Cradle Of Filth @ House Of Blues, Chicago (US)

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CRADLE OF FILTH / BUTCHER BABIES / NE OBLIVISCARIS

Date: 01st March, 2016
Venue: House Of Blues Chicago
Ticket: $25 / €23
Promoter: n/a


Having an early show on a working day is a two-sided coin; on one hand, you get to go home relatively early and get a chance to decompress, so the next day at work will not be a slow one, but on the other hand, you have to battle your way through the evening commute that in some cases can be really a bitch. Fortunately, this time both the Chicago weather and traffic were really good to us, so we only missed the first of the three bands of the billing... but I’ll get to this... CRADLE OF FILTH had to cancel the previous US tour but in hindsight I think it was worth the wait considering how good “Hammer Of The Witches” turned out to be, how positive were the reviews about the new lineup, and how great the show was.

Like I said, there was no way to get downtown that early to catch NE OBLIVISCARIS but we were early enough to see BUTCHER BABIES onstage. I don’t know, maybe I am too old for this, or it is my low musical IQ the reason for failing to see something good on this band. Sure, the two singers were good for the eye (at least, for the majority of the young attendees) but a concert is way more than just looking and, of course, I am talking about the music or the lack of it. Their type of Metalcore without any guitar lead and with two singers that pretty much have the same voice is painfully boring. Ok, it is kind of good to have some fun pushing others around and do some crowd-surfing, but if you remove the visual aspect, then BUTCHER BABIES have absolutely nothing to offer. Anyways, and like I said, I may be too old or too dump to get their thing, but the bottom line is that I was super happy when the band ended the - what it seemed to me - too long set.

As a band, CRADLE OF FILTH has been around from the early '90s, so there are at least two generations of fans following this band without considering how the split between those who like only the old stuff and those who still like what Dani and Co. are doing. Even though I consider myself part of the second category, I was really curious to see how the new lineup would behave onstage. The stage setup was pretty much generic with nothing fancy, having the keyboards and drums on the right and on the left, respectively. Martin was storming his drum-set behind plexiglass walls, something that did not look nice and kind of took away some of the live feeling of the set but I am sure there were some technical reasons for this.

After half an hour of stage preparations, the lights went out, the curtain in front of the stage was pulled to the sides, and the intro “Humana Inspired To Nightmare” accompanied the band members as they appeared in front of the House Of Blues audience. The two guitarists and bassist stepped close to the front rows and waved to start cheering, something that did happen, especially when Dani showed up and seconds before “Heaven Torn Asunder”. That was a bit of an odd selection only because it starts as mid-tempo and takes a while before reaching the Black Metal bpms. Once it did, the venue’s floor started shaking and that's once again the plus of having a young audience; there is no need for a warming period. The sound was not as good as I’d like but I think that's the norm with CRADLE OF FILTH because in every show I have attended, a couple of songs are needed to pass in order to have everything settled. Still, “Gilded Cunt” sounded super heavy, despite the fact the guitars were a bit buried in the mix. The new band members are clearly not that new anymore, and looked with the right amount of confidence to be in CRADLE OF FILTH. In fact, they looked absolutely energized and I’d say they have brought a fresh air in the band that was missing from the last shows. Guitarist Richard Shaw had his own thing acting like a creepy marionette but without missing a beat from the guitar leads, and I have to say aesthetically worked perfectly fine with the CRADLE OF FILTH looks. The first song from the latest LP was the awesome “Blackest Magick In Practice” that came out great, since the sound had been really improved, so I didn’t miss the killer riffs during the chorus, while the first crowd-surfing activities started happening during the faster part.

Dani was... well, the classic Dani, if you have seen CRADLE OF FILTH at least once in the past. I mean, he was in constant move and whenever he was not singing/screaming/grunting, was trying to get the crowd involved with this trademark call “come on”. What I always enjoy is his selection of words that are dipped in British humor with lots of expressions that are extremely rare to hear, especially during a Metal show. By the way, Dani is great to do interviews with an extremely high musical IQ, so you get some of this feeling during the shows.

“It’s good to be back after a long absence”, Dani said and then introduced the next song by adding: “this is another one from our latest musical excursion” and “Right Wing Of The Garden Triptych”. Lindsay Schoolcraft kicked off this one with her singing and the piano-sounding keyboards tunes, being another most fitting piece in the CRADLE OF FILTH puzzle. Oh my, how awesome did the faster part sounded and once again, kudos to the young metalheads for adding their touch on the show by moshing around and occasionally crowd-surfing. “Malice Through The Looking Glass” saw the two guitarists standing side by side at the center of the stage, while “Yours Immortally…” put the pedal to the Metal with the Black Metal fast tempo. Before this one, Dani joked a bit about what a fan had written on some short of a card; “Marry me, CRADLE OF FILTH”. His response was something like this: “This would be a case of polygamy but feel free to marry one of our guitarists”. Anyway, like all of the new songs, this one sounded absolutely great and was another very good reason to have more violent fun. “You guys behave like you were born in a burial ground” was Dani’s way to introduce the riff galore of “Born In A Burial Ground” that was followed without stopping by another classic, “Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids” with the chilling spoken lines delivered by Lindsay (in all honesty, I kind of miss Sarah Jezebel Deva’s vocals). And then, the band left the stage... “Is it possible to have such a short set?” I thought and then got a bit confused to hear the crowd chanting “one more song”... Ok, I had seen the setlist and knew that there were more songs to come, but still, splitting the set in two parts seemed quite unusual. However, the “At The Gates OF Midian” intro worked as if a new chapter was just about to start. Yeah, “Cthulhu Dawn” stormed from the PAs and Dani started growling, wearing something like a tentacles hat; I guess this was his Cthulhu outfit.

The second part of the set felt like a long encore and I think there was even more energy from the audience, so the conclusion is that the break had a positive effect. Sure, the short and Gothic version of “Nymphetamine” – this was dedicated to all the beautiful women inside HoB slowed things a bit, but “The Twisted Nails Of Faith” quickly restored the speed and the aggression. Both CRADLE OF FILTH hits “Her Ghost In The Fog” and “From The Cradle To Enslave” – worked like a charm and especially the latter was perfect for climaxing the moshing festivities. And the violence continued with another oldie, “The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh” that Dani dedicated to the bands CRADLE OF FILTH have been on the road for the last couple of weeks (I hope bringing BUTCHER BABIES along was not his fault). Judging only by Dani’s gestures to Martin (there was no other way to communicate with the plexiglass in the middle), “The Forest Whispers My Name” was a last minute’s addition because the tapped-on the stage monitors setlist did not include it and indeed, it turned out a really nice headbanging treat.

As it seems, CRADLE OF FILTH have been recharged by the addition of fresh blood, and this can only be seen with the band onstage, and not just by listening to the new LP. So, if it’s been awhile since the last time you’ve seen Dani and his gang on stage, or if you have lost track of the band’s doings, I’d say this tour is the best way to refresh your interest (be aware of the BUTCHER BABIES torture though).

CRADLE OF FILTH setlist:

01. “Humana Inspired To Nightmare” (taped intro)
02. “Heaven Torn Asunder”
03. “Gilded Cunt”
04. “Blackest Magick In Practice”
05. “Lord Abortion”
06. “Right Wing Of The Garden Triptych”
07. “Malice Through The Looking Glass”
08. “Yours Immortally…”
09. “Born In A Burial Gown”
10. “Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids”
11. “At The Gates Of Midian” (intro)
12. “Cthulhu Dawn”
13. “Nymphetamine (Fix)”
14. “The Twisted Nails Of Faith”
15. “Her Ghost In The Fog”
16. “From The Cradle To Enslave”
17. “The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh”
18. “The Forest Whispers My Name”
19. “Blooding The Hounds Of Hell” (taped outro)

CRADLE OF FILTH

Cradle Of Filth @ House Of Blues, Chicago (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Cradle Of Filth @ House Of Blues, Chicago (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Cradle Of Filth @ House Of Blues, Chicago (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Cradle Of Filth @ House Of Blues, Chicago (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Cradle Of Filth @ House Of Blues, Chicago (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)
Cradle Of Filth @ House Of Blues, Chicago (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Cradle Of Filth @ House Of Blues, Chicago (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Cradle Of Filth @ House Of Blues, Chicago (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Cradle Of Filth @ House Of Blues, Chicago (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

Cradle Of Filth @ House Of Blues, Chicago (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

Cradle Of Filth @ House Of Blues, Chicago (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Cradle Of Filth @ House Of Blues, Chicago (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Cradle Of Filth @ House Of Blues, Chicago (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Cradle Of Filth @ House Of Blues, Chicago (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Cradle Of Filth @ House Of Blues, Chicago (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)
Cradle Of Filth @ House Of Blues, Chicago (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Cradle Of Filth @ House Of Blues, Chicago (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Cradle Of Filth @ House Of Blues, Chicago (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Cradle Of Filth @ House Of Blues, Chicago (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Cradle Of Filth @ House Of Blues, Chicago (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

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