I bought this album with a certain amount of trepidation. The last time Cradle of Filth released one of those mini CDs it was clearly a case of throwing together some rather less inspired new compositions, add a cover or two, and basically let Lecter do a totally stupid house remix of something or other. Lecter is gone, so that may explain why there is no house remix on "Bitter Suites to Succubi". How about the covers and lesser inspired tracks?

For starters there is only one cover this time, a rather capably executed "No Time to Cry" (originally by Sisters of Mercy). There are also three cover-ish tracks on the album in the shape of "Summer Dying Fast", "The Principle of Evil Made Flesh" and "The Black Goddess Rises II" - which you will instantly recognise, obviously, as Cradle classics from their "The Principles of Evil Made Flesh" album. Of course they sound good, and they are ace tracks, but they add close to nothing to the existing Cradle of Filth catalogue. Actually, "The Black Goddess II" is better than the original, I think.

How about the new tracks, then? There's six of them, including the creepy "Sin Deep My Wicked Angel", which is to all intents and purposes an intro. "All Hope in Eclipse" is the first true song on the album, which as far as I am concerned would have been one of the finer tracks had it been on "Midian". Clearly not an uninspired composition. "Born in a Burial Gown" follows and is good, too, but a bit less so (as is "Suicide and Other Comforts", another new track). "Dinner at the Deviant's Palace" is a most peculiar addition in the form of a synth-laden, eerie song with distorted (and reversed?) talking on top of it. Weird. Not bad, not actually good, just weird. The final track of the album, the new "Scorched Earth Erotica", has a few ingredients quite unfamiliar from Cradle. There's some non-distorted guitar (or maybe a prevalent bass) at start, for example. The second half of this song is really going somewhere.

As a bonus, there's an 'enhanced CD' section for those billions with a CD-equipped PC. It contains some preview snaps from the totally o.t.t. horror film (or Cradle video) that the masses may expect to be hurled upon them any day soon.

I'll definitely give this one many turns in the ole CD player, though "Midian" is still superior.

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Written June 2001


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