Cradle Of Filth is back! But wait… did they ever leave? Since their thunderous 1994 debut, The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh, the band has never stopped releasing new music. Their unique Gothic approach to Black/Death Metal; however, over the years started to be received with various grades of success. For some, the British collective just wasn’t bringing anything new to the table. To those naysayers the group present their blistering new album The Manticore And Other Horrors, a recording that recaptures in all its glory, the vibrancy of earlier classics with a modern, clearer sound and superb production values.

Just a quick listen to new tracks “Frost On Her Pillow”, “For Your Vulgar Delectation” and the title track among others, will prove that Cradle Of Filth has indeed returned to top form and are ready to obliterate. Recently, PureGrainAudio discussed briefly with long-time guitarist Paul Allender, the band’s new opus; including everything from the writing process, to cover artwork and future plans. The good old Cradle is here to stay. No doubt about it!

I know it’s probably too soon to say, but in your opinion, how important do you think this new album will be for Cradle Of Filth’s career?
Paul: I think it will be really important. It got an injection of groove and there’s a punk aspect that we put back into it that the band had lost since the first album Principle Of Evil Made Flesh. That album had that vibe. It had that real aggressive, metal-punky vibe to it, which the band completely lost. And over the last few albums it just felt like the stuff we were writing sounded the same. So this time we had to do something more drastic. There’s nothing worse than a band that keeps releasing albums that sound exactly the same over and over again. We have got such a really good feedback, so far. The journalists that have heard it so far are really into it. Especially in Europe, there is a whole bunch of journalists that said this is the best thing we have ever done for the last 12 years, which is brilliant. And we had a lot of people coming to say to us as well: “We kind of lost interest for band on the last few albums, but this one puts you back in the game finally.” So I think it’s really important.

Check out the song: “Manticore”

Lyrically, is there any sort of unifying concept throughout the album?
Paul: No. Not as far as I’m aware. This album is like a collection of really good live, catchy, progressive tracks. There’s no concept, there’s nothing that connects anything to anything. Not as far as I’m aware. I think the only thing you could say where is all connected, is that it’s just about monsters and personal demons. That’s the only thing that really connects everything together. Other than that there’s no concept. It’s just nice not to do another concept album, we had done so many. That’s the reason why we kept the album and the songs shorter, the songs are more direct. It’s different of what we have been doing in the past. We needed that change.

One more time, you’re collaborating with producer/engineer Scott Atkins. But this is the first he produced the whole album. What is so special about him?
Paul: Scott actually produced the whole album. On the last album he recorded just the guitars. And after that he actually said to us “You know, I got this brilliant idea if you please let me produce the whole album. Please let me have a go. I got some cool ideas especially for guitars about this and about that… I’ll visualize what the band’s missing. The last few albums were good but you’re not getting the reviews that I personally think the band deserves.” I think he has done an excellent job, the fucking guitars are raging! His ideas made this album different. It’s just goes around somewhere we probably would have never gone without that push. He has done a really good job. He’s got amazing ideas in the studio.

So, sound-wise, are you pretty satisfied about how it came out?
Paul: Absolutely! Is the best thing in a long time, I love it. It’s so clear. It’s what a lot of bands strive for, recording an album that’s clear. And it’s not overproduced either. It’s just nice to have an album where the guitars are absolutely raging and you can hear absolutely everything. We’ve never really had that before on an album. But this time you can actually hear everything and that’s brilliant and that’s a really step forward for the band.

It also marks the first time you work with designer Mathew Vickerstaff on an album cover.
Paul: Yes, because we did have another artwork artist but he didn’t really get it. He kept coming up with a really cheesy Gothic stuff and it just didn’t work. We had done that already. And the band wanted to go some different direction. The idea I wanted to do originally was to go back to what we used to do by photographing models and setting up scenes with photography. What we used to do in (albums like) Dusk, Cruelty and Principle, that type of stuff. But not the Gothic stuff, more like the modern day up to date photographs. We just couldn’t find a right photographer to do that, so we ended up doing the CGI digital design. This guy, Mathew, works for the record company and he’s done a really good job. I like it. It definitely works and it definitely shows what the content of the album is going to be like.

Any plans to play in America anytime soon?
Paul: We’ll actually fly to the States in February next year. So, we are planning that. Well, actually I think is the middle of February and the end of March. And after that we’ll do South America and we got festivals to play.

You’ve been in the band for a long time and have maintained a solid professional relationship especially with singer Danny Filth. How do you keep things interesting after all these years? Is there a especial formula that works for you?
Paul: Not really a formula as such. We are just into what we do. We just love what we do. Sometimes we argue like cats and dogs, totally but if you’ve been in a band with someone for that long, it’s going to happen. I do what I do, and he (Danny) does what he does and we bring it together and so it naturally works. It’s really good.

Check out the song: “Frost on Her Pillow”