Its a cold and miserable Wednesday night in Southampton. Which to be fair is kind of how it always is around these parts. But tonight it seems particularly apt as Cradle of Filth are in town, as part of their first extensive UK tour in just over a decade. So anticipation is high.
Before we get to tonight’s main event though, Savage Messiah (8) are here to bang heads and warm up the assembled masses. Armed with a killer new record in the shape of ‘Hands of Fate’ the boys waste no time getting the place rocking. Over the course of 45 minutes they manage to cram in a selection of razor sharp thrash gems and have the crowd eating out of their hands. The new tracks from the new album sound massive in a live setting, especially one of this size and they make good use of the time they have. Particular set highlights include old favourite Hellblazer from The Fateful Dark, as well as new song ‘Eat Your Heart Out’ which is as good as anthemic thrash gets. On paper Savage Messiah may seem like an odd choice of opener, but they absolutely knocked it out the park, and converted some new fans in tbe process.
Cradle of Filth(10) are having a stellar 2017 so far. With the release of their newest album ‘Cryptoriana: The Seductiveness of Decay‘ receiving critical and fan praise the world over, interest in the Filth is at an all time high. They cleverly decide to open tonight’s set with a bone rattling ‘Gilded Cunt’ which shows you what kind of evening you are in for from the off. But not one to rest on their laurels, the set tonight is one intended for the fans and relies on hits and Cradle have plenty of them. They even throw in a welcome airing of the full 11 minutes of ‘Bathory Aria’ which goes down an absolute storm. The new material ‘Heartbreak and Seance’, ‘You Will know the Lion by his Claw’ and ‘Achingly Beautiful’ fit seamlessly into the set and already sound like old favourites.
The last half of the set is where you can see what made Cradle such a special band in the first place as they roll out ‘Nymphetamine (Fix)’ which now sounds more stunning than ever thanks to the addition of Keyboard player and female Vocalist Lindsay Schoolcraft, who manages to take the original vocal and improve on it in every conceivable way. Cradle then end tonight’s proceedings with the double punch of ‘Her Ghost In the Fog’ and ‘Born in a Burial Grown’ which sounds more brutal now than it did 16 years ago.
Cradle of Filth are a band that sound reborn, and full of life, playing a set full of timeless classics on the absolute form of their lives. I would go as far as to say the bands current lineup may in fact be its best, and it certainly shows on stage. This is a tight, focused and vicious performance from a band nearing their third decade who are showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.