First thing’s first; yes, realize that Thrall-Demonsweatlive is an EP not an album. But it deserves a place in the top one hundred because it marks the beginning of my life-long obsession with all things Danzig. Like many Danzig fans in my age bracket, I was mesmerized by the video for “Mother ’93,” a clip mainly comprised of footage from the band’s legendary 1992 Halloween performance at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater; the image of Chuck Biscuits’ 15 foot high skull drum riser is permanently burned into my brain. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that “Mother” is a fantastic song, but combining it with the imagery of a rowdy-as-fuck live show took it to a whole other level.
One of the more interesting developments in the underground over the past half-decade or so is the renewed interest in dungeon synth. This was no doubt brought on by the rise of Dutch practitioner Old Tower, who released the excellent Stellary Wisdom this year on Profound Lore, as well as the recent reissues of Mortiis’ early works, coupled with his recent tours focused strictly on this “era one” material as opposed to his current industrial rock/metal incarnation.
After years of listening to mainstream metal, Cradle of Filth were one of the first “extreme” bands I latched onto as a wee lad. As such, it has pained me to watch them slowly but surely become a shadow of their former selves. I’m not entirely sure what went wrong after Nymphetamine (some fans would argue that CoF went to pot well before that) but it seemed that Dani and the boys were damned to linger in the limbo of mediocrity forevermore following that last gasp of greatness, as evidenced by a lengthy string of tepid albums such as Thornography and The Manticore and Other Horrors. The music was uninspired and Herr Filth’s voice sounded shot, leading me to largely turn my back on this once well-regarded symphonic/gothic/black metal institution.