Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
It's good, and fresh....
on December 7, 2010
We've all been somewhat nervous about Cradle for a while now. Nymphetamine and Thornography were enjoyable but really subpar for Cradle. Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder was a nice save, and is actually one of my favorite albums, but many found it wanting. Then came this album, Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa. It seems everyone's giving it five stars (or one, which probably come from the people who don't like Cradle anyway; one either likes Cradle or loathes them, with no middle ground.) I agree with the sentiment: this album is very good. It brings back a certain gothic mood and... dark prettiness in the midst of the heaviness that I think Godspeed didn't quite have in the same way. I think any Cradle fan should at least like it.
But I wouldn't give it five stars. The best of Cradle's concept albums, like Cruelty and the Beast or Midian or (I would argue) Godspeed, immersed the listener far more in the story. This, I couldn't even make out the story for many listens, and now that I'm reasonably sure what's going on, it's still got holes in it that niggle at me. The best of the atmospheric works made you feel you were there, amid the monsters, beholding the dark fairytales as they unfolded around you. This is... about Lilith. And she's sexy. And a demon. And the music is cool. It's fun, it's interesting, it's engaging -- but I feel engaged with, not transported.
And the older stuff was twistedly erotic and darkly naughty. The lyrics pushed the envelope and then shredded it with feminine claws stained with blood and more intimate substances. This harks back to those days in a way Godspeed didn't, but it's less inspired on that score. We're told that sexy things are going on, and yes, some details are explicit, but that wry, spare-you-nothing wit is far less in evidence than it used to be.
I sound like a downer, and I don't mean to. This is a darned good album, and I recommend it highly. It deserves four stars.
I only talk so much about what I found lacking because -- sorry, Dani & crew -- it does not deserve five.
We know you can do it. We admire your endless willingness to experiment. Now get in there and blow us all the hell away.