Cradle of Filth - Midnight In The Labyrinth 2-LP (Black vinyl)
The lushness of the strings and thickness of the full orchestra’s and choir’s performances shines with energy and professional gloss, which leads to some of the better, darker, and more melodic and truly-string-oriented tracks (“A Gothic Romance”, “The Rape and Ruin of Angels”, “Funeral in Carpathia”) sounding very sinister and majestic, but leaving a couple of the more riff-based songs (“The Forest Whispers My Name”, “Thirteen Autumns and a Widow”) a bit cold and thin in the winds. I suppose it actually makes sense; around the days of Principle…, the Filthy boys weren’t really letting the keyboard section speak major, overdrawn curse and verse, so taking those older tracks and giving them such a treatment would bear more bitter fruit than sweet. The mixing of it all is very deep and all-encompassing, as well as a recorded CD of an orchestra can be (actually being there would no doubt make all the difference and sound more full in scope), and the inclusion of spoken-word parts (certain parts of the songs’ lyrics) and sound effects makes it effective as a spooky, gothic-themed record that can lay a chill or two on pretty well (the closer, “Goetia (Invoking the Unclean)” has that down in spades, as well as two pretty old-school title name drops…). So what do we have in the end? Instead of a complete and solid product, I’d put this in on the pile of those strange-yet-listenable oddities certain bands put out that are against their stylistic norm but are still worthy of a purchase and a peek or two, but may not see the inside of the stereo or CD player as often as others out there.