Cradle of Filth Dusk And Her Embrace

Cradle Of Filth continues to be one of metal's most prolific bands, with the release of Bitter Suites To Succubi. Released less than nine months after last year's exciting Halloween release Midian, this new full-length effort by the band comes as somewhat of a surprise. Self-released by the band on their own Abracadaver imprint, this unexpected gem takes off where the last record left off, with the band continuing their direction into almost symphonic-like black metal. Led by singer Dani's now trademarked banshee wail, the sextet (who can now include former My Dying Bride/Anathema keyboardist Martin Powell, for those counting the newest move on the UK metal roundabout) bash their way through ten new tracks, including "The Principle of Evil Made Flesh," which followers of the band will recognise as being the title of the band's first full-length record, released some six years ago. Also seeing re-release at the same time is a pair of the band's earlier records, originally released through Music For Nations. 1996's Dusk And Her Embrace and its 1998 successor, Cruelty and The Beast, are seeing proper release in North America once again, and for the first time in a number of years after being available only as expensive UK imports. While Dusk... is actually the better album of the two, it was the very Iron Maiden-influenced Cruelty... that really helped break the band and push them into the elite of the UK metal scene. It is also worth mentioning that the new version of Cruelty... is a double disc offering, with an extra CD featuring reworked versions of album tracks as well as covers by Iron Maiden ("Hallowed Be Thy Name") and Venom ("Black Metal"). Both are essential for fans. (Music For Nations)