Cradle of Filth have become one of the most recognisable and quickly dismissed names in extreme metal. Yet, although the band are widely regarded as populist, entry level rendition of the black metal formula, a closer look at their extensive catalogue reveals a far more innovative and surprisingly consistent act than their reputation suggests. Since their discography is so extensive—the band have released eleven full-length studio efforts to date, with one in the pipeline as we speak, and numerous and often notable tidbits here and there—this survey has been broken up into two sections. This first offering examines what many would consider to be the band’s classic period: moving through their early, formative years, up until their commercial breakthrough and (only) major label release in 2003; while part two will pick up from 2004’s Nymphetamine and carry through to the present day.
Long before I started watching wrestling in the mid-’90s, it was synonymous with metal. Whether it was dude’s with long hair who were evident fans of the genre, the theme rockin’ theme music they used or performances by bands at the shows, metal and wrestling have always been bedfellows that go together like spaghetti and meatballs, Beavis and Butthead and Nicki Minaj and terrible music. Given the long-standing relationship between each medium, we here at Heavy Blog thought it would be fun to examine their similarities and the components which connect them to establish why it is they’ve remained so interconnected throughout the years. Now, without further ado, LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!
When Sugar Ray released their breakthrough reggae-infused pop hit “Fly’’ in 1997, they were still very much a punk metal band for the most part. If you listen to any other song on Floored, then you’ll hear nothing else that resembles “Fly’’ in the slightest. The success of that single inspired the band to adopt the more mainstream approach they became known for after that, and while you could place all of their subsequent releases in the pop rock category, the truth is that no Sugar Ray album sounds the same. The beauty of Sugar Ray is that they were a band who just liked to make music, and even though their records catered for the masses during the height of their popularity, they were never without moments of unpredictability. However, before their rise to fame, they released Lemonade and Brownies in 1995, and it was pretty wild. A party-centric blend of funk metal, punk rock, soul and even a touch of country and western, with a front cover displaying a naked Nicole Eggert, the album is the very definition of mindless; however, it boasts such a carefree attitude and knack for memorable tunes that it’s pretty gosh darn irresistible as well.
When four young lads first got together in Liverpool, they had no idea that some enthusiastic yelping and screaming, two guitars, bass and drums could spark a revolution. They didn’t suspect that four working class chaps could form a rock ‘n’ roll band and make a set of records that would influence countless bands and encompass multiple styles, and write songs that people would still be enjoying decades later. This band, of course, is Carcass. Yes, there was that OTHER band, The Beatles, who did all those things, too. But this is an extreme metal blog, and in this existentially hellish alternate universe, Carcass may well be The Beatles.
As Carcass prepares to undertake a tour with “love ‘em or hate ‘em” blackgaze critical darlings Deafheaven, some of you may be wondering how we got here. Well, keep in mind that The Beatles’ own John Lennon spent a lot of time with more out-there avantish types in the 70s, too. He cranked out some borderline unlistenable noise with Yoko Ono which is, frankly, far less palatable than Deafheaven; but there’s admittedly a lot of screeching in both. If you’re surprised that Carcass made this choice, well, shows how much you know about Carcass.
Wait—John Lennon and Deafheaven what?
Metal in the 80s was polarizing at best. Sure, there were acts that really redefined metal for today: Possessed, Death, Iron Maiden and Metallica released some of the most iconic metal music ever during this decade. But then there weas the almost-nauseating influx of glam/hair metal, with bands like Def Leppard adopting…