Words and Photos by Alicia Armijo

For those who fear their mortality or the possibility of hell—fear not. I entered the cemetery gates hand in hand with Cradle of Filth and reveled in every moment of it. Even on Easter weekend, this is where it all goes down.

As one of the first stops on their Cryptoriana World Tour, Cradle of Filth, Shattered Sun, and Uncured performed for a packed house last Saturday, March 31st, at Austin’s own Come and Take It Live. The show sold over 600 presale tickets when it was first announced; no metal head in their right mind was going to miss this splendid spectacle of the darkest goth-metal on offer.

Not knowing this, however, I was awestruck to see a line wrapping all the way around the parking lot before the first band (almost reaching another nearby large-scale venue, Emo’s). All of Austin’s dark metal fans, patiently waiting to find their way inside, were dressed to the nine’s in their favorite Cradle of Filth tees from the archives or in their most conspicuously morbid, yet fashionably antiquated attire. Unlike most metal shows that I have seen here in Texas, I was particularly pleased to find a more significant amount of ladies in the house than usual. Many of these stylish ladies—dressed in elegant headdresses, deer horns, and impressively, intricate makeup—really defined this fearsome crowd and theme of the night.

New-York based progressive metal outfit, Uncured, were an excellent combo to warm up the congregation. This head-banging, ponytail whipping quartet was incredibly effective in encouraging their smiling fans to form and throw themselves into the first mosh pit of the night in harmony with their aggressive, yet groovy music.

Following this impressive opener, Shattered Sun took a much darker tone to the stage. This Texas-based metalcore combo kept the energy in the room at an all-time high, raging with the crowd throughout their dimly lit set. The band did a hell of a job stepping in for Ukranian metalheads, Jinjer (who will be on board for the rest of the tour), and setting the stage for the act that the audience had all been waiting for.

As the lights faded and the orchestral concerto began, exuberant fans screamed and clapped in unison to the symphonic introduction for each member of Cradle of Filth. In a matter of minutes, this extreme metal band transformed the venue into their very own sinister celebration amongst the condemned in the greatest depths of Hades. There was not a fan or employee in the room that was not captivated by the shadowy theatrics before them. The band sustained a powerful and enchanting set, which blended a number of devilish hits from their past eleven, invigorating full-length studio albums with some particularly evil tracks from their latest (and perhaps greatest) LP, Cryptoriana — The Seductiveness of Decay.

Between these incredibly technically adept songs, frontman, Dani Filth, took a nice moment to express his gratitude to the heavy metal bands that had embarked on such an extensive tour with them, encouraging the crowd to “make some fucking noise” in appreciation. A death rattle ensued! As the show came to a close, Cradle of Filth left Austin ravenous for evermore darkness and Filth. Be sure to catch these dark metal giants on one of their many U.S. tour dates!


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