CRADLE OF FILTH Live Concert Review (2022)
- Venue: The Forge – Joliet, Illinois
- Date: June 2, 2022
- Special guests: FRAYLE, BLOOD OF THE WOLF, DISMALIMERENCE, COKEGOAT
- Reviewed by Michael Juvinall – Horror Patch
- All photos © 2022 Michael L. Juvinall / Monu-Metal Photography – All Rights Reserved
The U.K.’s Cradle Of Filth is a dark, gothic extreme metal band that doesn’t easily fit into any one subgenre of metal. There are many elements that makeup COF’s amazing sound. They’re part black metal, symphonic metal, and gothic metal, among others. This is what makes COF such a great band. Led by the founder and notorious dark poet, Dani Filth, the band was realized in the English countryside in 1991.
Like any great heavy metal band, controversy has surrounded the band and frontman Dani Filth almost since its inception. The band itself and Dani have been called Satanic. This is for several reasons. The band members wear makeup onstage making themselves look demonical. Then there is their pseudo-satanic lyrics, and Dani Filth himself usually wears satanic memorabilia such as inverted crosses around his neck. Most, including the band themselves, say most of this is just for shock value and has no meaning in their real lives. Seeing how bands like Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, Celtic Frost, and Bathory are just some of their musical influences, there is no surprise in how they are perceived.
There is no denying COF’s staying power in extreme metal. They are just as strong now as they have ever been. Their shows sell out on a regular basis. The show I am now writing about seemed to be to a sell-out crowd on this night.
Local Chicago-area progressive-doom metal band Cokegoat were the first openers of the evening. According to their bio, they formed in 2011. They have two full-length albums and a couple of split record releases more recently.
I’m a huge doom metal fan so I was interested to check out Cokegoat’s sound. After hearing their set, I would call them a doom metal lite band. They weren’t nearly as heavy as I was expecting and I am not a fan of prog metal in the slightest. But, this is in no way a knock against Cokegoat. They seemed to be exquisite musicians who played very well. They have a decent sound and I suppose I’m used to more aggressive doom, but I would give them a listen if you can.
2 ½ out of 5 Pentagrams!
- Rainbow Valley
- Night Rainbow
- End of Your Life (part 1)
- Fear the Followers
A Chicago-based melodic black metal outfit was the second opener of the evening. This quartet has been active since 2015 and has one full-length album. I would describe them as a pretty decent live band. Any band that performs their own material instead of just covers is A-okay in my book. I have so much respect for bands that are trying to make it and survive in the world of indie metal today. Most aren’t doing it for the money – because there is none. They’re doing it for the love of the music and that’s fine by me, so kudos to them.
Dismalimerence seemed to be a fairly heavy band and were great musicians. There was something about their sound that didn’t click for me. I realize I’m not going to like every band I see and I shouldn’t. It also doesn’t make Dismalimerence a crappy band in any way. They performed admirably and were a great band.
2 1/2 out of 5 Pentagrams!
- At First Light
- Moonlit Passage
- Relics of Woe
- Negligence of the Forgotten
- My Only Love
- Sequestered Hearts
BLOOD OF THE WOLF
Another Chicagoland crew, Blood Of The Wolf was third up to play. They are a blackened death metal group. I’ve seen these guys play a few different times in the past. They show up quite often as openers for major metal touring artists. I’ve been impressed with them since the first time I saw them perform. They formed in 2013 and have nearly a decade of experience under their belts.
The level of brutality in their music is awesome! I simply love watching these guys tear it up wherever they are playing. BOTW knows how to devastate a crowd. I’ve said before in earlier reviews of this band, that they are a band to watch out for and that sentiment still holds true. I feel they are due for success and I can’t wait for it to happen.
The guys really show their expertise when together onstage. This quartet is top-notch. From the deep, growling vocals, and guitar mastery, to the thunder maker behind the kit, they do death metal right!
3 ½ out of 5 Pentagrams!
- With Iron Weapons and Will
- Ours Is The Blood Of Courage
- The Sword Is My Light and My Salvation
- Scorched Earth Ceremony
- With Fire and a Thousand Flashing Blades
- Son of the Blood Oath
- Fire Serpent
I must admit that I have never heard of the next band, Frayle before this show. They are based out of Cleveland, Ohio as a doom-post/rock band?!? They describe themselves as “Heavy Witch Doom” on their website. Basically, they are an experimental doom band. I usually reserve judgment of a band until I see them play, but in this case, I was right. They totally are not my scene. They were a quartet with a female lead singer. They formed in 2017.
I’m not into experimental metal of any type and hearing them play was not pleasant on my ears. Totally not a doom metal band but leans heavily towards the post-rock element. I’m always up for new musical experiences but this one was not it. Again, they were true musicians and are actually a good performing band. IMHO they didn’t belong on this bill, but it is what it is.
2 out of 5 Pentagrams!
- Dead Inside
- Things That Make Us Bleed
- Treacle & Revenge
- Wandering Star
- All The Things I Was
- Ring Of Fire
- Darker Than Black
CRADLE OF FILTH
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing COF previously a couple of times and they did not disappoint. I had high expectations for seeing them headline this show. Did they meet my expectations again? Yes, they did, in spades! COF is a band that gets better with age – like a fine, dark wine.
Their set made it worth the cost of admittance. COF played for nearly 90 minutes. Their newest album, Existence Is Futile received the most love during their set. I believe five songs were played from that album, but the rest of the set was a good smattering of songs from their discography. For me, a few of the highlights from their set was “Lilith Immaculate”, “Nymphetamine (Fix)”, and “How Many Tears To Nurture A Rose”. These songs were all incredible to see performed live.
COF is one of the few truly theatrical bands still out there. Dani Filth is a master of the performing arts. His dark theatrics are so fun to watch. The band who perform behind him are also excellent musicians. Let by the dueling guitarists Marek ‘Ashok’ Šmerda and Donny Burbage, the two are incredibly talented axmasters. Bassist Daniel Firth (Ha, I thought I read that wrong, lol) pounds out the low end. The beautiful and talented Zoe Marie Federoff is on the keys and provides the haunting background vocals. Finally, we have Martin ‘Marthus’ Škaroupka providing the thunderous heartbeat of the band.
COF tours relentlessly, so if the band comes near your city, village, or rock, you owe it to yourself to check them out live. It will be one of the best metal shows that you will see in a long time.
4 ½ out of 5 Pentagrams!
- The Fate of the World on Our Shoulders (Intro)
- Existential Terror
- Nocturnal Supremacy
- Lilith Immaculate
- I Am the Thorn
- Crawling King Chaos
- Nymphetamine (Fix)
- A Gothic Romance (Red Roses for the Devil’s Whore)
- How Many Tears to Nurture a Rose?
- Scorched Earth Erotica
- Us, Dark, Invincible
- Portrait of the Dead Countess (Intro)
- Lustmord and Wargasm (The Lick of Carnivorous Winds)
- Necromantic Fantasies
- Her Ghost in the Fog