Cradle of Filth - Cruelty & The Beast

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A 1998 concept album based around the bloody legend of the murderous Hungarian countess Elizabeth Bathory, 'Cruelty and the Beast' finds the English black-metal act Cradle of Filth indulging in a wagnerian symphonic sound. While some of Cruelty's tracks stick to a more straightforward metal aesthetic (see the demonic, driving "Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids"), "Desire In Violent Overture" and the sweeping "Bathory Aria" embody frontman Dani Filth's vision of a more grandiose depiction of narrative horror. Subsequent outings would see the goth-leaning ensemble reaching a wider audience, but Beast stands out as one of Cradle of Filth's most ambitious and impressive achievements