Cradle of Filth scaled back their twisted-burlesque spectacle on the Thornography tour, which, combined with the record's unseemly catchiness, led to some dismayingly unfreakish sets. But the British metal provocateurs reverted to harsh thrash on last year's Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder, a concept album chronicling the depravity of French nobleman/prolific serial killer Gilles de Rais. With evil inspiration comes a return of the flamethrowers-and-stiltwalkers stage show, where operatic vocalists lend orchestral grandeur and Dani Filth's ornately profane stage banter ("We are the bestial excretions referred to as Cradle of Filth") provides comic relief. Opening act Satyricon also have mystified some longtime fans with their recent aesthetic decision, such as an increasingly rock-based sound and frontman Satyr's Fuel-era Metallica look (short hair, eyeliner, leather, sunglasses) in the "Black Crow on a Tombstone" video. Regardless, Satyricon's Frost remains a black-metal legend and an extraordinary drummer, and though the songs may have lost that haunted, medieval-forest ambiance, they're still intensely heavy.
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