Originally written by Jason Jordan.
We have a lot to cover, so I’ll just get started. Cradle of Filth, on the whole, are both decent and divisive. I myself have heard their entire discography, and I must say that Dusk and Her Embrace, Cruelty and the Beast, and Midian reasonably impressed me while the other entries don’t fare as well. Peace Through Superior Firepower is the band’s second DVD, and is significantly weaker than its counterpart Heavy, Left-Handed and Candid. For those who must experience the group in a faux live setting, the latter will better suit your needs. Now it’s time to get all Chris Sessions on your ass by dividing the review into sections. Please keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times.
The concert portion is everything we’ve come to expect from these British exports as the set lasts upwards of an hour and half. Unlike Heavy, Left-Handed and Candid, which featured many of their greatest hits, Peace Through Superior Firepower selected from the B-list. Even though it’s been four years since their last visual oddity hit stores, Cradle of Filth have only released two studio albums since then: Damnation and a Day and Nymphetamine. A large chunk of the set is comprised of tunes from said records, and only “The Forest Whispers My Name” (Vempire), “Her Ghost in the Fog” (Midian), and “From the Cradle to Enslave” (From the Cradle to Enslave EP) are repeats. Still, because they don’t delve into their back catalog except for a couple dismissible numbers, adorers of that material will feel slighted. Like always, though, their releases demonstrate their abilities. However, the concert morphs into a fucking zoo once gargoyles, contortionists, and people on stilts start prancing around. I’ve never liked that aspect of their performances, nor have I accepted the indisputable fact that Dani and co. look ridiculous. Since Cradle of Filth have always been well-funded – especially now with their newfound home being Roadrunner Records – the production and cinematography are top-notch.
Ironically, the most entertaining parts of Peace Through Superior Firepower aren’t related to CoF’s music. “Postcards from Vulgaria – A Shockumentary” showcases the token studio antics, gross undertakings, and miscellaneous tomfoolery that all bands are known for. While not entirely relevant, the footage serves to underpin a collection in need of further support. Nevertheless, you’ve seen this before, and the general ideas can be found on their previous DVD.
Extra Rounds: Video Propaganda
Like the title implies, this section houses all the videos Cradle of Filth have cut since Midian’s release in 2000. There are six total, though none of them are extraordinary. In spite of this, perhaps “Babalon A.D. (So Glad for the Madness)” is notable due to its unexpected quirkiness; I never dreamed I’d see a janitor watching people, running in their underwear, from behind a camera. Surely it’s more gratifying than the obligatory just-the-band-playing-and-looking-mean-and-angry video. Not too much to see here, unless you happened to miss all of these tracks when they debuted in visual form.
About the same as every other Cradle of Filth outing: the artwork recalls Nymphetamine, for the most part, while the liner notes consist of the usual overblown prose. On the back of the case, Dom Lawson (Kerrang!) claims that they’re “The single most important metal band since the glory days of Maiden and Priest.” Not quite, sir. Bam Margera, who also makes a cameo in the “shockumentary,” says “If you don’t love this band then you don’t know shit about fuck.” Eloquently spoken, if I do say so myself. Hence, the proclamations aren’t exactly believable or reliable.
Heavy, Left-Handed and Candid is superior. If you must own a Cradle of Filth DVD, make sure it’s the former. Peace Through Superior Firepower seems more like a supplement, rather than a standalone disc, therefore proceed with caution. Unfortunately, the more I see/hear/read of this quintet trouncing about, the more distaste I have for them. Lets just pray they age gracefully in the years to come.