Dani Filth Picks 5 Favorite Cradle of Filth Songs | Revolver

Dani Filth Picks 5 Favorite Cradle of Filth Songs

Frontman tells stories behind British extreme-metal act's choicest cuts
cradleoffilth-2021-danifilth-by-katja_ogrin-getty-web-crop.jpg, Katja Ogrin / Redferns / Getty
Dani Filth performing with Cradle of Filth, Bloodstock Festival, Burton Upon Trent, England, August 14th, 2021
photograph by Katja Ogrin / Redferns / Getty

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2021 marks the 30th anniversary of U.K. extreme-metal trailblazers Cradle of Filth — an occasion that the band will celebrate with both a new album, Existence Is Futile (due on October 22nd), and a full American tour that will last the entirety of October. The U.S. dates will be a celebration of Cradle of Filth's three decades: bandleader Dani Filth and the gang will perform their 1998 gothic black-metal concept album Cruelty and the Beast in its entirety, along with a selection of fan favorites from throughout their catalog.

When asked about the enduring qualities of Cruelty and the Beast, Filth starts by acknowledging the importance of the upgraded sound on the 2019 remixed reissue of the LP. But the singer ultimately concedes that the concepts behind the record are what made it so compelling.

"I think the overarching storyline about Elizabeth Báthory and her crimes endured over the years, centuries even," Filth says of the notorious 16th-century Hungarian noblewoman turned serial killer. "The stories really resonated with the people and with [2019's] Re-Mistressed version, which vastly improved the sound overall — it's sort of like new injections in the vein."

While Cruelty and the Beast is a crucial chapter in the ongoing story of Cradle of Filth, it's far from the whole tale. We recently cornered Filth to discuss his favorite performances across the band's thirteen-album career.

"Bathory Aria" - Cruelty and the Beast (1998)

Well, I just really like that song. We did it in 1998 and it's on the Cruelty and the Beast album which we are touring on. It's my favorite track to perform from the album — a 10-minute track and it does meander all over the place. My voice was a little bit higher then. [Laughs] "Bathory Aria" is just like the penultimate part of the storyline arc and just a massive song. I know it's a fan favorite, too. It was our first stab at a full-concept, conceptual album — a story from start to finish. We always try and push ourselves as a band musically, especially in that era.

"Of Dark Blood and Fucking" - From the Cradle to Enslave (1999)

We never really played this song live, but I really enjoyed singing it and loved the end result. It ended up on the Cradle to Enslave EP. I just liked my tone of voice on that track. For some reason I just always really liked that performance. I found it very fluid.

"Courting Baphomet" - Thornography (2006)

You can find this on the Thornography deluxe edition. It's an unusual song and one we've never played live. I don't think it's anything particularly out of the ordinary for me, but it's just something I've always wanted to do, musically. The further along you get in your career, the more albums you do and the more you need to find an eclectic balance on a new record. You don't want to bore people, but you should be playing tracks from your new album. You're going to be wanting to play fan favorites naturally, but the fans always want something a bit different as well.

"Achingly Beautiful" - Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay (2017)

This was originally gonna be on [2015's] Hammer of the Witches but ended up on Cryptoriana. It wasn't quite developed enough so we kept it as a leftover for the next record. I just think it's a quintessential Cradle of Filth song — as soon as you hear it you think of Cradle of Filth. The subject matter is very Cradle and even though it is a modern track, I think that's quite representative of our past material.

"Necromantic Fantasies" - Existence Is Futile (2021)

It's our new single and it's a very brutal and agonizing song. We just felt that coming out of the starting blocks we would surprise people with a new approach. I think it's got a bit of Iron Maiden and Danzig which is unusual for us. I think it's catchy and I'm just digging it.

BONUS: Favorite Cover Song - "Stay" by Shakespeares Sister

Cradle of Filth have done several covers across their career, tipping their hat to obvious inspirations including Bathory, Iron Maiden, Slayer and Anathema, as well as a few more obscure outfits like Shakespeares Sister, Heaven 17 and Twisted Sister. As such, we asked Dani Filth about his favorite performance on a cover track.

DANI FILTH Yeah, if it's a full-on cover and not a collaboration. Naturally. We tend to do something that's a little bit off the wall — in that we have done quite a bit of collaborations with Twiztid, Bring Me the Horizon, 69 Eyes ... Then again we have done some covers like Shakespeares Sister and "Devil Woman" by Cliff Richard with King Diamond. I think we just go for unusual tracks like "Alison Hell" by Annihilator.

Oh my goodness. I really like the "Alison Hell" cover. But I think I'd probably choose "Stay" by Shakespeares Sister ... or "No Time to Cry" by Sisters of Mercy or "Hallowed Be Thy Name" by Iron Maiden. We're planning on playing that on our upcoming tour. We haven't played it before live so that should be a challenge.