Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Cradle of Filth at Webster Hall's Grand Ballroom

Dani Filth
At the age of 18, Daniel Lloyd Davey worked in a Chinese restaurant in his native Hertford, England. He later chose a career in music over an internship at a newspaper, and began with bands called Carnival Fruitcake, the Lemon Grove Kids, PDA and Feast on Excrement before becoming Dani Filth and founding extreme metal band Cradle of Filth in 1991 in Suffolk. Cradle of Filth's 11th and most recent studio album, Hammer of the Witches, was released on July 10, 2015. The band has had more than 20 personnel changes, but presently consists of Filth on vocals, guitarists Richard Shaw and Marek "Ashok" Šmerda, keyboardist Lindsay Schoolcraft, bassist Daniel Firth, and drummer Martin "Marthus" Skaroupka.

Cradle of Filth's refusal to blend into the metal scene continued with tonight's headlining and tour-closing engagement at Webster Hall's Grand Ballroom. The backdrop was adapted from the cover art from the current album, a black goat-like creature holding two naked and bloody women. Entering the stage in macabre face paint and black shredded-leather wardrobe, the band ripped into fast and furious chords, and Filth started his vocals with a lengthy shriek into a skeleton-clad microphone stand. The 14 songs, old and new, featured creepy novel-like lyrics, which barely could be deciphered in the live context. Amid the shrieks, growls and thunderous music, Filth's dark and ominous stage presence was commanding. Most impressive, however, was how the band bridged extreme, progressive and symphonic metal, particularly when Schoolcraft sporadically upended the tone with her clear and melodic vocals. Beyond the theatrics of the band's appearance and the shock value of the lyrics, Cradle of Filth's extreme metal was artistically masterful.

Visit Cradle of Filth at www.cradleoffilth.com.