Sunday, 10 July 2016

Cradle Of Filth "Dusk... And Her Embrace - The Original Sin" (2016)

What a surprise it was to see this release in my inbox. The original sin? When I saw the name I wondered, remix? remaster? This is actually a remastered release of the recordings made when the band where on the Cacophonous Records label. To my knowledge they recorded the album "Goetia" which had its master tapes erased due to the record label going bankrupt. It turns out they also recorded "Dusk... And Her Embrace" with the same band lineup as "The Principal Of Evil Made Flesh" and subsequently released "V Empire" instead to get out of that record contract. So now over twenty years later we get to hear what the bands magnum opus would of sounded like in 1995, unfortunately though this is remastered. It would of been far more interesting to hear it in its original state.

Musically almost everything is the same, the track listing includes "Nocturnal Supremacy", an alternative symphonic intro track, a few songs shuffled in the play order and "The Graveyard By Moonlight" is entirely different. A couple of song names are slightly different too and for the most part its the same beast, a lot rawer, rough around the edges but its biggest difference is in the synths, their tone and presence clearly indicate a different keyboard was used and for the most part they achieve the same atmosphere, however the tones are far less appealing and a little plastic and cheap in the mix. The overall chemistry in terms of production is nowhere near the 96 versions consistency in tone. That record gets all the subtleties right, where as here some instruments stick out like sore thumbs against others and in occasional moments the record fills a little thinned out when the keys are on their lonesome. On the flip side it has louder drums and a rocking bass guitar upfront in the mix, something the 96 release didn't have.

Lyrically and musically too there are quite a few moments to pick out that are slightly different, either with words, delivery or riffs. All of these seem better of changed however the bias of knowing its counterpart inside out highlights the subjective nature of music, these are still the same songs. Dani's vocals are between the two record as heard previously, still developing the trademark shrill scream and his growls still meatier and blunt. There are some additional guitar solo's that crop up too, sounding thrown in as an after thought, both musically and in terms of production, they feel stitched on to the songs and the ones that were dropped were rightly so, in this state they were quite lackluster. There's also a couple of "cringy" wolves howling samples thrown in too which were better left out.

Musing over all the differences it should also be said that sometimes the guitars sounded identical to the original and a lot of the gothic vocals, female and guest also didn't feel different in the slightest. Overall I think the fate which at the time may have felt cruel for the band, led them in the right direction. "The Original Sin" shows the bands best sound emerging from its embryonic state. It had found its inspiration in a gothic theme but had yet polished out the sound with the keyboards and in retrospect gained a lot from this polished and refined sound the band eventually came out with.

Rating: 5/10

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