Cradle of Filth Midian

After 1998's disappointing foray into mediocrity, Cruelty and The Beast, England's premier black metal band have managed to regain ground with Midian. Midian is the first release to feature former My Dying Bride/Anathema keyboardist Martin Powell, and his presence is felt early on as goth-tinged classical keyboard lines are intertwined with guitar riffs in the album's first actual track, "Cthulu Dawn." Of course, Cradle of Filth is really just a tool for vocalist Dani to parlay his Hammer horror visions upon the listener. He takes full advantage of this and with song titles such as "Lord Abortion" and "Tearing the Veil From Grace‚" COF will probably have critics spitting venom their way; the same ones up in arms over their use of masturbating nuns in their imagery. A great return to form for the band and an appropriate Halloween release date to boot. (Koch)