Published Sep 01, 2003Taking a break in between Ozzfest dates, Cradle of Filth slipped up to Toronto with Shadows Fall and Sworn Enemy for an early Tuesday night show at the Guvernment, leaving tour-mates Killswitch Engage stuck sorting out paperwork issues at the border. A disparate billing hardcore, melodic deathcore, and gothic black metal (lite) but it was an all-out metal menagerie nonetheless. Odd incidents and appearances, like a fight during Shadows Fall and a fan in a fancy spider-demon costume (who Dani Filth claimed was his mother), ensured the show wasn't confined to the stage. Shadows Fall offered a tight, powerful performance, with lots of three-part vocals (not church choir harmonies, mind you) and some serious hair-swinging. After the usual pause or "anticipation build" Cradle of Filth came on stage like a new KISS-in-training. Altered a little in fashion but not in spirit, they performed as solidly as ever. The sleek-ish nightclub atmosphere of the Guvernment doesn't suit the goth metal fiends as well as the old theatre vibe of a place like the Opera House, but what the show lacked in spookiness it made up for in spectacle strobes, coloured lights, smoke, a drum riser, plus the Cradle of Filth acrobat walking around on her stilts and in costume, coming out once in spidery garb and shooting sparks across the stage during the encore. Sarah Diva Jezebel, unmasked for a change, looked bored but sang beautifully, while Dani Filth growled, screamed and made noises that are hard to believe can emerge from such a small body, and the rest of the band came through with a performance (and posturing) to match. With the make-up, the platform boots and the tongues that kept sneaking out, KISS better watch out.