Cradle of Filth brings abject horror to the Gothic Theatre - Reverb

Live review: Cradle of Filth @ the Gothic Theatre

After British symphonic black metal band Cradle of Filth finished its third song last Friday night at the Gothic Theatre, front man Dani Filth screeched to the sweating audience: “How many of you are f*cking drunk?!”

The question, of course, brought a raucous scream from the crowd, though I doubt any amount of inebriation would make much of a difference in the appreciation for the band’s show — at least not musically.

Filth (aka Daniel Lloyd Davey) provided an alternately deep growl and uncannily high screech (a sound that came from somewhere between an eagle’s cry and Ned Flanders’ signature squealing scream) throughout the 75-minute set. While his vocals were certainly audible over the gargantuan onslaught of metal riffs, gothic keyboards and impossibly fast and complex drumming, they were anything but decipherable.

Truthfully, though, understanding the lyrics wouldn’t have made any difference. Cradle of Filth is a group that knows their schtick well, and they take full advantage of it for every second of their performance. Every member was dressed in enough leather, buckles, lace and black cotton to restock a mid-sized Hot Topic. Their faces were made up impressively and videos befitting the creepiest horror films ran on the huge screen behind them. The atmosphere quickly became one of Halloween in February as they plowed through song after indistinguishable song.

All three axe men formed a line across the front of the stage for the beginning of each song, and each displayed his own signature hair acrobatic. By far the most impressive was McIlroy’s, whose incredibly long blond hair became a propeller as his head spun frantically and he wailed on his guitar. The three would then drop back and let Filth take front and center to stare down the sweating, partially moshing mass from behind creepy white contacts and dramatic makeup.

As ridiculous as the band’s performance was to a critical eye, this was the stuff of their own legend, and every second was exactly what the packed audience had come to see.

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Billy Thieme is a Denver-based writer, an old-school punk and a huge follower of Denver’s vibrant local music scene. Follow Billy’s explorations at DenverThread.com, and his giglist at Gigbot.

Tina Hagerling is a Denver photographer and regular contributor to Reverb. Check out more of her concert photography.

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