It’s fair to say I had waited this album with barely contained excitement; Cradle have previously been riding a wave of great new music, and I had no doubt their 13th installment would impress me.
What I perhaps didn’t expect, was how.
A middle-finger to all the negativity of recent years, Existence is Futile does its own thing and is all the better for it.
Existence is Futile opens with the usual tone setting intro, lacing my room with enough atmosphere to convince me fog was about to ripple out of my speakers. I like this, but it’s a small element of track two that tells me this will be a great album.
Can you hear it? Existential Terror has a subtle yet commanding string pluck; resounding from in the background like a call to fate. This immediately caught my attention, perhaps ironically; summoning my thoughts to consider the very themes the album seeks to address.
I think Cradle have already done a solid job of creating something new and refreshing, but the best thing is that this really doesn’t stop until the album is literally over.
The two singles released ahead of the album – Crawling King Chaos and Necromantic Fantasies – are fantastic pieces that wonderfully contrast each other. The selfish concepts of the latter are a portent of our doom as King Chaos comes to reap what we’ve sown; albeit with frantic guitar work that clearly demonstrates the band had fun putting this all together.
Coupled with a great range of established Cradle flourishes, Dani doesn’t overdue any particular vocal direction either, and with Anabelle following up with classy lines of her own, everything just works.
The flow between tracks is implemented with skill, as rhythms and melodies propagate effortlessly. Even the jagged assault of Black Smoke Curling from the Lips of War feels natural, like some brain chemical that shouldn’t have been discovered.
So, if it’s not clear by now, I’m an avid fan of this album.
I’m also writing this on the eve of a special Halloween show in London, and honestly, I can’t wait to hear these tracks blasted into my face by giant speakers.
At the very least, it’s what I’m doing to myself at home.