Live albums usually tend to divide opinions between listeners. They are, however, still being published so frequently that there seems to be an ongoing demand towards them. I, for example, belong to the group who wait these releases with most sincere ambition. These days growing and concerning phenomenon is that bands are polishing their albums so perfect and flawless, that they become soulless in the process. They lack the most important, which is the magic of playing together in a band. As music itself is not just a bunch of tracks mixed together. Live albums remind us of what the whole thing should be about.
Twenty one years have passed, since the British extreme metal group Cradle of Filth released their previous live spectacle titled ”Live Bait for the Dead”, recorded in Nottingham City, April 14th 2001.
On 28th April 2023 world saw the day Cradle of Filth released the new ”Trouble and their double lives” trough Napalm Records. The double live album holds astonishing sixteen tracks, recorded in various countries during their ”Cryptoriana” world tour plus two new studio tracks: atmospheric, goth rock -ballad ”She is a Fire” and more straightforward, catchy and blasphemic ”Demon Prince Regent”.
The tracklist is a carefully chosen anthology, including fan favorites from the beginning to the present. Four year lasting world tour has given a lot of material which to choose from, but the result is truly overwhelming live-experience and a collection as well.
Mixed and mastered by their most trusted Scott Atkins, the production of this monstrous compilation is all in all spectacular. I had always thought the Iron Maiden’s ”Rock in Rio” or the before mentioned ”Live Bait for the Dead” are unmatchable gems, but now I’m not so sure anymore. Each track represents the fact how powerful Cradle of Filth is today. It is worth noticing though that keyboard player /female vocalist Lindsay Schoolcraft and guitarist Richard Shaw are no longer in the band, as they were during the world tour.
Band performs flawlessly through the old and the new, which are equally picked on the album. The old, dare I say cult classics like ”Haunted Shores”, ”Desire in Violent Overture” and ”Lustmord and Wargasm” are as energetic as the more fresh outbursts ”Heartbreak and Seance” and ”Right Wing of the Garden Triptych”. Thunderous guitar work, deadly precise drumming accompanied by theatrical drama and symphony is really worthwhile listening, as frontman Dani Filth, where-ever they play, incites the crowd to feast with him.
The first album is opened by new studio track ”She is a Fire”, released previously this year. Atmospheric, even with nuances of goth rock, but still surprisingly catchy is a perfect example to prove, that the band still has a lot to give. The second album is opened by brand new studio track ”Demon Prince Regent”, which works as a perfect balance to the previous track striking with a more raw and heavier presence. The track is almost everything you might expect from Cradle of Filth today, in a good way.
Vocalist Dani Filth has stated, that before mentioned tracks are not included in the yet unnamed studio album, which is set to release somewhere in 2024. The reason behind this is new members Zoe Marie Federoff and Donny Burbage joining the band, and the work of the new album beginning from scratch.
”Trouble and their double lives” is a two hour spectacle, which including two new tracks is more than enough to please even the hungriest fan, as we patiently wait for band to steadily brew their next unholy creation.