The band has broken free from itsoriginal niche by courting mainstream publicity (often to the chagrin of its early fanbase), giving the band a "commercial" image. This increased accessibility has brought coverage from the likes of Kerrang! and MTV, along with frequent main stage appearances at major festivals such as Ozzfest, Download and even the mainstream Sziget Festival. They have sometimes been perceived as Satanic by casualobservers, even though their outright lyrical references to Satanism are few and far between; their use of Satanic imagery has arguably always been more for shock value rather than any seriously held beliefs.
To date, Cradle of Filth have released eleven studio albums, with a twelfth currently in production.
Cradle of Filth's first three years saw three demos (Invoking the Unclean, OrgiasticPleasures Foul and Total Fucking Darkness) recorded amidst the sort of rapid line-up fluctuations that have continued ever since, with the band having more than twenty musicians in its history. An album entitled Goetia was recorded prior to the third demo and set for release on Tombstone Records, but all tracks were wiped when Tombstone went out of business and could not afford to buy the recordingsfrom the studio. The band eventually signed to Cacophonous Records, and their debut album, The Principle of Evil Made Flesh, was Cacophonous's first release in 1994. A step-up in terms of production from the rehearsal quality of most of their demos, the album was still nevertheless a sparse and embryonic version of what was to come, with lead singer Dani Filth's vocals in particular bearinglittle similarity to the style he was later to develop. The album was well-received however, and as recently as June 2006 found its way into Metal Hammer's list of the top ten black metal albums of the last twenty years.
Cradle's relationship with Cacophonous soon soured; the band accusing the label of contractual and financial mismanagement. Acrimonious legalproceedings took up most of 1995, and the band finally signed to Music for Nations in 1996 after only one more contractually obligated Cacophonous recording: the EP V Empire (Or Dark Faerytales in Phallustein), which, it has since been conceded, was hastily written as a Cacophonous escape-plan. Despite the circumstances of its release however, its handful of tracks are staples of the band'slive sets to this day, and "Queen of Winter, Throned" was listed among twenty-five "essential extreme metal anthems" in a 2006 issue of Kerrang! magazine. The EP also marked Sarah Jezebel Deva's debut with the band, replacing Andrea Meyer, Cradle's first female vocalist and self-styled "satanic advisor". Deva appeared on every subsequent Cradle release and tour until 2010's Darkly, Darkly,Venus Aversa, but was never considered a full band member, since she also performed with The Kovenant, Therion and Mortiis, and fronted her own Angtoria project along with Cradle's former bass guitar player, Dave Pybus.
Dusk... and Her Embrace followed the same year: a critically acclaimed breakthrough album that greatly expanded the band's fan-base throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Aconcept album of sorts based generally on vampirism and specifically (though loosely) on the writing of Sheridan Le Fanu, Cradle's inaugural album for Music for Nations set the tone for what was to follow. The album's production values matched the band's ambition for the first time, whilst Dani's vocal gymnastics were at their most extreme.
The increasingly theatrical stage shows of the 1997...