I’d heard about this upcoming release sometime in 2018, and as an eternal fan, I knew immediately that I had to get it.
So, there I was, on a sweaty summer evening in 2019; engaging in some toilet activities, when there buzzed a notification on my phone.
It was a tweet from the official CoF page to say that pre-orders were now available; with 70 limited edition copies available worldwide.
I nearly gave myself a papercut.
I’m sure nothing could have been more appropriate for relating to Cradle of Filth, but it was totally worth it, and in every way possible.
Cruelty And The Beast was not the first album I ever listened to (Nymphetamine, I’m looking at you), but it is certainly one I am glad they chose to re-master.
All crimes should be treasured if they bring thee pleasure somehow…
And, though I am sure Dani would find pleasure in considering his work a crime, it really is far from it. The re-master has introduced a new level of clarity and punch, ironically giving life to the album.
The album art also represents this refinement of original work, and evokes a greater and darker representation of the Gothic tale
But, how does the music hold up?
Happily, I can say that is has truly undergone some kind of alchemical re-birth, and has both transcended the original, as well as grasping harder onto the horror of it all.
Everything feels magnified and balanced in all the right ways, with crisp highs that don’t torture, and background details that no longer feel blurred like a kebab menu after too many beers. Hell, even the cover of Hallowed Be Thy Name punches higher than the previous (which I loved as it was).
Something the original was criticised for was the overall quality of production and drumming, and I’ll be honest, I do tend to agree with this. Though, in reality, it never really marred my enjoyment, and if anything, it has now given us a great contrast.
With the re-master rectifying the errors of the past, we have the option to sample something darker and more decrepid, or realise it at it’s Magnum Opus.
In conclusion then, I am beyond ecstatic to have landed a LE copy of this fantastic album, even if I refuse to play it until I acquire better hardware.
If you were a fan of the original, you have no excuse not to buy, or at least listen to, the new release.
Hopefully there will be more to come in the future; and if so, I’ll be buying every LE version that comes along.
Order a copy here.