Cradle of Filth: Nymphetamine

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Cradle of Filth: Nymphetamine
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Cradle of Filth: Nymphetamine (Special Edition)
Gothic Metal, Symphponic Black Metal
Roadrunner Records
September 28th, 2004
Release length: 1:15:39
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Cradle Of Filth seems to continue expanding on their “Extreme” Gothic Metal sound with the release of the album Nymphetamine, however there seems to be more thrown into the mix on this release. While the song features some fast paced and heavy material, it seems that the band has taken to crafting more of a poetic sound to go along with the finely crafted lyrics. Due to this, Nymphetamine is considered one of the band’s more pivotal releases, but it’s far from a truly inspiring release.

Nymphetamine will, at times, come across as a somewhat watered down version of their previous release, Damnation And A Day. Much of the material on here is pretty fast and heavy, but the slower material, namely “Absinthe With Faust”, “English Fire” and “Nymphetamine (Fix)”, is where the album does shine, especially with Liv Kristine doing guest vocals on the latter of the two. Aside those, the album is pretty hit or miss musically. “Gilded Cunt” is easily one of the best tracks on the release, and not because of the rather naughty and sometimes childish lyrics, but because of how heavy the song is. Aside that, there’s only a few really catchy heavy songs left on the album, like “Medusa And Hemlock” and the fantastic “Filthy Little Secret”.

Unfortunately there’s enough cannon fodder on this album, and not just the track that happens to be named that. “Gabrielle” is another stand out track due to the fact that it sounds a lot Midian-era Cradle Of Filth with some great guitar work and what you would really expect from the band, though the track winds up just sounding somewhat tame and lacks any real bite to it aside the guitars. Another huge dilemma for this album. Then you have tracks like “Swansong For A Raven” which is heavy and has some great piano work throughout, but winds up having some rather generic music at times that will leave you with some mixed emotions, as well as the overdrawn “Nemesis” which actually features what could only be called failed Metalcore-esque breakdowns. And, for some reason, the band seems to have found it a wise thing to create two versions of the track “Nymphetamine” with the “(Overdose)” version having a very heavy and fast start and sounding as though it’s two different songs just tacked together, and then the “(Fix)” version of the song having a slightly different start to the song and blasting right in with Liv Kristine’s vocals. The “(Fix)” version is easily the better due to the lack of a real transition between heavy and slow in the other version, and this is, in fact, the version used as the band’s single and music video.

Nymphetamine has some really good tracks on it, but there’s too much mediocrity in the others. “English Fire” and “Filth Little Secret” really shine on the album, as well as the band’s single, “Nymphetamine (Fix)” and the slower paced songs. Aside that, some of the songs just feel too drawn out, and the instrumental “Painting Flowers White Never Suited My Palette” really doesn’t do much for the album and would have best been suited as an outro instrumental to the whole album. The new direction of the band is definitely an interesting one, and it’s clear they are still exploring the options that it brings musically. Until then, Nymphetamine was a brilliant idea that, at many times in the release, winds up falling on its face due to poor execution.

01. Satyriasis (Intro) – 1:41
02. Gilded Cunt – 4:08
03. Nemesis – 7:18
04. Gabrielle – 5:27
05. Absinthe With Faust – 5:14
06. Nymphetamine (Overdose) – 9:15
07. Painting Flowers White Never Suited My Palette – 1:57
08. Medusa And Hemlock – 4:43
09. Coffin Fodder – 5:18
10. English Fire – 4:45
11. Filthy Little Secret – 6:16
12. Swansong For A Raven – 7:08
13. Mother Of Abominations – 7:33
14. Nymphetamine (Fix) – 5:02

Overall Score: 4/10
Cradle of Filth (band)
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Physical Limited Edition review copy of this release provided by personal funds.