Anyone wandering into Bristol’s Marble Factory wondering if they’re in the right place to catch some Metal are reassured by the towering skeletons at each side of the stage. Further confirmation can be found in the loud bang warnings around the venue, and the smattering of Jesus Is A Cunt t-shirts confirm that Cradle Of Filth are definitely in town.
Cradle Of Filth – Alcest – Naraka
The Marble Factory, Bristol – 27 October 2022
Words and Photography: Georgia Brittain
Cradle Of Filth
Right from the opener Existential Terror, Cradle Of Filth have the audience right where they want them. The Marble Factory has exploded into a sea of hair and fists. The mosh pit gets an appreciative thanks from Dani Filth in a rare gap between bombastic Metal, trademark screams, pyrotechnics and confetti.
Crawling King Chaos takes things up yet another level, with the crowd imitating Dani’s scream in a kind of primal call and response. New keyboard player and vocalist Zoe Marie Federoff shows off her talents on Nymphetamine and has the crowd singing along lustily.
A Gothic Romance and Scorched Earth Erotica take Bristol back to being a frenzied madhouse culminating in a jumping, moshing crazy pit to set closer Us Dark Invincible.
An encore was inevitable, and the crowd was desperate to enjoy every second of it with a tidal wave of crowd surfers during Gilded Cunt and a final, sweaty outpouring of Metal joy to Her Ghost In The Fog.
Thirty-plus years in and Cradle Of Filth are still learning, growing and getting better. Metal doesn’t get much more impressive or Filthier even than this!
First out of the gate were French metallers Naraka. Their Death/Thrash Metal mix is full of headbanging friendly riffs, and the vocals are strong and forceful. They got plenty of heads nodding as the venue filled up, but it wasn’t really until the end of their set that they really started to connect with a crowd hungry for Metal. A promising start to the evening.
Next up were another French act, Alcest, pioneers of blackgaze, a genre also called post-black Metal, whatever that really means. They took the evening on a surreal left turn with the sort of chilled sound you wouldn’t expect in a Cradle Of Filth support. There were beautiful harmony vocals and melodic guitar touches, along with some Stoner Metal twists and turns.
There was little interaction with the crowd or clear delineations between songs which confused the photographers told to shoot the first three tunes only.
The long slow intros and outros pulled people in and left many of the audience looking for more, while others came across as a bit puzzled by it all. A band that can polarise an audience like this will probably develop a hard core fan base, so I suspect we’ll be hearing the name Alcest some more.