God I hate this. I hate it when companies 'reward' quick CD buyers with an alternative version, bonus tracks, that kind of thing, some time after the original release. My Dying Bride had a double CD version of "The Angel and the Dark River" released; Sepultura's "Roots" has been released in at least three different versions; Slayer's new "Diabolus..." has recently been re-released with a live bonus EP. And now Cradle of Filth. And the stupidest thing of all is that I couldn't resist shelling out the money for the one alternate track and four bonus tracks contained on it :-(

For starters, the limited 'celtic cross' edition looks really cool. But that's hardly what matters, is it? What you get is four bonus tracks: Covers of Venom's "Black Metal", Maiden's "Hallowed be thy Name" and Sodom's "Sodomy and Lust". The fourth track is "Twisting Further Nails (The Cruci-Fiction Mix)". Well, to take the cow by the proverbial horns...are these four tracks worth bothering?

Of course they are. Although "Black Metal" doesn't sound as fat and full as, for example, Cradle's "Hell Awaits" cover, is is incredibly fast and aggressive. "Hallowed be Thy Name" is well done but here, too, I would have expected some more carpets woven of nice keyboard parts. "Sodomy and Lust" is totally killer, probably the best of the three even though quite a few people will not know the original (Sodom is not exactly famous anymore these days, especially not outside Germany). About the fourth track I can be really short. When I read in the liner notes that it's "a totally inapt revision which is tantamount to plagiarism and genre sell-out", I ought have known enough. Alas, it's a horribly techno remix by Ship of Fools (who aren't too bad actually, normally) and Cradle. I don't like it, and that's an understatement. I'd almost forget the 'alernate track' mentioned above. It's "Lustmord and Wargasm (The Relicking of Carnivorous Winds)". It's longer, quite a bit different here and there. Not better, not worse, just different.

True fans will have to buy this. The "Dusk..." coffin box was not worth getting as much as this one ("Hell Awaits" could be found on the "Slaytanic Slaughter II" tribute album, anyway). The techno remix sucks, but the other tracks are pretty excellent. Especially if you don't have the 'ordinary' "Cruelty and the Beast" yet (read review here), now it is time for action!

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Written October 1998


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