Genre: Symphonic Black Metal
Country: England
Label: Music For Nations
Year: 2019

After many years of anticipation, what was fair, became suddenly completed. Cradle of Filth’s third album and milestone for the gothic/black metal genre, “Cruelty and the Beast” is finally released, remixed and remastered, with the addition of “Re-mistressed” in the album title. The production had been receiving negative feedback since 1998, when the album was originally out. The band members even called it rubbish and were somehow ashamed of it, especially for the drumming. However, the “Re-mistressed” version pays off well for all those 21 years of anticipation. It gives out the best and most vivid version of all the glorious compositions “Cruelty and the Beast” included. From the very first chanting of “Once Upon Atrocity” to the glorious “Hallowed Be Thy Name” cover, this brand new version of Cruelty is exactly what the album deserved. “Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids” and “Bathory Aria” sound so well-polished and magnificent, something that will probably get some oldschool fans (and not only), to cry a lot by hearing it. The narrations sound so alive and loud, the drumming is far from excellent and the entire performance of the band gets through every expectation. No one can deny that the first four Cradle album were more than influential for most of the late 90’s extreme metal bands. I never expected to say this, but Sara and Dani’s vocals match so perfectly right now, at this one. I was never a fan of remixed and remastered versions of albums, but this one was something that was mandatory to be done for years. As for the band in general, Cradle of Filth are currently at their peak, with their best lineup to date and have still a bright future ahead of them, even after so many years of successful releases and constant touring. “Remistressed” is a fine extra to their discography. Let’s hope for a celebration of 20 years of “Midian” during 2020.

5/6