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Cradle of Filth: Buckets Of Blood & Breasts (W/NSFW Video)

Cradle of Filth is a band that we absolutely hated when we first heard them, but have become a dedicated fan of in recent years. Part of it is because when interviewed Dani Filth a while back we discovered that he is one of the nicest, most personable people we've ever met in the music industry. The other part of it is the fact that we haven't been allowed to watch any television except Dora the Explorer in our house for the last six months and something like Filth's "Lilith Immaculate" is just what we need to eject her from our head.

"Lilith" comes from Filth's ninth studio album Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa released late last year, and the first to feature keyboardist Ashley Ellyllon who really ratches up the awesome on the record. It's a concept album that tells the story of Lilith's re-emergence in modern society as a god.

If you're not up on your demonology, which is odd if you're a Cradle of Filth fan, then Lilith was Adam's first wife who was ejected from Eden for demanding to be on top during sex. She went on to mother demons, vampires, or witches depending on whether or not you're playing Vampire: the Masquerade or reading the Chronicles of Narnia.

In fact, much of the album's concept, as well as the brutal, sexual nature of the video for video mirrors another recent import from Europe, Carmilla Voiez's novel Starblood, which we recently tackled with great pleasure. Both are manic dances through dark modern settings involving the return of a highly sexual, avenging feminine demonic incarnation of Lilith. Both tread the line between enticement and revulsion with a combination of aching sex and the cut of a blade into flesh. Both are, of course, indispensably excellent.

Granted, Voiez's world is the graceful deathrock scene, and Filth prefers the hammer-blow that is screaming black metal. Instead of tasteful houses and picturesque, moonlit outdoor settings, we get decrepit asylums and Filth belting out his performance into a skeletal carcass.

His presence as a front man, even as seen through a tiny YouTube screen, is simply uncanny. He is a dark commander; a mad prophet's ravings come to life and dressed in black. Everything about him draws you in.

Not to mention the story of the video itself. In between shots of the band weaves a lunatic world where a woman struggles out of the bonds of her own mind. She is pursued at every point by Lilith, who offers sex and free heart removal at every turn. In the end the watcher is simply unable to look away, caught amongst the flow of blood, the pale lines of the characters' physical perfections, the sad, haunted settings, and the ever present headlong rush of the song itself.

If Eli Roth wrote a porno, then had Chris McKay shoot it for him, you might get something like "Lilith Immaculate."

Dani Filth sat down with us for a brief interview. Check page 2 for his answers and the "Lilith" video. Take a gander, and seriously, it's NSFW.

 

Rocks Off: Basic stuff, can you tell us a little bit about the production of the video? Just basically the general artistic inspiration behind it and a little bit about filming it.

Dani Filth: The artistic inspiration behind the video was based on the part of the story that this song attests to in relation to the rest of the album (after all it is a concept), but undertaking something that represents the atmosphere of the piece, without the expenditure of following a story epic enough for a massive film budget.

The video itself is resurgent horror enough, utilizing the themes and premises of the album to come up with something deeply reminiscent. Basically, it's a small movie interspersed by horror performance, with the band ensconced in a Victorian mental institution with a nasty storyline meandering about us.

Story of our lives, really....

RO: Is there any country left on Earth that you think would actually show this music video on regular television? Have we moved so beyond that that artists can now just say, "Fuck it! Let's get the girl's tops off and slit some throats. The FCC isn't ever going to see it anyway." Are artists like yourself now thinking exclusively YouTube and DVD release when you make music videos?

DF: Libya? Abu Dhabi? The Cayman Isles?

It was a surprise a few years ago having just finished a full length horror movie entitled Cradle Of Fear that the video for it, which was basically the goriest parts of the movie sliced into a story-based portmanteau, was played in it's entirety in most of Europe, despite us cutting a more "MTV friendly" version which still managed to get banned.

I remember sitting in a bar in Belgium with our then-drummer, sipping a Grolsch and then practically spitting it out having spotted the uncut video (replete with sliced wrists and an exposed vagina) playing on a popular daytime channel. And in hindsight, I'm not that surprised as we are talking European! No fucking PMRC.

Nowadays there are less restrictions, and rightfully so in our opinion, as several of our prior videos have been tamed down by our record companies in order to score a buck, whether we liked it or not, and to not much purpose as they only teetered on borderline subversive anyway.

RO: How much of the story in the video is happening just in your protagonist's disturbed head?

DF: Unfortunately it's all in our disturbed heads. As for the main character, the video revolves nightmarishly around an imprisoned woman who, on finding her escape, discovers herself becoming part of a continuing cycle of depravity which finds her both victim and killer, locked in an insane cycle that goes on for eternity.

This could be seen either as a punishment, or sexual experiment or state of dementia. As with most video's that afford enough time for precise storytelling, this aims for the viewer's individual interpretation.

 

RO: Hearts play a big role in the video. What do they symbolize to you, and what is the meaning behind the taking and giving of them?

DF: Ask the majority of beautiful women for that!

In the video it symbolizes cleansing through the giving and taking of life and the transference of power in that respect. It is also used symbolically as a fairytale reference to spirituality, the emotions and above all, the soul; for bad or for worse. Plus it looks good oozing the red stuff. Please stop asking strange erratic questions!

RO: That's right pot, we are a black kettle. Next question, is your microphone really a bone, or is it just a non-musical prop for the video?

DF: My microphone is a skeleton that used to reside as a pirate beneath my kitchen floor... that is until a bad plumber ousted it's occupancy by flooding it out. Before then it was all lit up with gold doubloons that my wife had sprinkled in the sand about it. After this tragedy I decided his life was best extended hanging around our shows on my microphone stand in a very Giger-esque fashion.

Although he isn't physically wired up, he has become more like a lover than a prop, more microphone than man, twisted and obscene.

Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa is available wherever evil is sold, or from that guy you wish your daughter would stop hanging around with. Yours, not ours. We're part of a spooky breeding program.


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