Ok…so, this is me fulfilling a personal itch to talk about something close to my heart; something that has continued to fuel my inspiration and remind me of why I love about my genre.
I was born in 1992 (a great year, obviously) and grew up through what was, in my opinion, the golden age of metal. Note, I say this with a broad umbrella – I know there were, and still are, many great bands and musicians before this.
However there was only one which resonated with me, and in such a way that I cannot imagine life without their music.
I can’t remember exactly how I felt when I first listened to Cradle of Filth, but what I can remember, is that I went from the much softer likes of Foo Fighters, Evanescence and others, to wholly worshiping Dani Filth.
Reminisces evidently, eyes shining with memories of the past
It all began when a friend gave me a copy of the album Nymphetamine, and told me to listen to it. Again, I can’t remember the conversation in its details-perhaps it’s because it was maybe 6/6/6 and I was focused on other things- but I do know that part of my soul was born within that track listing, and forever will it continue to relate to those melodies of perfection.
Just look at that artwork; this is part of the story of why I love Cradle so. This is to me a representation of the Gothic essence in material form; the intricacy is a forerunner to the music within, and the facets of the black diamond it very much is.
It is the same thing I feel when I write my Gothic fiction piece Dawn of Eternity, and when I think on others such as Dracula, Carmilla, Frankenstein…I feel the same grandeur that is painted black with the macabre and highlighted with beautiful inlays of gold.
Over time, I was drawn further into this world, and everything that it encompassed, and particularly through the music of Cradle.
There is also some great irony here though; the name of that first album – Nymphetamine. Obviously not a ‘legitimate’ English word, it is taken from ‘Amphetamine’ and ‘Nymphomaniac’, to mean:
…a drug-like addiction to the woman in question, with her insidious vampire qualities literally bringing her lover back from the brink of the spiritual grave, only to bury him further on the strength of a whim. – Dani Filth
It is a representation of an addictive love and lust; one that runs deep into the primal nature of the body, creating a lure for the soul eternally. This is me, to the music, and my youth in sound.
Sick and weak from my condition
This lust, a vampyric addiction
To her alone in full submission
From these haunted shores, my journey starts
Now Cradle of Filth have a good range of sounds, though I say this rather because they have simply evolved over time – and in a good way; fans will often want a band to remain ‘the same’, however as Dani once said, he actually has to enjoy the music himself.
I have heard the changes in tone and atmosphere over the years, and although yes there are some songs I prefer more than others, I certainly don’t think Cradle have faltered.
When I look back, I am reminded of how each album and its particular style influenced my own, and I think that is important. It shows that we are capable of being taken on a journey by the music we like, and what that can lead to in our own life.
However, there is something in the earlier music that is raw, and dripping with passion, which is exactly how I know I was when I started Dawn of Eternity.
But, what is perhaps the detail between the lines here, is that my own style has matured and solidified over time. This is why Cradle are important to me; when I look back on their music, I am reminded of my own beginnings in this world. I can relate, time after time, and paint a contrast that helps me see the details of where I am heading, or at least want to be.
You are in my dreams
The darkness in my eyes
The rapture in my screams
Black Goddess arise
Majestic Beauty, Oh How I Crave For You
This is the truth when I say this, but even now, when I listen to certain tracks (well let’s be honest, all of them), I am renewed in my awe. Every time, I am inspired to translate these emotions into my own work, and I felt exactly this way as I grew up with each new release.
As such, I recently began buying the vinyl releases. Much like the album ‘The Principle of Evil Made Flesh‘, there is something more substantial to something that physically exists.
If anything, it’s because I wanted to have physical representations; in a digital world, it is so easy to be living a life devoid of any physical connection to something you value. Opening your limited edition signed copy is much more fulfilling than pressing ‘download’.
But how does this translate to writing?
It is simply an experience. Gothic fiction is very much about experience, in my opinion, as the authors involve greatly the feelings in the moment, and these come upon you also.
What I always want to achieve is a sense of being, from the words, that involves the reader as if they were there. Not necessarily through ‘realism’, but through intensity and richness.
I remember one particular scene from Carmilla which genuinely managed to spook me…with mere words! Think about that for a second…
Words are the smallest part of communication, which is why it’s important to wield them in such a way to generate real impact and experience.
This is why I bought the vinyls. It’s an experience I can always sample time after time, in a way that a digital thing cannot, and how I expect to feel holding the published copy of my book.
Arcane perfection, her legend was etched
(To queen demon revised)
A fell resurrection, unparalleled in this world or next
It all inevitably leads us to a dark and filthy conclusion, where the vapours of the universe are still hanging around, wondering what on Earth they have done.
I don’t know exactly what day Cradle came into being, but something in the heavens aligned that night for me, and it is this Gothic amor that continues to grip me in the same way. The roots of Cradle of Filth share the same energy as my own, and this is why, even to this day, listening to their music is as fresh as ever, especially for writing.