Black metal is, by its very nature, a confronting and unforgiving genre. Because of this, most people who enjoy it find their way there via a long journey through increasingly extreme subgenres. But there are very few bands who could be considered โ€˜gatewayโ€™ black metal bands.

Cradle of Filth, however, are a unique band who are exactly that – a gateway black metal band.

They possibly couldnโ€™t even be described as black metal anymore. They started out as such, but over the years have developed an increasingly more polished sound which these days approximates something closer to extreme gothic metal.

But, for those of green ears, the differences are negligible. The vocals are raspy and the melodies sinister. This is a perfect entry point for someone prepared to explore the more extreme.

While the bandโ€™s visual style could perhaps be compared to various shock acts, musically there is far more substance here than shallow shock value. Vocalist Dani Filthโ€™s lyrics are poetic and complex, and the occasional injection of female clean vocals as a contrast often amplify the beauty of the lyrics.

Cradle of Filth have enjoyed a remarkable level of mainstream success for such a harsh sound, which further demonstrates their importance and value in the extreme metal landscape.