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51fkOdxufcL. SL160 There’s something familiar about DARKLY, DARKLY, VENUS AVERSA, the latest album from CRADLE OF FILTH… It sounds a lot like old COF with mixed results.

I wasn’t a huge fan of their last couple of albums, as they seemed to find themselves in a period of creative stagnation, where, despite some excellent packaging choices, the music seemed to blur together. On their new album however, there’s a lot of what made the band stand out in the first place, but it’s not without it’s faults.

There’s some fantastic guitar work to be found here, with songs like “Retreat of the Sacred Heart” and “The Nun With The Astral Habit” perfectly balancing the insane blast beats with groove and symphony. The work on the keys is always welcome, but often finds itself buried beneath the chaos, as do the orchestral element at times. Dani’s voice shows more range that recent works, channeling the darkest depths of Hell like a good demon should.

When it all works you get songs like “The Spawn of Love and War,” but when it doesn’t you wind up with promising tracks like “One Foul Step From the Abyss,” which could be improved if given a little more breathing room here and there.

Overall DARKLY, DARKLY, VENUS AVERSA is a solid effort from the band that should please those that found disappointment in the last couple of albums, while doing little to take their music to new and exciting levels.

Rating: 3/5

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