There’s no denying that there is a lot of filth in the world. But, no filth can be compared to the almighty extreme metal sextet all the way from Suffolk, England; Cradle of Filth, who made their opaque, triumphant return to Australia in support of their latest record “Cryptoriana: The Seductiveness of Decay”. With the band landing in Melbourne, we went and caught one of England’s most malevolent acts of the 21st century, on an appropriately freezing cold night.

Taking up the local support slot was none other than progressive black metal lords Hybrid Nightmares, hailing from the Croydon nebula. For the next half hour, the many humanoid observers inside 170 Russell would be supergluing their retinas onto the quintet, who performed a plethora of tracks from their latest record “Almagest”. From there on, Hybrid Nightmares provided the evening with a theatrical and obscure stage presence to their live renditions of songs such as The Obelisk and Ultor. Vocalist Loki also delivered some hilarious one-liners to liven up the crowd between songs, and during them. One of which included him telling the crowd to clap their hands, because he couldn’t with his large shoulder pads preventing him doing so. All in all, having seen Hybrid Nightmares before, I was once again, amazed and very pleased with their set that helped break the ice for the main attraction.

With the classic theme of The Omen; Ave Satani blaring in the background, the loudest and most intense of screams echoed throughout the venue with Cradle of Filth walking onstage, greeting the fans, only to the proceed to open up the night with “Nymphetamine” classic; Gilded Cunt. Within their ninety minute timeslot, Cradle kept their setlist as diverse as they could, in consideration of them having twelve studio albums worth of material. With that being said, with a thirteen song setlist, it was kept to almost one song per release. In the interim of Blackest Magick in Practice, the band experienced at least two minor drops on their PA system. However, it didn’t ruin their show, as it was quickly resolved after performing Heartbreak and Séance. As repairs were underway, Dani Filth jokingly stated the issue with the PA that a dingo ate its baby. Soon after, he and the band announced a twentieth anniversary remixed and remastered version of “Cruelty and the Beast” would be released later in the year, and later advanced with the eleven minute Bathory Aria.

While Dani and co. put on a menacing front as part of their onstage dramaturgical chic, Dani also had a comedic tongue that rolled throughout breaks between songs. He would bring up Mel Gibson, telling people who drove to “watch out for kangas on the road”, as well as saying that the French should look into the repulsive conundrum of historic child murderers, as they enacted their single off “Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder” known as The Death of Love. Not long after the recital of You Will Know the Lion by His Claw, Cradle of Filth made a return with an encore consisting of five of their most prominent pieces of their catalogue. Starting off with “Damnation and a Day” classic The Promise of Fever, things got even more chaotic and vigorous in the pit than it had already been, prior to the encore. Even though there were hundreds of fans singing and screaming along with Dani Filth, no song could be sung along to more than Nymphetamine (Fix) or Her Ghost in the Fog. As the encore came closer to its end, Cradle finished it all with Born in a Burial Ground and of course, From the Cradle to Enslave, and both of these tracks screeched across the venue like a banshee.

After the astonishing observation of the Suffolk six-piece that night, it was rather easy to sense the nostalgia in a lot of the fans that attended the show. Whether they were new or long-time devotees to Cradle, it was unquestionably transparent to see that the band made everyone feel as though they had been with Cradle since the very beginning. There’s something about Cradle of Filth that stands out a lot more than just the quality of their shows and the gothic components that make up their visual aspects. It’s rather difficult to put it into a sentence that will make sense, whether written or spoken. The one and only way to truly understand the significance of Cradle of Filth as a live entity is to catch it all in the flesh, and let them and their shows interpret it for you.

Photos By Bethany Mafrici. Find more more of Bethany’s work here!

Get your tickets to see Cradle Of Filth on their Cryptoriana Tour HERE!