"Right Wing of the Garden Triptych" Released: 13 May 2015
"Blackest Magick in Practice" Released: 4 December 2015
Hammer of the Witches is the eleventh studio album by the English extreme metal band, Cradle of Filth. It was released on 10 July 2015 and is their first release under record label Nuclear Blast. Hammer of the Witches features the band's new line-up following the departure of Paul Allender and James McIlroy, which includes new guitarists Marek 'Ashok' Šmerda and Richard Shaw and new keyboardist and female vocalist Lindsay Schoolcraft.
Hammer Of The Witches is the first Cradle Of Filth album since 2000's Midian to not feature work from longtime guitarist Paul Allender. Work on the album began in early 2014, with frontman Dani emphasizing that the band planned on taking their time with it. In an interview in 2016, Lindsay Schoolcraft stated that she was pleased with the fan-response and that the band had actually finished work on the album quicker than they had expected to.
Vocalist Dani Filth stated: "The artwork for Hammer of the Witches was created by Latvian artist Arthur Berzinsh and is a lavish walk-through of the lyricism, drawing on rich renaissance themes and displaying them in beautiful-yet-unsettling scenarios. Half of the detailed pieces are totally original for the release, others are Berzinsh classics cunningly tailored to the themes of the album, which are themes rife with heady witchcraft, be it persecution, retribution or unfettered spiritual liberation. The female form is rampant throughout the artwork, unashamedly displayed in its classical rendition of beauty... and horror."
Hammer of the Witches has received a favourable response from critics, who appreciated its change in direction. It has also received a more positive fan response than previous releases in recent years such as The Manticore and Other Horrors and Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa, with many praising it as the band's best album since Nymphetamine.The Guardian called it "both a joyous nod towards past glories and a significant creative rebirth" and wrote "these are the most vital and incisive songs Dani Filth has conjured from the dark ether in a long time".AllMusic wrote "on their 11th studio album, this unholy horde, forever wrapped in corpse paint, leather, and spikes, look back more than they do forward. And that proves a good thing [...] Hammer of the Witches doesn't reach the heights of Dusk of Her Embrace [sic], but it does offer proof that there is plenty of fire and creativity left in Cradle of Filth."