Hard, yet with unexpected elements like bells, whispers, and chanting, this is one goth-metal band that knows how to inspire the exact creepy and heavy feeling they intend. Choosing the top ten best Cradle of Filth songs of all time was a tough task. Every song in their twelve-studio album collection is worth listening to. If you’re looking for something dark, evocative, and surprising, this is the playlist you need.
10. Bathory Aria
Probably the most underrated song in the incredible discography of Cradle of Filth is Bathory Aria. At a shocking eleven minutes in length, this is not one of those fast-food-esque pop songs with a catchy tune. The opening vocals draw you in with a sibilant whisper and hold you for this lengthy yet bloody homage to the legend of Elizabeth Bathory, the Countess of Blood. According to Cradle of Filth themselves, the entire Cruelty and the Beast album was inspired by the famed murderess.
9. The Forest Whispers My Name
One of the best-known early Cradle of Filth songs is The Forest Whispers My Name. A sense of longing and dark magic draw you into the depths of this pagan revelry. You could call this a love song for a magician. Images of candles and invocations, mystic lovers, and dark moonlit nights are a big part of the appeal of CoF.
8. Lillith Immaculate
You can’t do Cradle of Filth without a religious-inspired blasphemy. Lillith was the original fallen woman, and this is an ode to her. The power of a man who wouldn’t follow the rules is undeniable. Likewise, the seductive draw of taboo and vice makes a fantastic dark anthem.
7. The Death of Love
There are many forms of betrayal. The betrayal of faith is a keen and unique sting and one which was felt most keenly by Joan of Arc. A story of lost love is common, but when a saint begins to question the love of the divine, it is on a different level. The video shows a dark interpretation of Joan’s final experiences.
6. Funeral in Carpathia
Every goth band needs a truly great song about a vampire, and for Cradle of Filth, the aptly named Funeral in Carpathia is that song. The opening screech immediately drags you into the world of monsters before the lyrics even begin. Full of sex and death and mystic elements inspired by the classic Dracula myth, this is a song of longing and seduction.
5. Hallowed Be Thy Name
At the beginning of this song, the church bells are absolutely gorgeous and bring a unique weight and appeal to the sound. Ultimately, their use is very apropos for a song called Hallowed Be Thy Name. Cradle of Filth has done quite a few songs with religious undertones, but this one is number five on our list because it’s one of their best. If you haven’t heard the song before, the name might bring a church to mind, but this is a song about murder or what happens after you get caught committing some truly heinous crime. Hallowed Be Thy Name is a song from the perspective of someone heading to the gallows to be hung.
There are plenty of depressing and horrifying subjects for gothic-inspired songs. However, there is no horror quite as awful as the death of a child. Nemesis is about taking your rage out on the world after losing a daughter. Taking up violence against the world that stole something precious, the voice in this song isn’t seeking justice but rather a place to vent all his pain and sorrow. Everyone who has ever been angry knows how it feels to want to vent their spleen on everyone and everything you see. Nemesis is about becoming the monster you see in the world.
3. Born in a Burial Gown
Born in a Burial Gown is the story of a woman of great beauty. Sought after but mistreated and done very wrong, she eventually has enough. Instead of putting up with her victimhood, she seeks to trade her role from prey to predator. Using her good looks and corrupt heart, she turns the tide in her favor. Whether she became a huntress before or after death is somewhat questionable, but she definitely gives us those vampire feels.
2. Nymphetamine Fix
Some love songs are all about how light and fluffy it makes people feel. These tunes are breezy and hopeful and everything that Nymphetamine Fix is not. Addictive, unhealthy love will drag you down, possibly all the way to death, if you’re not careful. Sadly, love doesn’t make you careful. It just leaves you wanting more and more, like this song. Self-harm and unhappy endings are par for the course when love sours and leaves, and Cradle of Filth portrays that feeling perfectly.
1. Her Ghost in the Fog
Arguably, Cradle of Filth’s most well-known song, Her Ghost in the Fog, combines ethereal lyrics with the heavy, dark sound we know and love. As ghost stories go, this one is everything you’d expect from a band with ‘filth’ in the name. The video is also stunning, filled with mist and visceral imagery that tells the story of a woman who was violated and left for dead and the man who loves her after she is long gone.
Goth metal is a genre filled with mournful and angry tales. Dark ghost stories and darker love songs remind us of scary movies and all things that go bump in the night. Cradle of Filth has carved out a perfect niche and holds sway over fans with their screaming, enticing, eclectic sound. The costumes and imagery in CoF videos are everything you could ask for and more for a Halloween and horrors all-year lifestyle. Before pre-ordering the latest album, Existence is Futile, make sure you listen to this top ten list to get into the spooky mood.