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Cradle Of Filth At Best Buy Theatre, Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Thursday night the Best Buy Theater hosted Cradle of Filth’s “Creatures from the Black Abyss Tour,” a curiously put together bill that featured Cradle, lead support Nachtmystium, Daniel Lioneye, and Turisas. It was an interesting collection that at times tested your patience, but the performances by Nachtmystium and Cradle made the wait through the two openers well worth it.

Turisas, a folk power metal band from Finland, opened things up. They play the whole “battle metal” thing and, in my opinion, they in particular out of that whole scene are very hard to take seriously. Well, (and I hope this is the case) they may be a tongue in cheek operation, as most of the battle metal bands out there are, but they sure look serious on stage.  Their distinctive red and black face paint is visually intriguing, but—and I’ve said this before—it is actually impossible to make a violin look cool in a metal band, as their shirtless, paint covered violinist tried so enthusiastically to do. Hell, Turisas even has an accordion player.

Daniel Lioneye was up next, the side project of several HIM members, and it feels like a side project. The band, spawned from a late night smoke session in 2001, appears to be an excuse for guitarist Linde to shred the night away while new singer Manu shreaks and wails. If it weren’t for the celebrated association with HIM, I’m fairly confident Daniel Lioneye wouldn’t enjoy the attention that they currently do. Oh well, at least they looked like they were having fun.

Nachtmystium followed and the concert took a turn for the better. Nachtmystium, a four-piece from Illinois, plays an addictive brand of extreme/black metal laced with electronics and is seriously loud live—one of the louder bands I’ve seen in a while. The vocals were turned way up, with the result that the lead singer’s raspy, raw, and brutal bark lead the other elements in a driving black metal groove that would occasionally break with psychadelic and rock and roll elements. Nachtmystium were awesome live and I would recommend them to fans of experimental extreme metal. Kudos to the organizers of this tour for including Nachtmystium, a band that is a far cry from a band like Turisas. Let’s just say I can’t imagine the dudes from Nachtmystium hang out with Turisas after shows.

I was anxious to see how Cradle would sound live at the Best Buy Theater. My last Cradle experience had gone horribly due to bad sound and I was concerned that a similar problem would plague them this time, given the complexity and speed that characterizes Cradle’s style and the problems it poses for sound engineers. Fortunately, my fears were unfounded and Cradle sounded incredible. Dani’s shriek was as powerful as ever and the guitars sounded great. I was particularly impressed with new addition Ashley Ellylon who provides keys and backing vocals. Her gothic style and eerie stage presence proved she has what it takes to be the new female vocalist for Cradle of Filth.

As lead guitarist Paul Allender explained when I interviewed him, the new material is fast and heavy and, when performed live, these qualities are amplified. It is sometimes easy to forget just how heavy Cradle can be, but for those in attendance on Thursday they received a welcome reminder. Cradle played an awesome show the other night and I hope to see them return to New York soon.

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