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Interview

Cradle Of Filth Guitarist Paul Allender Talks New Album "Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa"

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Band Photo: Cradle Of Filth (?)

When a band so focused on occult concepts and sexual deviancy has already done a serial killer concept album, where's there to go next? Lilith of course, infamous sorceress and first wife of Adam. Cradle of Filth's latest symphonic metal album "Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa" puts the legendary character at the center of the music, surrounded by some of the fastest and heaviest sounds heard from the band in years. Cradle of Filth's guitarist Paul Allender recently spoke with Metalunderground.com about the recording of the album, the story behind the music, and the band's upcoming orchestral release "Midnight in the Labyrinth."

xFiruath: What’s going on in the new album “Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa” and what are we going to hear on the album that Cradle of Filth hasn’t done before?

Paul: The album is focused on the concept of Lillith, the first wife of Adam, but it’s not strictly and totally about her. It’s been changed around to make it a bit more of a story. This time around, some of the orchestration isn’t as strong as we usually do. It’s a lot more symphonic, we used the orchestration this time as a base to put the guitars on top of it. But when it comes in it really sticks out quite well. It’s a lot faster and heavier as well. It’s a bit more true to form to what we used to do. At the end of the day after “Godspeed” where else was it going to go? It wasn’t going to go back to “Thornography” or anything like that, so we had to go faster.

xFiruath: What studio did you record the album at?

Paul: We recorded at a place called Monkey Puzzle House in England. It’s pretty much out in the middle of nowhere. We had never recorded there before and it’s very, very close to where we live. It turned out very well. There was Scott Atkins and Doug Cook involved in the recording and producing side of it. We also had Andy Sneap come in and look over some stuff.

xFiruath: Which guest musicians did you bring on for the album?

Paul: We had Andy James come in and play some stuff. The female vocal part of Lillith was done by Scott’s wife.

xFiruath: Cradle of Filth released a music video a little while back for “Forgive Me Father.” Tell me about the recording of that.

Paul: It was good. We ended up playing in this old church in the basement, in the crypts under the church. It was quite eerie, it was really good though. We spent a day doing it and it was a long day, but it was very good. We started at like 7 in the morning and finished at like midnight.

xFiruath: Will there be another video from this album?

Paul: We’re actually talking about it right now at the moment. I’m not sure which track we’re going to do. We still haven’t decided that yet. In January, before we start touring and hit North America, we’re going to be shooting a video.

xFiruath: Cradle of Filth has gone through a good number of lineup changes and I’m wondering how that affects your band dynamic and the sound of the group over the years.

Pual: It hasn’t really, to be honest. There’s always been a core to the band, and as long as that core is there - you’re going to get influence from other people who come and go, but as long as the core is there, it’s not going to drastically change. It’s usually that they can’t handle the workload and what’s going on to push the band forward, or they find college or other work somewhere, and that seems to be what happens when people go.

xFiruath: Last year you picked up Ashley from Abigail Williams. How did that come about and how’s it going having her on board?

Paul: That was from Roadrunner. It’s good. She’s an excellent keyboard player and she knows her stuff.

xFiruath: The band already has a new album coming out next year titled “Midnight in the Labyrinth.” Tell me about that upcoming release.

Paul: It’s not a full album, it’s an orchestral album. It’s like film score music. There’s no guitars, there’s no drums, there’s no vocals, no nothing. We’re taking songs from the first four albums and orchestrating the songs. It’s kind of like Danny Elfman type stuff. We’re recording a whole bunch of choirs coming up soon. I think it will be coming out towards the back half of next year.

xFiruath: I’ve been listening to the new album “Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa” quite a bit lately and I’ve noticed it has a lot of parallels with “Cruelty and the Beast.” I’m wondering if the band entered the studio with the conscious decision to go back to that sound or if that’s just what happened while writing the music.

Paul: It just happened, you know. It’s just one of those things. None of us made a conscious effort or a conscious decision, we just did it.

xFiruath: What bands are you listening to lately?

Paul: I just got the new Triptkyon album. I love it, it’s really, really good. Some Rotting Christ. I’ve been listening to a lot of metal recently, and I don’t usually do that. I’ve been listening to that “Power of Hell” Onslaught album.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur is a freelance writer who writes for both entertainment and technical instruction sites. An avid fan of many different forms of metal, he has been involved in reviewing music for several years and is currently a contributing editor for Metalunderground.com

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