Cradle Of Filth, Hybrid Nightmares @ The Gov, Adelaide 4/9/2019

Cradle of Filth are the epitome of black metal. Their imagery scares the ‘stuck up class’, their music, and subsequent success, is a two fingered salute to the music industry and then there is that t-shirt. Black metal’s biggest band are in Adelaide and the weather is typically foreboding to welcome them.

Promoting the 20th, or is that 21st, anniversary of the bands breakthrough release Cruelty And The Beast has been in typically COF fashion, difficult. The re-release of the remastered version of the album has been held up in legalities yet the band have still gone and toured the album. For those in Adelaide, it’s been near on ten years since the Filth were here and they are sucking every inch of blood out of the band tonight.

Opening tonight is Melbourne’s Hybrid Nightmares who have really found their mark with their current release Obelisk. Mixing melodic death metal with the intensity that comes with black metal, they overcome early technical issues and slay accordingly.

Terror has the venue clapping and chanting along in unison before Obelisk itself takes you on a wondrous journey of light and dark sounds. Those with corpse face paint down the front ecstatically head bang away to the Victorians artwork.

Cradle of Filth roots are firmly in the British classic Hammer Horror movies and those in the know are aware of that era’s impact on Cruelty And The Beast.

Playing the album from start to finish, and few other ghoulish gems at the end, the Brits waste not one second in bringing that horror to the stage.

Vocalist Dani Filth, who has a vocal range that goes from demon in the basement to high pitched screams of terror itself, commands The Gov like a master of ceremonies before a ritual slaying of virgins.

Throughout Filth’s extreme vocal tangents, the backing melodies from Lindsay Schoolcraft centre the sound while the band rip through the corpse of the album is feverish fashion.

The album is played as is, the rhythmic drive of Thirteen Autumns And A Widow followed the crowd head-banging in unison during Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids.

The band themselves are bedecked in glorious ghoulish fashion ranging from demonic Jesus to Lucifers own angels, which makes for a visually spectacular performance on the tight stage.

The atmospherics and dynamics of the album really show through the subtleties of the live performance that we don’t quite get on record, something the remastered album may solve.

The encore is a blast through the bands catalogue starting with the possessed Malice Through The Looking Glass,with drumming so fast you’d think he was strapped to an electric chair.

There is huge roar for Nymphetamine before the band finish with Her Ghost In The Fog to the coven of blood drenched vampires in the venue.

This is a special event, Cradle Of Filth went to another level from this point 21 years ago. A level they haven’t really left. For those of us blessed to be touched by the hand of Filth tonight, it will sear deep into the memory until the end of time itself.

Live Review By Iain McCallum