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 The Ultimate Review of Total Fucking...

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Ryback
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Ryback

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Date d'inscription : 26/11/2013
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MessageSujet: The Ultimate Review of Total Fucking...   The Ultimate Review of Total Fucking... I_icon_minitimeJeu 11 Déc - 12:06




<p id="reviewText_165270">In the beginning, there was chaos. Mayhem. An inky black in which few could ever hope to escape and bear witness to the glorious sunlight ever again. In short? Total fucking <i>darkness</i>. This infamous third demo was the first in quite a few transitory moments in Cradle of Filth's musical history, where the miasma of milquetoast death metal was slow-cooked in hellfire into a more blackened variety first rearing its ugly head come "Principle of Evil Made Flesh". And yet, outside of some iffy 'net repostings it was quite difficult to secure a copy of this piece of extreme metal history. So imagine my surprise upon hearing of this <i>suddenly</i> getting a remaster treatment to celebrate its 20th anniversary (good to see Dani and company haven't completely ignored where they came from...) , including some never before heard recordings and the only surviving track from the "Goetia" sessions. What in the <i>huh??</i> Well, OK then!<br />
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So without further ado, let's get this baby started...<br />
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First thing's first..."Spattered in Faeces", the sole Goetia track...after setting the stage with a very "Dusky" intro, the listener is knocked on his ass by a sense of devastation you'd think CoF were incapable of, even back then. It still retains touches of their old death metal roots, but things eventually become more frosty and diabolical the further into the track you go. Keyboards are used more sparingly but contain a lushness that wasn't really present in "Principle...", leaving the bulk of the track more riff-driven in focus. Dani's vocal approach straddles his latter-day screaming and the early death grunts (which sound better here than they've ever sounded...as I've said before, he's never been the most prolific growler) with the occasional harpy shriek we know all too well. There are plenty of dynamics within the song, from blast-beaty brutality to groovier, more thrash-like moments, but like any good early extreme metal act the whole affair is wayward and almost completely out of control, youthful exuberance meeting a serious lack of arrangement focus. All that said, if this was what Goetia was to sound like through and through I don't think it could have made as much of an impact on the listening public as "Principle..." did. Could have done some damage at least, but not to as high a level, no way.<br />
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Now, onto the demo itself...despite a remastering, this is still a grim and nasty-sounding recording that doesn't really do the material justice. Things are still squashed and a honed spike of noise coming at you like any good early black metal recording, and I don't think <i>any</i> level of professional audio gloss could cut through the analog vibe (though the occasional tape skip in the final remastered track is a nice touch...). Guitars are thick yet blurry, drums are surprisingly clear and sharp, and Dani's vocals are some of the most indecipherable they've ever sounded (best of luck trying to understand <i>anything</i> he's spewing forth...). As for the material, one would be able to catch glimpses of where the band eschewed the early death sound for the slicker gothic/black approach that would become their norm a year later; it definitely sounds like the band is transitioning throughout the duration of the demo itself! One or two tracks are embryonic versions of future works (e.g. "The Black Goddess Rises", which is very close to its final version; "Fraternally Yours, 666" containing lyrics that would appear in the former's song's final version which are never heard; the first riff off "The Raping of Faith" sounding pretty damned close to the breakdown mid-section of "Beauty Slept in Sodom" only in a different tuning/key) while others are different compositions all their own ("Unbridled at Dusk", with its thrash-meets-goth nastiness). Yet as far as the band's demo output goes, this is clearly the best they've come up with, with material that's definitely more memorable and impactful despite some of the tracks being fucking marathons to go through due to their lengths. But hey, that's just how it is...<br />
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With regard to the bonus tracks (a few songs recorded in 1992), they aren't too far away from the bestial vibe off the demo itself. If anything, you could see them as simpler, worse-produced variants of the material they'd unleash a year later, only slower and more brooding; "Devil Mayfair" is a murky, grungy little number with bouts of tasty riffing, while "Seance and Mandrake" is a strangely pleasant piece with an ambience meets dark New Wave feel that serves as an interesting counter to the rest of the recording session's visceral heaviness. The performance level is as frenetic as it could be with some definitive musical growth here than what "Orgiastic Pleasures Foul" and "Invoking the Unclean" gave us, so if nothing else there's that to look forward to/appreciate. The tracks therein may not seem like much, but they're still a slightly significant fork in Cradle's evolutionary path for those of you out there who want all things filthy, even the muddy yang to the pristine yin.<br />
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Oh, and "Hekate Enthroned"? That's too funny...and you should know why...<br />
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So all in all, this is a very interesting piece of CoF history, showing that precise moment when things went from larva to pupa for the group. Things would, of course, continue to mutate as the years and intentions progress, but if you still want a glimpse at the band at their most demonic and grotesque, then look no further.</p>
<p>Final Score: 55 / 100</p>
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