Freak factory

Cradle of Filth scaled back its twisted-burlesque spectacle when touring in support of 2006’s Thornography, 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 to the old flamethrowers-and-stiltwalkers stage show, with real operatic vocalists lending orchestral grandeur and Dani Filth’s 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 Satyr’s 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, they’re still intensely heavy.
Fri., Feb. 13, 6:30 p.m., 2009