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Cradle Of Filth Live @ Billboard, Melbourne, Australia

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A façade of gothic dressed women, corpse painted The Amenta fans and typical black jeans and denim dressed metal heads graced the front of Billboard last night for Cradle Of Filth’s Australian headline tour.

Opening act and winner of the Melbourne Cradle Of Filth support contest, Ne Obliviscaris, played their set amidst some casual onlookers but the high caliber musicianship and ferocity of the band was enough to prove them a respectable choice for the Cradle Of Filth support slot. Whilst Ne Obliviscaris do display technically proficient musicianship, it’s not difficult for fans of their only album to distinguish the discrepancies between the studio version and the live counterparts.

During the intermission between bands, a grieving Slayer fan attempted a Jeff Hanneman chant, whilst minimal response was rewarded by the crowd, the request was heard from behind the sound desk as Seasons In The Abyss roared over the PA. This was a welcome change to the questionable playlist heard throughout the night as Motley Crue, Airbourne and Ozzy Osbourne strangely filled out the venue between bands.

As The Amenta spewed forth on stage, a sea of fans worshiped the industrial metal band and all memory of the oddly placed playlist was forgotten. A myriad of dramatic faces pulled by the enigmatic frontman was highly entertaining as the band pummeled forth with menacing riffs and proved to Melbourne The Amenta are a headline act of their own.

After two reputable opening supports, Cradle Of Filth was finally set to take the stage. After what felt like one of the smaller crowds to have packed Billboard a legion of Cradle fans had seemingly spawned themselves from each other and were now furiously chanting the band’s name. Dani Filth’s vocals appear to have aged like fine wine as his range from guttural death growls, shrieking highs to the more melodic approach presented on the most recent album, Manticore, were all chillingly exposed with precision. The fact that Mr Filth had to hold the microphone almost a foot away from himself whilst shrieking the iconic high pitched vocals made the spectacle all the more encompassing. Original guitarist Paul Allender eyed off almost every person in the crowd without breaking his stage persona of super serious faced specter. Drummer Martin ‘Marthus’ Skaroupka was full of overwhelming energy throughout the entire set, often rising out of his stool to attack the toms with hate. The Hermione Granger haired bass player was thankfully eclipsed by other members of the band whilst the beautiful female keyboardist/singer was off in the distance making it difficult for the extensive amounts of men in the crowd to catch a glimpse of the dark and elegant female presence.

The diverse set comprised of older relics such as The Forest Whispers My Name and set main stayers like Nymphetamine, and an equal amount of appreciation was met for Cradle Of Filth’s newer tracks. Dani Filth and the Cradle are sure to be back in Australia making references to drop bears over the course of their next album, hopefully with some equally impressive Australian supports.

Photos By Matt Allan

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