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Review of the Album "Hammer of the Witches" by Cradle of Filth

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Basic Information About Hammer of the Witches and Some Special Comments About the Band Lineup

Genre: black and or death metal

Country of origin: United Kingdom however this album features contributions by members from four different countries. That is, if we consider Scotland an independent nation though it is part of the UK so in technical terms, this album has members playing on it that are from three different countries.

Year of release: 2015

Why Hammer of the Witches is a Unique Album

The United Kingdom’s most notable extreme metal band Cradle of Filth has always had my interest since 1998. Their 2015 studio album called Hammer of the Witches is unique in the sense that it has members not just from the United Kingdom but from Canada and the Czech Republic. The Canadian band member contributing on this release is Lindsay Schoolcraft also known as Lindsay Matheson. She does the female vocals and plays the harp. Hammer of the Witches is also the first album since Midian in 2000 to not have a contribution from Paul Allender. Playing the drums on this album is the person that goes by the stage name of Marthus (Martin Skaroupka). He also handles the keyboard and orchestration duties making him a multi-talented member. Bassist Daniel Firth is from Scotland.

Rate the Album Hammer of the Witches by Cradle of Filth

How Does Hammer of the Witches Begin?

The title track of this album does have a pretty decent melodic mid-section. Cradle of Filth is one of those bands that has consistently had long, drawn out songs, melodic mid-sections, and lyrics that resemble complicated language or lyrics about concept albums which we will get to when you see more reviews of albums from this band. The album starts with the short, yet beautiful classically orchestrated song “Walpurgis Eve” which might also be a good one to listen to in order to de-stress at night. In spite of the fact that Paul Allender doesn’t contribute on this album, it doesn’t affect the songwriting which is a big bonus for these guys. “Enshrined in Crematoria” is a song that is both dark yet melodic at the same time. The lyrics have that complicated language and it also gives off the feel of Halloween actually as well.

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How Are the Other Songs?

As per the “tradition” of Cradle of Filth, they do always include these short instrumental songs in their albums and these usually have orchestration in them or they are written in such a way that it feels like there is a choir singing. I’m not ready yet to say that Hammer of the Witches is a better album than Cruelty and the Beast but this is very close to that album even though Nick Barker is no longer part of this band. This black metal album with a multi-national lineup delivers a resounding success musically as even the drums resemble the black metal style. Taking time to analyze Hammer of the Witches once again, it shows that this band has really matured musically adding an extra notch to their melodies particularly the song called “Right Wing of the Garden Triptych.” Listening to this 2021 studio album by these British veterans you may be in awe of the sheer power of this album as not only are the riffs heavy but melodically you just get the sense that this band has entered territory that they were not in with their previous works.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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