Cradle of Filth are an English extreme metal band, formed in Suffolk in 1991. The band's musical style evolved from black metal to a cleaner and more "produced" amalgam of gothic metal, symphonic black metal and other extreme metal styles, while their lyrical themes and imagery are heavily influenced by gothic literature, poetry, mythology and horror films.
The band has broken free from its original niche by courting mainstream publicity (often to the chagrin of its early fanbase), and this increased accessibility has brought coverage. They have sometimes been perceived as Satanic by casual observers.
Cradle of Filth's first three years saw three demos and a rehearsal tape recorded amidst the sort of rapid line-up fluctuations that have continued ever since, the band having more than twenty musicians in its history. The band also recorded an unreleased album entitled Goetia prior to the third demo and their style shift. Goetia was set for release on Tombstone records, but all tracks were wiped when Tombstone went out of business and could not afford to buy the recordings from the studio.The band eventually signed to Cacophonous Records and their debut album, The Principle of Evil Made Flesh, was also Cacophonous's first release in 1994.
Cradle's relationship with Cacophonous soon soured; the band accusing the label of contractual and financial mismanagement. Acrimonious legal proceedings took up most of 1995, and the band finally signed to Music for Nations in 1996 after only one more contractually obligated Cacophonous recording.
Cradle of Filth's particular subgenre has provoked a great deal of discussion, and their status as a black metal band or otherwise has been in debate since near the time they became popular. Dani, in a 1998 interview for BBC Radio 5 for example, said "I use the term heavy metal, rather than black metal, because I think that's a bit of a fad now. Call it what you like: death metal, black metal, any kind of metal...", while Gavin Baddeley's 2006 Terrorizer interview states that "few folk, the band included, call Cradle black metal these days."
The band's style has been described as symphonic black metal, gothic black metal, and dark metal. However, the band's evolving sound has allowed them to continue resisting definitive categorisation. They are audibly influenced by Iron Maiden, have collaborated on projects like Christian Death's Born Again Anti-Christian album (on the track "Peek-A-Boo"), and have even dabbled outside of metal music with dance remixes ("Twisting Further Nails", "Pervert's Church" etc), although these have fallen by the wayside in recent years. In a 2006 interview with Terrorizer magazine, current guitarist Paul Allender said "We were never a black metal band. The only thing that catered to that was the make-up. Even when The Principle of Evil Made Flesh came out — you look at Emperor and Burzum and all that stuff — we didn't sound anything like that. The way that I see it is that we were, and still are now, an extreme metal band."
Main article: List of Cradle of Filth band members
Dani Filth – lead vocals (1991–present)
Paul Allender – lead guitar (1992–1995, 1999–present)
James McIlroy – rhythm guitar (2003–2005, 2009–present)
Dave Pybus – bass guitar (2001–present)
Martin Marthus Škaroupka – drums (2006–present)
Ashley Ellylon- keyboards and vocals (2009–present)