Cruelty and the Beast

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Cruelty and the Beast
Cradle of Filth - Cruelty and the Beast.albumcover.jpg
Studio album by
Released5 May 1998
RecordedDEP International Studios/Abattoir Studios, Birmingham, England, January–March 1998
GenreExtreme metal
LabelMusic for Nations (Europe)
Mayhem (US)
ProducerJan Peter Genkel and Cradle of Filth
Cradle of Filth chronology
Dusk... and Her Embrace
Cruelty and the Beast
From the Cradle to Enslave
Singles from Cruelty and the Beast
  1. "Twisted Nails of Faith"
    Released: 1998
Alternative covers
Celtic Cross edition
Celtic Cross edition
Alternative cover
Koch Records' 2001 two-disc edition
Koch Records' 2001 two-disc edition

Cruelty and the Beast is the third studio album by English extreme metal band Cradle of Filth. It was released on 5 May 1998 by record label Music for Nations.


Cruelty and the Beast is a concept album based on the legend of the Hungarian "blood countess" Elizabeth Báthory. The album features guest narration on certain passages by Ingrid Pitt in-character as Báthory, a role she first played in the Hammer film Countess Dracula in 1971.

Recording and production[edit]

This was the last Cradle of Filth full-length album to feature guitarist and songwriter Stuart Anstis, keyboardist Lecter and drummer Nicholas Barker.

The production and mixing for Cruelty and the Beast has attracted some criticism, particularly for the sound quality of the drumming.[1] Sarah Jezebel Deva revealed on the band's official messageboards: "[The production is] absolute rubbish. I remember when I first heard it — Dani played it — I walked out with tears in my eyes. I had spent twenty-five hours working in the studio on that album and it sounded like I had my head in a toilet [...] most of my vocals you couldn't hear."[2] After walking out of the room after Dani played it to her, she claimed to have bumped into drummer Nicholas Barker, who also expressed his dissatisfaction.[2]

A completely remixed and remastered re-release of the album has been confirmed for its 20th anniversary in late 2018. The only bonus track to feature will be the cover of "Hallowed Be Thy Name".[3]


Released on 5 May 1998 by record label Music for Nations, Cruelty and the Beast reached number 48 in the UK Albums Chart.[4]

The album was reissued in a two-disc Special Edition by Koch in 2001 and by The End in 2012.[5]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[6]
Chronicles of Chaos8/10[1]

The album ranked tenth in Kerrang!'s list of the top ten "essential black metal" albums in 2000.[7]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Dani Filth; all music composed by Cradle of Filth (Filth, Stuart Anstis, Gian Pyres, Robin Eaglestone, Les Smith and Nicholas Barker).

1."Once Upon Atrocity" (instrumental)1:43
2."Thirteen Autumns and a Widow"7:14
3."Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids"7:18
4."Beneath the Howling Stars"7:42
5."Venus in Fear" (instrumental)2:20
6."Desire in Violent Overture"4:16
7."The Twisted Nails of Faith"6:50
8."Bathory Aria"
  1. "Benighted Like Usher"
  2. "A Murder of Ravens in Fugue"
  3. "Eyes That Witnessed Madness"
9."Portrait of the Dead Countess" (instrumental)2:52
10."Lustmord and Wargasm (The Lick of Carnivorous Winds)"7:30


Cradle of Filth
Guest/session musicians
  • Danielle Cneajna Cottington – backing vocals
  • Ingrid Pitt – Lady Bathory's narration on "The Twisted Nails of Faith" and Bathory Aria's "Eyes That Witnessed Madness"
  • Jan Peter Genkel – producer
  • Dan Spriggs – engineer
  • Mike Exeter – Production and additional engineering
  • Mark Harwood – orchestral recordings at Springvale Studios, Ipswich
  • Stu Williamson – sleeve photography


Year Chart Position
1998 Finnish Albums Chart 13[8]
Austrian Albums Chart 24[9]
French Albums Chart 34[10]
GfK Dutch Chart 37[11]
German Albums Chart 47[12]
UK Albums Chart 48[4]


  1. ^ a b Azevedo, Pedro (6 July 1998). "CoC : Cradle of Filth – Cruelty and the Beast : Review". Chronicles of Chaos. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  2. ^ a b Jezebel Diva, Sarah. "Cruelty and the Beast special edition in To Eve the Art of Witchcraft Forum". Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b "Cradle of Filth | Full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Official Charts. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  5. ^ Woodley, Laura (20 June 2012). "Cradle of Filth to Release Eight Album Reissues – Cradle of Filth". Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  6. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Cruelty and the Beast – Cradle of Filth : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  7. ^ "! Page 2". Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  8. ^ "Cradle of Filth - Cruelty and the Beast (album)". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  9. ^ "Cradle of Filth - Cruelty and the Beast (album)". (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  10. ^ "Cradle of Filth - Cruelty and the Beast (album)". (in French). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  11. ^ "Cradle of Filth - Cruelty and the Beast (album)". GfK Dutch Charts (in Dutch). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  12. ^ "Album – Cradle of Filth, Cruelty and the Beast". (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 26 April 2014.

External links[edit]