Whichever way you slice it, Metal as a genre of music is, for the most part, over the top and very, very silly. Just look at Manowar or the brilliant and sadly missed Type O Negative. Cradle of Filth, and this mini album of cast offs from the Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa (see what I mean? Daft!) album sessions is every bit as mad as you might imagine.
It begins with a sort of schlocky B-Movie spoken word intro before all the dark and evil brutality begins. Thank Your Lucky Scars sees the drummer hitting things at a wholly unnecessary Animal-from-the-Muppets-on-crack pace over doomy riffs and the hideous noises that come out of Dani Filth's mouth. His range is quite good: you get dirty growls, creepy talking and this crazy squeal thing that would curdle your grandmother's blood from miles away. In terms of the notes he can hit, he is never going to give Steven Tyler a run for his money but that kind of thing isn't necessary in extreme metal. It is a bewildering track indeed!
Other highlights on show include a demo version of Forgive Me Father (I Have Sinned), easily one of the best Cradle Of Filth songs out there. The raw and stripped back mix of the demo actually adds to the song, giving it room to breathe instead of piling on needless layers of keyboards. The closing track, Summer Dying Fast, is right at the other end of the spectrum. It is an overblown keyboard led instrumental, but it is a treat in terms of all out creepy atmospherics.
This is, however, just a collection of outtakes and so suffers from being mostly filler. The extended Lilith Immaculate is not really necessary but I have no doubt that the hardcore fans will lap it up. Forgive Me Father (I'm In a Trance) is very much as it says on the tin, a remix that falls to the ultimate sin of having nothing but the vocals in common with the original song. The rest of the tracks are demo versions, which usually only appeal to a small section of a band's fan base.
Evermore Darkly, then, is every bit as silly as you might expect a Cradle of Filth release to be. It will probably gain them no new fans, but will no doubt go down well with the hardcore fan base, eager for some rarities to tide them over until the next album.