The pandemic has tested our abilities to find solutions for endless challenges. Bands from all over the globe found creative ways to connect with their listeners, from making quarantine videos, hosting Livestream events, and using new live Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch feeds. And for 2021, some managed to return to the road and complete a tour after such an extended absence. UK’s extreme metal masters, Cradle of Filth, have consistently gone into this pandemic head first, fearless from the obstacles. What was supposed to be a Halloween extravaganza turned into horror during the springtime. A Livestream held at St Mary’s Art Centre in Colchester, England, marked the band’s return to the stage in nearly two years as they welcomed their newest member, Annabelle, earlier this year in May.
An event consisting of a setlist packed full of fan-favorites and the return of “Mannequin” for the first time in a decade. Little did the COF fans know, that was just the beginning for these giants. Not only did they release their new album, Existence is Futile (made it to one of our year-end lists), the group surprised us with their North American Fall Tour. While the trek hit some COVID-related obstacles, the run turned into an evening with Cradle of Filth, as fans were reunited with the 1998 classic, Cruelty and the Beast in full. Additionally, the group surprised and amazed the audience by performing the Iron Maiden cover “Hallowed Be Thy Name.” It was a treat for veteran fans, something unexpected when their new album was just around the corner.
Following their tour across the United States, the band’s overall thirteenth full-length effort, Existence Is Futile, finally arrived. The record was just another added surprise as it surpassed all expectations. The follow-up to 2017’s Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay sees the return of classic COF, a hint of Dusk…And Her Embrace, and more, while still sounding fresh.
Despite all obstacles, Cradle of Filth have pushed through it all, proving that Existence is, indeed, Futile. They’ve given us hope in 2021 as we look forward to 2022, with a bit of caution.