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Cradle of Filth - Extreme Metal with Dark, Gothic Themes

Updated on July 18, 2011

What Is Cradle Of Filth?

Cradle of Filth is a popular extreme metal band known for darkly poetic lyrics inspired largely by Gothic fiction and horror movies and the "vocal gymnastics" of lead singer, Dani Filth.

The band has a somewhat controversial reputation due in large part to the use of Satanic imagery and particularly colorful profanity in the lyrics of it's songs.

The vocal style of Cradle of Filth has evolved overtime.
The vocal style of Cradle of Filth has evolved overtime.

The Origin of CoF

The band originated in Suffolk, England in the early 1990s, at the time and place generally considered to be the birth of "gothic metal". Although it was active as early as 1991, Cradle's first album, The Principle of Evil Made Flesh, was not released until 1994. Originally an underground "black metal" band, they quickly gained popularity and went mainstream throughout Europe. Within a decade after it's formation, Cradle of Filth was known widely in the U.S., as well.

The band has avoided a clear classification.
The band has avoided a clear classification.


Although there is still debate which sub-category of metal Cradle of Filth best fits, the band itself has characterized it's music simple as "metal" or "extreme metal", though they prefer not to put barriers on their musical style, which has evolved overtime, and even included remix tracks that were outside the genre of metal completely.


Cradle of Filth is a force to be reckoned with. They've received numerous accolades including a Grammy nomination for the song Nymphetamine Fix (see above video). Metal Hammer magazine has referred to the band as being the biggest heavy metal group to come out of Britain since Iron Maiden.

CoF fans are known for their enthusiasm.
CoF fans are known for their enthusiasm.


Cradle of Filth is popular in Europe and North America with an existing fan base in other areas, as well. The band is most popular with extreme metal fans who appreciate the unique vocals and lyrical makeup, which some might find almost Shakespearean.

A number of poets, artists and musicians credit their inspiration to CoF.

One of the tamer shirts available.
One of the tamer shirts available.


The band is no stranger to controversy and has the distinct privilege of being one of the few bands credited with fans wearing it's official merchandise being brought up on criminal charges in some areas. Both CoF's merchandise and music have in some instances been restricted or banned in countries including the United States, Britain and New Zealand.

The band made waves with their own choice of attire during a trip to the Vatican in 1998, in which their "I love Satan" shirts prompted outrage. They received the recognition of being referred to as "sick and offensive" by Alex Mosson, who was the Lord Provost of Glasgow at that time.

Sarah Jezebel Deva looking "pretty in pink".
Sarah Jezebel Deva looking "pretty in pink". | Source

Beauty and the Beast

In what has become somewhat of a hallmark of Cradle of Filth's music, Sarah Jezebel Deva joined the band as a female vocalist, although she was not considered to be a full member due to her involvement with many other projects including performing for the popular symphonic metal band, Therion.

This particular style of pairing female and male vocals is known as "beauty and the beast", and is credited to Paradise Lost, The Gathering and Theatre of Tragedy for it's introduction.

Though, SJD is no longer involved with Cradle of Filth, female vocalists are still used to provide this effect.

Many members have come and gone since the band's formation.
Many members have come and gone since the band's formation.

Band Members

  • Dani Filth – lead vocals (1991–present)
  • Paul Allender – lead guitar
  • Martin Marthus Škaroupka – drums
  • Dave Pybus – bass guitar
  • James McIlroy – rhythm guitar
  • Caroline Campbell - keyboards


Studio albums:
  • The Principle of Evil Made Flesh (1994)
  • Dusk... and Her Embrace (1996)
  • Cruelty and the Beast (1998)
  • Midian (2000)
  • Damnation and a Day (2003)
  • Nymphetamine (2004)
  • Thornography (2006)
  • Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder (2008)
  • Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa (2010)


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    • Steve Orion profile image

      Steve Orion 

      7 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Definitely on my list of bands to check out now that I'm getting into heavier forms of metal. Vader first, then Cradle of filth, then go on from there. Thanks for the info, good hub =)


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