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Aka The Cradle of Filth Contractual Obligation E.P., 'Vempire' was the band's second official release, and not so much a bridge between full-length albums as an instantaneous leap into the definitive Cradle of Filth sound after a somewhat shaky start.
The production job here is much better, and lives up to the band's ambitions. Nicholas Barker's drums are slap-happy rather than stilted, Stuart Anstis' great lead guitar work resonates around and Damien Gregori's keyboards (perhaps not his real name) enhance the gothic atmosphere incredibly. Rounding off the release is female vocalist Lady Jezebel Deva in her first of many appearances, making songs such as the epic centrepiece 'Queen of Winter, Throned' essential staples of any Cradle of Filth collection, or at least more worthwhile than anything the band did after the year 2000.
Although billed as an E.P., and boasting only six tracks, this is still viable as a full-length album due to its near-forty-minute duration. 'Ebony Dressed for Sunset' is a fast and simplistic opener that nevertheless features some great riffs, 'The Forest Whispers My Name' is a slightly superior but mostly loyal re-make of the song from the previous album, 'She Mourns a Lengthening Shadow' is Damien's time to shine with a gothic keyboard interlude, and neither 'Nocturnal Supremacy' nor 'The Rape and Ruin of Angels' remain particularly distinctive or memorable in the band's canon. With a couple of extra songs, this could have been an early classic.
1. Ebony Dressed for Sunset
2. The Forest Whispers My Name
3. Queen of Winter, Throned
4. Nocturnal Supremacy
5. She Mourns a Lengthening Shadow
6. The Rape and Ruin of Angels (Hosannas in Extremis)
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Ebony Dressed For Sunset
2 Forest Whispers My Name
3 Queen Of Winter
5 Nocturnal Supremacy
6 She Mourns A Lengthening Shadow
7 Rape And The Ruin Of Angels