Cradle of Filth scaled back its twisted-burlesque spectacle when touring in support of 2006s Thornography, which, combined with the records unseemly catchiness, led to some dismayingly unfreakish sets. But the British metal provocateurs reverted to harsh thrash on last years Godspeed on the Devils Thunder, a concept album chronicling the depravity of French nobleman/prolific serial killer Gilles de Rais. With evil inspiration comes a return to the old flamethrowers-and-stiltwalkers stage show, with real operatic vocalists lending orchestral grandeur and Dani Filths ornately profane stage banter (we are the bestial excretions referred to as Cradle of Filth) providing comic relief. Satyricon likewise mystifies some longtime fans with its recent aesthetic decisions, such as its increasingly rock-based sound and frontman Satyrs Fuel-era Metallica look (short hair, eyeliner, leather, sunglasses) in the Black Crow on a Tombstone video. Regardless, Frost remains a black-metal legend and an extraordinary drummer, and while the songs might have lost that haunted-medieval-forest ambience, theyre still intensely heavy.
Fri., Feb. 13, 6:30 p.m., 2009