally just a couple of ideas thrown around a picture on the cover. This one is more like each song is like a satellite orbiting a bigger theme. So it has a concept of, sort of, monsters, personal demons and greater entities. But no, for once [we thought], ‘Let’s not be too predictable. People will expect something like that.’ This time we’ve just gone and done a collection of really good, fast, intricate, theatrical heavy metal tracks.”
On the most difficult part of making the new album:
Dani: “Trying to be fresh with ideas, I guess. I always write all the lyrics, so it’s always… not a struggle, but I’m very particular about what I wanna do and try not to be too wordy with it. This time I was trying to balance the attributes that make up CRADLE OF FILTH, but with something that people can sort of sing along to. And that’s relatively hard in itself. I guess the whole process of starting again from scratch and coming out with something at the end and feeling like you’ve worked so hard and that you’ve achieved something, because nothing comes easy; otherwise everybody would be doing it. So, I guess, before you start a record, you always see the climb and think, ‘Oooh, this is gonna be difficult this time,’ but it’s worth that climb.”
On whether he feels like they still have something to prove the fans or themselves with each new album:
Dani: “I think it’s more to ourselves. Obviously, the fans are very important, but I think the fans believe enough in the band enough by now — or they should so — to realize and appreciate that if we write for ourselves , it’s gonna then spill out onto the record and they’re going to embrace that, hopefully.”
Recorded in eight weeks at both Springvale and Grindstone studios (where it was also mixed by Scott Atkins), Suffolk, “The Manticore & Other Horrors” is a testament to the longevity of the ‘FILTH, as not only does it reek of CRADLE’s (feared or revered) brand of delicious metal vamperotica, but this thoroughly modern album places the band firmly in fresh killing fields anew.
“The Manticore & Other Horrors” itself possesses an altogether new atmosphere for the band, incorporating a heavier, faster NWOBBM punk vibe that is both current and cruel, blended with ornate orchestration and the quirky immediateness of 2000’s “Midian” opus.
The album’s title can be likened to a bestiary, a collection of stories on monsters – personal demons, Chimeras, literary fiends and world-enslaving entities to blame but a few. “Manticore”, the ravening title track, is a song about a beautiful mythological horror that comes to be feared as the disfigurehead of foreign occupation in the Indian provinces.
The songs “Illicitus” and “Pallid Reflection” bare the sweet ingredients of vampirism and lycanthropy; the wicked “For Your Vulgar Delectation” and “Frost On Her Pillow” are woven perversely into grim fairy tales, whilst classic, monumental tracks like “The Abhorrent And Siding With The Titans” both extol tentacular Lovecraftian values.
CRADLE OF FILTH is:
Dani Filth – Vocals
Paul Allender – Guitar
James McIlroy – Guitar
David Pybus – Bass
Martin Skaroupka – Drums