It goes without saying that Cradle of Filth are not only one of the biggest exports in regards to UK alternative metal, but they’re one of the biggest names in extreme metal period. Though while front-man Dani Filth has been the iconic, corpse-paint clad constant for the band, over the years they’ve gone through more members than a Premier League football club. One of those squad members, Lindsay Schoolcraft, the Canadian singer/multi-instrumentalist is preparing to climb out of the cradle and release her debut solo album entitled Martyr, but the question is, will Schoolcraft get the grade she’s looking for?
The album begins with ‘Saviour’ and it’s safe to say we get the gist of this record very early on. From the delicate piano-led introductory notes leading into the crunching, almost nu-metal style riffs, coupled with Lindsay’s clean, harmonious vocal, it makes all of the sense that this album was co-written by Rocky Gray, formerly of Evanescence. The combination of hard rock and heartfelt vocals would easily appease fans of the aforementioned, as well as the likes of early Lacuna Coil.
While the album doesn’t often stray far from its apparent formula, there are some wonderful highlights here to point out, with ‘Blood From A Stone’ a particular standout. The chilling piano ballad is all things goth and embraces atmospherics over an audible assault for a truly beautiful piece of music. Its quaint simplicity is mesmerising. ‘See The Light’ does the old switcheroo, delivering more metal-inspired instrumentation, with the general tone of the track being reinforced by the death growls of Xenoyr (Ne Obliviscaris), the contrast here adding depth of character, allowing for some appreciated diversity. The album closes with ‘Lullaby’, the 1989 classic by The Cure, here given a fresh lease of life by means of intensified guitars and heavier production; though it loses none of its original chilling charm.
While the album overall is an enjoyable one (there is plenty to appreciate on this debut it has to be said) it’s clear that while showing glimpses of gothic grandeur, vocally she isn’t quite yet on par with her peers so to speak. Martyr is a quality alternative goth album from start to finish but there are parts where her vocals are just a touch one-dimensional. That said, this is easily a B+ solid debut.
Martyr is out 9th October and will be soon be available here.
Words: Gavin Griffiths