September 2015 National CD Reviews

Review: Cradle of Filth – Hammer of the Witches

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CradleOfFilth

Cradle of Filth
Hammer of the Witches

Nuclear Blast Records
Street: 07.10
Cradle of Filth = (Dimmu Borgir x Satyricon) + At the Gates + 3 Inches of Blood

As one of the metal kingpins of the 21st Century, Cradle of Filth have adjusted accordingly with their share of lineup changes but never stray too far from their sound—taking black metal, dousing it with NWOBHM guitar riffs, along with lyrics coated with gothic imagery, and topping it off with a symphonic backdrop. Hammer of the Witches draws you in with the drably orchestral “Walpurgis Eve,” then after a brief pause, “Yours Immortally” throws its punch with consolidating guitar and orchestral harmonies and Dani Filth’s guttural yet somehow melodic vocals. The album drips with atmosphere, and it is all in part of the introduction of Marek ‘Ashok’ Šmerda and Richard Shaw who bring back COF’s classic dual guitar riffing as well as Lindsay Schoolcraft’s technique of intertwining her keyboard melodies with that of her voice. All that being said, Hammer of the Witches is one of COF’s best. –Eric U. Norris