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Godspeed On the Devil's Thunder

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Album Review

If ever there were a subject for England's Cradle of Filth to tackle, it's the life of notorious French mass murderer (and celebrated war hero companion of Joan of Arc) Gilles de Rais. If you haven't heard of him, don't be surprised. After he was hanged in 1440, his name was stricken from the official records of history by French authorities. His crimes? Too numerous too mention here, but the worst of them involved the murder and rape of hundreds of children. Late in his life, French national library boss, critic, and novelist Georges Bataille wrote a complete book on the trial of this figure. De Rais was Sadeian before the Marquis de Sade ever existed (indeed, he may have been an inspiration for some of the characters in The 120 Days of Sodom). This album is a lengthy examination of the mind and biography of de Rais — nobleman, aristocrat, devout Christian, war hero, and societal icon by day, by night an insane Satan-worshipping gore hound and purveyor of slaughter and blood sacrifice. On the surface it seems that Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder might be an ideal topic for a death metal record by the outrageously theatrical Cradle of Filth, led by head growler and screecher Dani Filth. It begins well with the classical interlude "In Grandeur and Frankincense Devilment Stirs," with the spoken word poem of the character. On the next track, "Shat Out of Hell," the listener is engaged by the utterly frenetic power drumming and über fast death metal guitar and bass riffery behind the simultaneously Cookie Monster growled and shrieked vocals of Filth. This may the only track on the record that offers a rather negative view of his crimes, and is the most musically compelling thing here. Beginning with the very next cut, the nascent "The Death of Love," near prog rock conceptual theater takes precedence over rock & roll fury. Keyboards and choirs, Gothic-sounding themes, minor-key riffs, and thunderous drums give way to a heavily layered production style, although there are still moments of unholy metal charge and scree.

Customer Reviews

The Life and Crimes of Gilles de Rais

Whether you consider COF black metal, gothic metal, extreme metal, or some combination of these genres, it's hard to deny that COF are one of metal's top genre bands. "Godspeed..." is an album that sounds like classic COF, both musically and conceptually. Vocalist Dani Filth uses the real-life events from the "Life and Crimes of Giles De Rais" as the basis to create the best album COF has done in a long time. Quick breakdown of the songs. "In Grandeur..."- Typical atmospheric opener for a COF album, and you've got to love Doug Bradley's narration. "Shat out of Hell"- Probably the least symphonic song on the album, but one of the catchiest 4/5 "The Death of Love"- One of the best songs on the album, hands down. The vocal melodies are superb, similar to "Nymphetamine" 5/5 "The 13th Caesar"- Another catchy song with a bombastic chorus and great guitars 5/5 "Tiffauges"- Another atmospheric interlude, yet still top-notch thanks to Doug Bradley "Tragic Kingdom"- The first song leaked, and another solid song. One of the heaviest and fastest on the album 4.5/5 "Sweetest Maleficia"- Another solid rocker, similar to "Tragic Kingdom" in terms of intensity 4/5 "Honey and Sulphur"- the first single from the album. Minus the ubiquitous choirs in the song however, it's nothing too special 4/5 "Midnight Shadows..."- COF's standard vampyric epically long song. It's creepy, symphonic, and has terrific lyrics, but is slightly overshadowed by the following song 4.5/5 "Darkness Incarnate"- Another contender for one of COF's best songs, ever. It has everything, from symphonic passages to thrashy ones, and even features guest vocals from Dani's 7-year-old daughter. The choirs at the end add the best esoteric punch to the album 5/5 "Ten Leagues Beneath Contempt"- Probably the least guitar-driven track on the album. Great chorus however 4/5 "Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder"- At times the title track sounds like something from "Vempire...", and that fact alone makes it another one of the album's best songs. New fans likely won't be converted by this album, but fans who had been doubting COF's abilities since "Midian" can rest assured; Cradle of Filth are back. Godspeed.

great album

great album, if you like the old stuff , youl realy like this. great BUY :)

An Objective Point of View

I've come to notice that the majority of people willing to leave a review are the ones that have a strong opinion of it, be it negative or positive. I'll provide the best neutral perspective I can. I've been a CoF fan since the beginning so I hope I can give an insightful view of their evolution. Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder is NOT on par with old CoF. Dusk, Cruelty and Midian still blow this album completely out of the water. I would argue this album is more akin to the elements of Damnation and a Day with slight pickings of the older works. In Godspeed's defense, however, it is a VAST improvement over the previous two albums and (in the opinion of a die-hard old Cof fan) a step in the right direction. Godspeed is good in it's own right. It's only faiure is that it cannot compete with the old material, but once again in Godspeed's defense, their old material is simply too epic. Appreciate this album for itself and don't dismiss is for its lack of competitiveness with the older masterpieces. Should Cradle continue on this road - and I plead they do - I would have renewed faith in them. Until then, this album is just a lick of flame. Only time, and their future releases, will prove if it's enough fuel to ignite a new era of incendiary passion. "In a new age of fire, Darkness will eventually return..."


Formed: 1991 in Suffolk, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

British black metal band Cradle of Filth formed in 1991, originally comprised of vocalist Dani Filth (born Daniel Lloyd Davey), guitarist Paul Ryan, his keyboardist brother Benjamin, bassist John Richard, and drummer Darren. After recording a demo dubbed Invoking the Unclean a year later, the group recruited guitarist Robin Eaglestone, who quit soon after recording a second demo, Orgiastic Pleasures; however, when Richard exited the band a short time later, Eaglestone stepped back in to assume bass...
Full Bio
Godspeed On the Devil's Thunder, Cradle of Filth
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Death Metal/Black Metal, Metal
  • Released: Oct 24, 2008
  • Parental Advisory

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