Opening song Summer Arteries begins by showcasing some great guitar work before the song really gets going. Dani Filth’s vocals are instantly recognisable & it is strange to not hear them accompanied by darker music. Instead we get some bland metal track playing quietly in the background. It’s not a great opener by any stretch.
Even Your Blood Group Rejects Me follows next & is even worse. There is no effort in making a coherent song with memorable hooks & instead it irritates beyond redemption. The awful slow symphonic moments had me looking to see just how much was left of the song.
Dani Filth screams over the intro of Girl From Mystery Island which at least has an instant toe-tapping riff, sadly the rest is instantly forgettable with a head-scratching violin section near the end. The Stake in My Heart is a much more promising song because it sounds more like Cradle of Filth. It’s the heaviest song so far & drops the symphonic elements but includes a cool brief guitar solo.
Living With The Fungus starts promisingly but the random symphonic moments just ruin it. They actively detract from the song & the only thing to really praise is Dani Filth’s vocals (even though he is hardly trying).
The use of middle-eastern elements in Mother Kali is insulting when you hear just how a band like Orphaned Land uses them. This is a bad song & as unmemorable as the last, it just seems to drag on.
The next couple of tracks fly by in a blur of average-ness; Staring At Werewolf Corps has a bit more of a sinister edge & is more listenable. Sanity Hits A (Perfect) Zero shows lots of talent on the instruments but lacks a killer hook.
The musical intro to Laudanum Skull is effective & really works well with the general tone of the song; it’s one of the better & more unique songs on the album. The final song on the album is The Great and Secret Show. Ir is a strong finish mixing a nice piano tune with a punchy beat before the pace quickens. Filth’s vocal work is good but the constant repeating of the title & the sudden piano interlude irritate.
A final guitar solo brings the song back around & it ends as it began with a piano flurry. Not exactly inspiring stuff which pretty much sums up the whole album.
Cradle of Filth fans are unlikely to enjoy this as it lacks any real bite. There is just such a lack of anything really memorable. It’s not a terrible album by any stretch but you won’t find yourself wanting to listen to it multiple times.
Devilment - The Great and Secret Show (Nuclear Blast)