At its core, Cradle of Filth is a hard-rock band. With punishing beats and heavy keyboard and guitar riffery buttressed by flurries of dour orchestral phrasing, the band's music plays like a soundtrack to a Tim Burton heavy-metal opera. The band's latest effort, 2010's Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa, is a concept album detailing the adventures of a female demon named Lilith, who was the first wife of the biblical Adam. The story is complicated, involved, and gloomy enough to keep the band's cultish fans hanging on every twist and turn. Playing more like an aural movie, the visual descriptions in the lyrics are brought to life by the exhausting music.
For a band like Cradle of Filth to reach the point where it can explore such grandiose projects is an accomplishment in itself. It's not like occult-themed metal is ever going to settle well among the American Idol set. Still, as the band achieves more success and extends its global reach — it recently returned from a headlining tour of South America — Filth continues to explore its ambition.