British extreme metallers CRADLE OF FILTH will release their 13th studio album, "Existence Is Futile", on October 22. The official music video for the disc's second single, "Necromantic Fantasies", can be seen below. Directed by Vicente Cordero, this clip was shot back to back with his previous work for the band, the horribly apocalyptic "Crawling King Chaos", though both are remarkably contrasting.
CRADLE OF FILTH frontman Dani Filth stated: "This is a very different video from its predecessor, sporting more of a narrative amid leaning back toward a dark Victorian gothic vibe, showcasing the second of many unique tracks on this, our 13th album. It's very cinematic, much like 'Crawling King Chaos', but walking a much more 'dark faerytale' path. The director Vicente has done such an amazing job bringing the storyline together with the band and the incredible sets. It looks gorgeous. And the song is pretty good too!"
Pieced together in isolation, at Grindstone Studios in Suffolk with studio guru Scott Atkins (DEVILMENT, BENEDICTION, VADER), "Existence Is Futile" is a pitch-black, perverse and at times absurdly brutal and extreme masterpiece following a truly nihilistic concept:
"The album is about existentialism, existential dread and fear of the unknown," Dani explained. "The concept wasn't created by the pandemic. We'd written it long before that began, but the pandemic is the tip of the cotton-bud as far as the way the world is headed, you know? I guess the title, 'Existence Is Futile', does sound a little morbid. But again, it's more about recognizing that truth and saying that everything is permitted because nothing really matters, which mimics the occultist Aleister Crowley's maxim. We all know we're going to die, so we might as well indulge life while we possess it. The final track on the album — 'Us, Dark, Invincible' — really drives that point home. Also, the artwork for this record was created by the Latvian visionary Arthur Berzinsh, who also dressed the last two albums, and that reeks of the exceedingly beautiful yet apocalyptic too."
Diehard fans will be thrilled to learn that horror icon Doug "Pinhead" Bradley makes a welcome return to the CRADLE fold, lending his dulcet tones to the band's most politically astute song to date, the epic "Suffer Our Dominion" as well as the album bonus track "Sisters Of The Mist", which is the conclusion to the "Her Ghost In The Fog" trilogy that started over 20 years ago on the infamous and classic "Midian".
"Existence Is Futile" consists of 12 new tracks with a total playing time of 54 minutes:
01. The Fate Of The World On Our Shoulders
02. Existential Terror
03. Necromantic Fantasies
04. Crawling King Chaos
05. Here Comes A Candle… (Infernal Lullaby)
06. Black Smoke Curling From The Lips Of War
07. Discourse Between A Man And His Soul
08. The Dying Of The Embers
09. Ashen Mortality
10. How Many Tears To Nurture A Rose?
11. Suffer Our Dominion
12. Us, Dark, Invincible
13. Sisters Of The Mist (Bonus track)
14. Unleash The Hellion (Bonus track)
Four months ago, CRADLE OF FILTH announced the addition of keyboardist Anabelle Iratni to the band's ranks.
Iratni, who previously played alongside CRADLE OF FILTH frontman Dani Filth in DEVILMENT, as well as her own group VEILE, made her live debut with CRADLE OF FILTH on May 12 during the band's livestreamed concert.
Anabelle joined CRADLE OF FILTH as the replacement for Lindsay Schoolcraft, who announced her departure from the group in February 2020 after a seven-year run.
Last December, Dani said that isolation and lack of live touring amid the coronavirus pandemic has contributed to making CRADLE OF FILTH's upcoming LP "our best album of current years, if not all time." He wrote on CRADLE's Facebook page: "There was absolutely no pressure to turn the album in. In fact, there really was nothing better to do than indulge our creative juices and thus a huge swathe of the year was spent in the sultry depths of the Suffolk countryside polishing and perfecting our latest musical excretion.
"It's an absolute killer of an album (if you forgive my self-flattery), with an immense production courtesy of Scott Atkins and Grindstone studios once again, and I'd like to be able to describe it to you but there is so much bubbling intently in this album," he continued. "Fast and slow parts (and faster still), new delectable flavours and those reminiscent of earlier COF albums galore, massive choruses and melancholic drop-downs, old skool melodic NWOBM amid furious, scathing black metal amid apocalyptic groove and we as a band can't wait for everyone to hear it…. And more importantly, experience our birthed monster live."
In October 2020, Dani told Metal Injection that CRADLE OF FILTH's follow-up to "Cryptoriana - The Seductiveness of Decay" was turning out to be "fantastic" and "probably the best album we've written. We've had the opportunity to really dig deep into it and work hard on the tracks, and, if necessary, rewrite parts, which we have done," he said. "I certainly have rewritten parts and have no qualms about Scott saying this just isn't good enough compared to all the other songs on the record. But I would say it's not very different from 'Cryptoriana'. It's not as intricately laced. That album spoke of the times it was trying to assimilate and represent. This album is about existential terror. The threat of everything. The end of the world, the end of one's life, existential dread. A little hope, I guess in there. It's a CRADLE OF FILTH record. The songs are strong. They're extreme, but it's a mixture of everything."
Regarding what is has been like working with Atkins again, Dani said: "It's very comfortable recording with him. You know, he's very free and easy with how he talks to me. There's no pandering; we're good friends and we can talk to each other how we want. His studio is not far from where I live. It's in the countryside, so during lockdown, I was able to travel to and from the studio. We had less hours to work. We had nothing more that we could do. There was no pubs that we could saddle off to over lunch time — it was just work, work, work. And it was nice, relaxed and, fortunately, lockdown in England's been okay, because we've had some fantastic weather this year."
CRADLE OF FILTH 2021 is:
Dani Filth - Vocals
Richard Shaw - Guitar
Ashok - Guitar
Daniel Firth - Bass
Martin "Marthus" Skaroupka - Drums
Anabelle - Keyboards & backing vocals