Published on Friday, 31 October 2014 19:48
Album title: The Great And Secret Show
Release date: 31 October 2014
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
01. Summer Arteries
02. Even Your Blood Group Rejects Me
03. Girl From Mystery Island
04. The Stake In My Heart
05. Living With The Fungus
06. Mother Kali
07. Staring At The Werewolf Corps
08. Sanity Hits A (Perfect) Zero
09. Laudanum Skull
10. The Great And Secret Show
11. Beds Are Burning (Midnight Oil cover) [Bonus]
12. Psycho Babble [Bonus]
13. Even Your Blood Group Rejects Me (Motion Picture Soundtrack) [Bonus]
It's Halloween again and what can be this tradional celebration without some Cradle Of Filth, erghh..., without Dani Filth, it's simply no go. Ok, jokes aside, but there's some truth in all of that as the metal icon of everything horror tinged is back right on this special date of the year with his new incarnation and its name is Devilment. Those who hate to hear about anything related to Cradle Of Filth please don't leave just right away as Devilment is something, at least musically speaking, very different, but not only, also Mr. Filth's vocals are not really alike anything he took part before, his voice is a bit more guttural, yet deep, somehow compact and there's not that much of those silly typical "filthish" shrieks and screeches, so yes, Dani Filth delivers his best approach in the last years right here on The Great And Secret Show. Althought Devilment were formed in 2011 by guitarist Daniel Finch and his friend Dani Filth joined later on, even if not entirely stable mentally, Dani agreed to help out on a couple of tracks. Then after one demo and a couple of recorded covers everything was set to record a full lenght album.
The Great And Secret Show can best be described as an unadulterated horror metal experience, but yet giving much more than just that, it fronts the persona of Dani Filth as central base in this palette of macabre sounds and it's Dani's merit that the sound reaches kind of a theatrical feeling, dramatic suspense, erotic imagination and gruesome gothy atmosphere, whilst the instruments give an extraordinary support. Even without the use of excessive keyboards the sound is more than rich in texture and many interesting twists, catchy riffs, melodies and unpredictable elements make it very much palatable. As a basis of their instrumentation Devilment use typical heavy and thrash metal elements, sometimes going that far and sounding almost mainstreamish with hard rock components, but reaching the appetizing groove with kind of industrial rock segments that would wake up fans of Rob Zombie, early Deathstars or even Rammstein. Yet each and every element is put in the right symbiosis with the rest, so the music doesn't end up teared apart and each track is one hell of powerful in your face thrown spit of dark matter. It's difficult to point out at just one or two tracks, but it's sure that "Mother Kali" with diabolical oriental vibe and tribalistic beats is something that can captivate even the most demanding listener of dark' heavy music. And I believe you'll be astonished when the psychotic vibrant violin comes in front here and there and it certainly adds a lot to the sonic perversion present on this record.
While keeping the sound catchy, dense and compact with pretty simple traditional groove-laden metal riffs and unrelentingly powerful rhythmic section sometimes everything becomes almost too much bombastic, but the madness reached with soundtrack alike moments and melodies that can wake the devil himself in truly haunting "Sanity Hits A (Perfect) Zero" is something unforgetable and the chorus enriched with female chants in the background is a pure example how to make horror metal a definitive monument in contemporary heavy music. Infectious female vocals in the penultimate "Laudanum Skull" give a perfect balance between Dani Filth's rage and the curtain of soft gothy synths that after all can remind to Cradle Of Filth. Corrosive offerings of pitch perfect symbiosis of almost avantgardish song structures and crushing metal madness, that can best be witnessed in the album title track and in compulsive yet playful thrashy orgy "The Stake In My Heart", just add a lot to the overall dynamic drive. And that's not all, as well is the lyrical concept very poetically elaborated, influenced by darkest thoughts of Roald Dahl, HP Lovecraft and Tim Burton, yet giving way to Dani Filths obsession with the Hindu Goddess of Death and Rebirth, celebrating the band's Witch County origins, murderously unstable relationships, exotic cinematic women, mind-altering Victorian drugs and the phantasmagorical beauty that exists behind the thinly veiled curtain of existence.
The Great And Secret Show was keeping the extreme-dark metal scene in a huge suspense until it was finally released and I believe that it surprised positively most of the fans. Fans of everything related to Cradle Of Filth will enjoy in this album without hesitation as Dani Filth is maybe the strongest factor in here, but also the rest of us who were not really fond of latest releases from Cradle don't need to have any second thoughts of putting Devilments debut album on the playlist, it's probably one of the best horror tinged metal albums that were released recently. Note that some special editions feature three bonus tracks with a stunning cover of Midnight Oil's "Beds Are Burning" and guesting as a vocalist Bam Margera (of MTV's Jackass and Viva La Bam fame).
Review written by: T.V.