Cradle Of Filth - Vempire or Dark Fairytales in Phallustein
Cacophonous Records
Black Metal
6 songs (36:26)
Release year: 1996
Cradle Of Filth, Cacophonous Records
Reviewed by Shane
Archive review

Yes, I will admit to the fact that I bought this album because the naked girl on the cover caught my eye and because I thought that the name Cradle of Filth was cool. So it goes without saying that my experience with this band is limited and that I don’t really have an ear for this type of music. However, everyone else at metalreviews is busy reviewing other things so it appears that this album would not have been reviewed if I didn’t do it. So this is the opinion of a guy who bought this album with out knowing what he was getting into. Take it or leave it.

When I popped this disc into my CD player I was blown away by the speed, aggression and the screams of Dani Filth. There is certainly a lot going on at once with this music with the keyboards, guitars, drums and screams, all wailing away at maximum throttle and often, all wailing away at the same time. There are also numerous tempo changes that occur, sometimes occurring several times per song. All of this sounded really cool at first and blew my mind, however, I also found the music very hard to follow. All I knew was that it sounded cool.

There is also a lot of variety on this album, with Dani able to do several different kinds of vocals ranging from a low growl to a high-pitched tortured scream, not to mention several voices that fall in between that range. His dramatic spoken words are just that, extremely dramatic and over the top but then again, so is the nature of this music. This is no surprise however, as the title of the album/EP gives more than just a subtle hint that nothing about this album will be subtle or perhaps, all that serious.

The problem with this album lies within everything that I have previously described. Many of the tempo changes are startlingly abrupt, as just when you seem to get into the groove of the song, it changes into something different and then changes once again. This, coupled with the fact that most of the vocals are basically unintelligible makes it very hard to tell where you are in the song or even what song you are listening to, as each song seems to do the same thing as the next song. Go slow, then go fast and then slow again and then add a tortured scream over some double bass drumming and go fast again. When Cradle of Filth is roaring along at full speed, the guitar often sounds like it is playing the same thing and when they are playing slow, it all sounds similar to other parts in other songs when they are playing slow. Therefore the previously mentioned variety of the album may be somewhat of a mirage, as they rely on the same tricks over and over again. Perhaps it is just me and I don’t understand this type of music but each song sounds terribly disjointed, like they are just a bunch of cool parts jumbled together with no rhyme or reason to their placement. I think that more of a coherent song structure would have helped this album immensely and made each song unique. All that being said, many of the cool parts do sound incredibly cool and there is a lot of potential here. It must be mentioned that the drumming is extremely well done because the drums seems to be the only part of the band concerned with holding the whole jumble of musical parts together.

Being that this is one of Cradle of Filth’s earliest releases and an EP, I would not be surprised to hear that their songs have evolved to the point where they have more of a solid structure and are much more coherent. Something like that would be excellent but as it stands with Vempire, Cradle of Filth just wasn’t quite there yet.

Killing Songs :
The Forest Whispers My Name
Shane quoted 68 / 100
Jay quoted 78 / 100
Jeff quoted 74 / 100
Other albums by Cradle Of Filth that we have reviewed:
Cradle Of Filth - Hammer of the Witches reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Cradle Of Filth - Total Fucking Darkness reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Cradle Of Filth - Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa reviewed by Kyle and quoted 64 / 100
Cradle Of Filth - Godspeed On The Devil's Thunder reviewed by Goat and quoted 81 / 100
Cradle Of Filth - Thornography reviewed by Goat and quoted 63 / 100
To see all 13 reviews click here
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