Cradle of Filth
The Manticore and Other Horrors
A day prior to Halloween is a fitting release date for Cradle of Filth, and the band's tenth album begins with appropriately creepy tension, like the soundtrack to a seasonal film. After a short prelude (matched by a tempestuous instrumental conclusion at the record's other end), things get dramatically livelier in a mix of "goth metal on speed," plus a little nasty groove, along with the Filth's familiar penchant for dark orchestration. The variety makes for a rottenly vibrant collage of sounds and aesthetics, from the bombastic to passages that are, for Cradle of Filth, unusually stripped down. There's something immediately ear-catching about this slight shift in direction, but without the usual degree of anticipated drama this collection of tracks needs to work a bitter harder to retain that sense of enchantment. The Manticore and Other Horrors is a loathsomely enjoyable romp. It's more fun than 2010's Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa, but with a slightly less lurid and lingering "oomph" than classic Cradle of Filth.
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