Cradle Of Filth Bestows Darkness Onto The Varsity In The Most Perfect Way


Photo By David Rubene


I don’t think it was until I was walking up to the venue when I realized I had never seen Cradle of Filth before. I’ve listened to them for years and have always been in love with their dark imagery but apparently just never got a chance to see them live. Well, last night was my chance and I felt a sense of excitement as I walked through security, made a stop at the bar so my friend and I could grab a drink, and then claimed a spot where we could see everything going on around us (including the creepy kid with the stuffed animal in his hands– yeah, it was an odd crowd).

Kicking off the night was Raven Black. I’ve heard the name and my photographer always says that Raven is one of the best performers he’s seen in awhile but I had never had a chance to check her and her band out– until last night. Okay, so maybe my friend and I were a little late due to the epic happy hour next door but we got there in time to see a handful of songs and I instantly regretted that last round that made us late. The half doll/ half human front woman- Raven Black- instantly had me captivated. From her mechanical moves that gave me the absolute creeps to the insane amount of power behind her voice, I instantly fell in love with everything about her. Raven Black is one of those bands where there’s almost too much to watch. From the theatrical nature of Raven to the intensity of Stitches behind the drumkit, there was so much going on and their set was too short to where I just couldn’t catch it all. Now, going to a show almost every night, it’s rare for me to go out of my way to get a picture with a performer but I just had to with Raven and, let me tell you, if you don’t fall in love with the band, you’ll fall in love with her and her bandmates. She was so sweet, so personable and just impossible to not want to be friends with. Honestly, Raven Black could have been the only band on last night’s bill and I would have been more than content. What a great band full of great people. I would drop nearly anything to go see them again (hint to the band- that means come back soon please!).

Up next was the one and only Wednesday 13. Wasting no time, he and his band jumped into what was an extremely theatrical and horror-punk feeling set. Again, like Raven Black and like the headliner to follow, Wednesday 13 had an extreme sense of energy. It may have been a tired Wednesday night in the outside world but in the venue, it felt like nothing short of a Friday night party. Formerly of Murderdolls, Joseph Poole (AKA Wednesday 13) decided to go out on his own in the mid 2000’s and, as much as I love Murderdolls, I don’t think he could have made a better decision. His charisma and artistry reigned supreme throughout the group’s set. Commanding the audience with ease, there were clear nods to some of the greats like Marilyn Manson while still feeling original and unique.

Closing out the already overwhelmingly amazing night of music was the legendary Cradle of Filth. I don’t use the word legendary much but this is one band that I feel like it fits. You may be thinking that you have no clue who this band is but I’d be willing to bet that you have seen their logo or at least a picture of them before. Since 1991, this English extreme metal band has been stirring up controversy and putting out some of the most polished extreme metal music (or at least as polished as that music can get) in the scene. There have been many line-up changes within this group but vocalist Dani Filth has remained a constant and, with a voice like his, that’s a good thing. Nobody does it like Dani does. From deafening high pitched squeals to the lowest of growls that you’ve ever heard, Dani’s voice is one of those voices where, as soon as you hear it, you know who it is and in such an over-saturated scene, that means everything.

Cradle of Filth’s lengthy set contained a little bit of everything. From newer songs that still felt to songs that instantly catapulted my friend back to his teenage years, there was a little something for everyone in their set list. Having never seen this band before but having been low key obsessed with them for years, their live show was absolutely everything I could have asked for beyond the songs. The Satanic imagery and creepy stage presence was exactly what I pictured in my mind when it came to their live show. Even with how creepy everything was about their live show, there was something oddly approachable about it. Kind of like the music, on the surface everything is very intense and sinister but, beneath it all, there’s nothing but passion, creativity and a love for the music.

There were a couple of shows in town last night and I was worried that I didn’t pick the right one to go to. From being able to finally cross Cradle of Filth off my list to meeting the lovely Raven, it’s obvious that I 100% made the correct decision.