Cradle of Filth
Peace Through Superior Firepower (DVD)
Decent but nothing spectacular
Love 'em or hate 'em, Cradle Of Filth are still doing what they do. After cries of selling out when they moved to Sony for the release of Damnation And A Day, they soon silenced detractors with the release of the brutal concept album. Following it up with Nymphetamine, their first for Roadrunner Records, they've jumped on the music DVD bandwagon with the release of Peace Through Superior Firepower.
Captured live in Paris, France at the Elysee Montmartre on April 2 2005, English sextet Cradle Of Filth belt through a 90 minute concert full of all the theatrical bells and whistles you'd come to expect from their live show - the band decked out on full gothic and black regalia, operatic vocals from Sarah Jezabel Deva and two stage performers (at times both are gargoyles, at other times, the scantily clad female performer scales ropes and curtains suspended from the ceiling amongst other things). The full surround sound (available in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and stereo) is excessively bass heavy at times to the point that it dominates the mix. It could have been lightened a little or at least more balanced with the guitars, vocals and keyboards which should take the centre of the aural stage. Visually, the footage is clear and taken from several different camera angles but the band's performance is fairly steadfast with very little movement on stage from the group. The exception of course is main man Dani Filth and the performers who make use stage well whilst guitarists Paul Allender and James McIlroy and bassist Dave Pybus show very little interest in moving.
The documentary feature (called a Shockmentary on the DVD) isn't really that enlightening. If you're looking for the kind of feature that the recent Machine Head, Anthrax or Killswitch Engage DVDs has, then you won't find it here. The Shockumentary is more like Cradle Of Filth's Funniest Home Videos really. There's plenty of drunk footage (particularly of producer Rob Caggiano (ex-Anthrax)), destruction footage and general studio silliness combined with tour footage with some of the more interesting footage coming from the group's trip to Budapest (Hungary) to record the orchestra and choir parts for their Damnation And A Day album. Overall it is semi interesting but there really isn't a lot of reply value in it. The Photo Gallery contains plenty of band shots, artwork and imagery and the Virgin On The Stupid segment is random footage and interviews with the huge crowd that queued for hours for an instore signing at a Virgin Megastore. To round it out, the video clips for Her Ghost In The Fog, No Time To Cry, Babylon A.D., Mannequin, The Promise Of Fever and Nymphetamine are included as well.
The concert contains everything you'd expect to hear from Cradle Of Filth live. It's a decent representation of Cradle live although it's let down by a not so perfect audio mix and extras that don't hold a lot of replay value. Cradle Of Filth fans will no doubt be all over this, but there are better metal DVDs out there.
(Roadrunner Records/Universal Music Distribution)