Cradle of Filth Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa

Cradle of Filth Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa
Ever melodramatic, Cradle of Filth up the bombast with their ninth album, Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa. Lilith (the mythic pre-Eve wife of Adam) is the record's subject and protagonist, but that doesn't mean the band sound more flowery than usual. Instead, they've come out loaded with extreme metal artillery, storming through a narrative concept seeping with the horrific and gothic elements Cradle of Filth are known for. Female melodies ― not delivered by the familiar Sarah Jezebel Diva ― are sparsely interspersed with pounding beats, blasting riffs, orchestral drama and a little sinister soloing. And throughout, the harsh and epic prevail, even when things sound ready to ease into a goth rock groove (part way through with "Persecution Song") or musical theatre's evil twin (as the record moves on). Pleasant, but not entirely predictable, Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa is a grandiose mishmash of dark heavy metal; it's fun, but not likely to blow anyone's mind. (Nuclear Blast)