It’s been 5 years to the day (maybe one off) since the Filth has graced our shores with their presence and in that time they have released two albums, Hammer of the Witches and Cryptoriana, The Seductiveness of Decay, the latter being the reason for the tour.
Melbourne’s resident intergalactic warriors Hybrid Nightmare open tonight’s theatricals, still on a high from their first international support earlier this week with the mighty Ihsahn, frontman Loki storms the stage adorning his ceremonial outfit and raring to go. They play a tight
set keeping the crowd entertained with songs from their latest album Almagest. Hybrid Nightmare take influence musically from black and death metal, while making their influences on the stage performance obvious with the likes of Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth. Although copping power issues with the bass rig they handled the upset with professionalism and continued warming up the crowd for the show to follow.
Cradle of Filth march out on stage to their intro piece for this evening and kick off into Gilded C#*t and the crowd go into a frenzy once Dani Filth jumps on stage. Tonight’s setlist is adorned with classic tracks like Dusk and her Embrace, Beneath the Howling Stars and Bathory Aria as well as playing the latest singles Heartbreak and Séance and You Will Know the Lion by his Claw. The technical issues seemed to have followed on from Hybrid Nightmares set as the PA cuts in and out a couple of times during the first 20mins of the set, but the charismatic frontman plays it off well with a quick ‘fact’ of Melbourne’s name sake being Mel Gibson. Dani’s sense of humour is part of the Cradle of Filth charm and I can’t imagine a set without it. He cuts off a punter with a quick “Shut the Fuck up!” to which another yells out “You tell him!” to which he replies “Oi! You too!” and the crowd roars with laughter.
The encore for this evening brings out something I haven’t seen in a metal crowd before which is a slow dance. Nymphetamine begins and I see a few couples grab hands, hold each other close and sing the goth ballad whilst looking into each other eyes.
The latest female vocalist/keyboard member of the band, Lindsay Schoolcraft, has her moment to shine during this song and sings her parts well. This line up of Cradle of Filth have played extremely well and have had more crowd interaction than the last time they were in Australia. Richard Shaw, one of the current guitarists, played most of the set using mainly hammer ons and gesturing at the crowd for either a circle pit or singling out crowd members by staring and pointing at them.
Closing off their set with Her Ghost in the Fog and From the Cradle to Enslave they have played songs from most albums of their back catalogue keeping all fans happy. The new line up and the new songs sound as tight live as they do on the album, fitting in with the rest of their soundscape. I’m sure I was not the only one hoping that it’s not another two albums and 5 years in between Australian Tours, that’s just way too long!
Review Contributed by Mitch Charlton