The twelfth chapter of Cradle's legacy has been unleashed with another upturn in form that feels almost bizarre for Danni Filth's band who for the first time in their twenty six years release consecutive records with the same lineup of musicians. Hammer Of The Witches received a lavish amount of praise that I was equally impressed with, yet surprised to hear them turn it around after decades of patchy releases since their best output back in 1996. With Cryptoriana I again find myself taken back by how little there is to fault here, the real disappointment is in the familiarity of their sound, after fifteen years as a fan their isn't much of a surprise or freshness left.
Cradle don't venture much beyond their comfort zone, the guitars usher in the occasional thump of groove or tinges of Post-Metal in shredded tremolos but otherwise they stick to their guns. Eight tracks of solid songs around seven minutes play like back to back mini epics, well constructed songs with plenty of twists and turns, returning melodies and theatrics that end in satisfying conclusions. This lineups chemistry pulls together the best of their musical ideas, flushing out the mediocrity and settling for nothing less... for the most part, it has to be said the last two songs do drag a little in comparison.
They might be executing the same ideas heard plenty times over in their old records but the quality is undeniable, tight performances executed on a crisp production sounds gorgeous. It may be aesthetically pleasing but its true charm is in the inspiration. Genuine and passionate, the gleam of romanticized gothic melodies weave these songs together between there wanderings into the darkly shadows that manifest in metallic mania. Theatrical, vivid and bold each so is an adventure waiting to be known! Everyone gives a fantastic performance and the result is arguably their best in nearly two decades! I do however hope in the next release they could experiment a little! Cradle's defining sound has barely evolved a fraction over the years.
Favorite Tracks: Achingly Beautiful, Wester Vespertine, The Seductiveness Of Decay