Trouble And Their Double Lives

rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. She Is A Fire (new studio track)
02. Heaven Torn Asunder
03. Blackest Magick In Practice
04. Honey and Sulphur
05. Nymphetamine (Fix)
06. Born In A Burial Gown
07. Desire In Violent Overture
08. Bathory Aria
09. The Death Of Love (bonus track)
10. Demon Prince Regent (new studio track)
11. Heartbreak and Seance
12. Right Wing Of The Garden Triptych
13. The Promise Of Fever
14. Haunted Shores
15. Gilded Cunt
16. Saffron's Curse
17. Lustmord and Wargasm (The Lick Of Carnivorous Winds)
18. You Will Know The Lion By His Claw (bonus track)

Extreme metallers CRADLE OF FILTH have decades of history bringing their mix of black and symphonic metal to audiences across the globe. Frontman Dani Filth and company have no shortage of studio albums to their name, as CRADLE OF FILTH's most recent release, 2021's "Existence Is Futile", marked their 13th. Even so, the band have only released three live albums, the most recent being 2023's "Trouble and Their Double Lives".

"Trouble and Their Double Lives" marks CRADLE OF FILTH's first live album to arrive in more than two decades. The record was recorded between 2014 and 2019 at different shows across the U.S., Europe, Australia and elsewhere on their "Cryptoriana" world tour. CRADLE OF FILTH are known for their goth-inspired live shows, packed with energy and drama, so it's a bit surprising they haven't released more live albums. This album is a set that fans will welcome, offering stellar production quality and an accurate depiction of the band's live show.

Live records sometimes fail at capturing not only the band's live energy but also the acoustics of that particular performance. This is where "Trouble and Their Double Lives" shines. From the opening track, "She Is A Fire", to the final "You Will Know The Lion By His Claw", it's obvious Scott Atkins was an apt choice to produce, mix and master the album, as was Danny B to film.

Looking at the songs, "Trouble and Their Double Lives" gives fans what they want. It offers plenty of well-known CRADLE OF FILTH songs, as well as two brand new tracks. Stand-outs on the album include fan favorites "Nymphetamine (Fix)", which comes early in the set, and "The Death Of Love", which falls mid-show. The former begins with thick guitars, which make way for Lindsay Schoolcraft's pure, innocent-sounding vocals. Live, Schoolcraft's piercing voice is a dramatic counterpart to Filth's monstrous vocals, giving this a "Beauty And The Beast" vibe. Contrasting, "The Death Of Love" highlights Filth's growling vocals early on, with Schoolcraft's melodic, vulnerable-sounding singing again providing a unique contrast.

For longtime fans, what's extra special about "Trouble and Their Double Lives" is the inclusion of new songs "She Is A Fire" and "Demon Prince Regent". The former kicks the live album off with manic guitars and rhythms, vicious vocals, eerie keys and lyrics about a mysterious woman who is "fire", whose eyes carry the "weight of mountains" and who has some undeniable power over your tortured protagonist. Meanwhile, "Demon Prince Regent" launches with an epic guitar passage, laying the groundwork for another blistering gothic metal anthem and classical sounding symphonics.

CRADLE OF FILTH's "Trouble and Their Double Lives" is a massive symphonic assault from beginning to end. Even though there aren't many peaks and valleys here, the upside is that it's all fire, all flame and keeps the listener engaged throughout. CRADLE OF FILTH have lots of symphonic horror left in them, and hopefully it won't take another 20 years for them to release another live record.

Author: Anne Erickson
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