Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa is a concept album in the same vein as its predecessor Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder, this time centering on the demon Lilith, the first wife of the biblical Adam.Dani Filth revealed to Metal Hammer in September 2010 that it would be a "feminine" companion piece to Godspeed, "which was a very masculine album, obviously due to its protagonist, Gilles De Rais." Unlike previous historically-based concept albums Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder and Cruelty and the Beast, Darkly, Darkly tells an original story. "It's about the resurgence of Lilith into modern society as a deity," Filth said. "There's a bit of Victoriana in there. Essentially, at heart, it's a nice gothic horror story." Reference to Greek mythology and the Knights Templar is also made, in what was referred to by the label as "a dark tapestry of horror, madness and twisted sex". At an early stage of the album's development in August 2009, Filth hinted that the album's sound was "creepily melodic, like Mercyful Fate or a dark Iron Maiden". The Metal Hammer interview also likened it to King Diamond.
The core album is the band's first to not feature any instrumental tracks. The special edition bonus track "Adest Rosa Secreta Eros" is arguably an instrumental, but features extensive narrative excerpts taken from Aleister Crowley's The Book of the Law.
On 20 August 2010, a free mp3 of the track "Lilith Immaculate" was released by the band as reward for signing up for a mailing list following the album's development. On 29 September 2010 Cradle of Filth released the first official video of the album for the track "Forgive Me Father (I Have Sinned)".
The album received mainly good reviews. Thom Jurek at Allmusic said that it "is tightly focused, employing COF's trademark orchestral and keyboard elements to fine effect, with wildly intense... blastbeats from Marthus Skaroupka, and screaming guitars... courtesy of Paul Allender and James McEllroy. The concentration on writing and arrangement is disciplined, with a strong set of dynamics, a terrific mix, and great production". Pete Withers at Rock Sound rated it 9 out of 10 and said "Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa displays a masterful control over the multi-faceted Cradle of Filth sound; brutal vocal gymnastics, skull-rattling double-kicks, symphonic flourishes, dramatic narrative and balls-out axe-slinging all make their presence known, but in a manner which routinely serves to bolster the coherency of the greater whole".Joel McIver of the British music magazine Record Collector in his positive review finds that the atmosphere of the album "is one of refined sophistication rather than confrontation", showing the band not "resting on their laurels", but "taking some unexpected musical diversions".