Cradle of Filth: Total Fucking Darkness
Album Review, Blog, Cradle of Filth, Gothic, Music

Album Review: Total Fucking Darkness

With my vinyl addiction in full swing, I had previously placed an order something new; something different. As much as I want to complete Cradle of Filth collection, I wanted the next addition to be a little more niche (but still CoF).

As I flicked through the pages of results on Discogs, I saw one album I hadn’t really paid much attention to – Total Fucking Darkness. I guess you could say I was totally fucking stupid.

As often good things go, often some kind of effort is required to realise them, and sure enough this was the case here. For some unknown reason, the local courier could not decipher the delivery address (printed clearly and in full), and so took it a tiny office in the middle of their loading yard some distance away.

I have a pickup office literally over the road. 

 

Collection office, mountains in the distance.
Nice scenery did improve my mood, though.

 

But, with that aside, what did I receive upon opening the packaging?

 

Cradle of Filth: Total Fucking Darkness
The more you gaze, you more it mesmerizes.

 

I remember seeing this artwork on Spotify for the first time, and it didn’t really resonate with me. It didn’t look typically Cradle, and I think subconsciously I dismissed it. This was a mistake though.

 

Cradle of Filth: Total Fucking Darkness
The artwork ultimately represent the music within.

 

Total Fucking Darkness is actually the third demo from Cradle, but re-mastered in 2014 (some more details here). It was this ‘piece of history’ sense that I found appealing, and what ultimately drove me towards the purchase.

Is that to say I dislike these tracks? Hell no; this is the beginning of my favourite band on the planet, and therein lies the dark beauty of it all.

 

Cradle of Filth: Total Fucking Darkness
Classically Filthian track titles.

 

I did have to truly listen to them to appreciate their significance, but soon enough it comes through. The tracks on this vinyl present us with the vision Dani had, beginning to suckle upon the lifeforce of all who would dare listen, and foreshadowing all that was yet to be.

Being able to isolate and notice the elementary attributes of CoF and their muisc style is really possible, and it’s this realisation which is most meaningful. The contrasts between Gothic orchestral sombrance, to the early spawn-screams like no other can replicate; all of this marks the birth of the legendary band.

 

Cradle of Filth: Total Fucking Darkness
Dani recounts the early days and those he tormented.

 

Despite all the tracks having their place, what will forever stand out to me is The Black Goddess Rises. It is raw and yet sublime, perfect in a way that should not be.

I guess you could say it is uncannily apt, for it is as if this very vinyl is a small piece of that obsidian female specter. We are presented with a recounting of how she began, rising through whatever void spawned her, and rendered so timelessly before us all those years ago – now re-mastered for better or worse…

 

7/10

 

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