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The Cradle Effect

The Cradle Effect
March 18, 2005, 02:49:32 AM
The Cradle Effect
By Pratik Kamat

It was once a bastion of the elite, for a privileged few. If you knew, you knew, otherwise forget about it. The secret handshake, the hooded cape, the long hair, the cross and the torch were all part of the attire. In groups they set out to burn, to destroy, to annihilate that, which was wrong for some 2000 years, and to create a new order; their methods extreme, but desperate times call for desperate measures. They were looked down upon, ‘that’ group in which no one wanted to be, some said. And how ‘some’ were wrong…

Somewhere down the line someone realised that, wait — this could be a money spinning venture — brain-dead teens with lots of free time and money are a prized catch indeed. It’s like the town slut, if you don’t, then someone else will, then why not you? But wait. Some things had to be cleared up first. Grishnackh? Check. Burning church? Check. The cross? Keep the cross, looks cool, man! Remove all the checked items; add some naked girls, garish make-up, and gore, finally garnish with brain-numbing special effects; and voila we have some pseudo-blasphemic gruel that we’re gonna force down the throat of pimply teenagers worldwide, while slyly becoming millionaires. The corporate world is so intelligent, ain’t it?

It was the mid-nineties; the Bay Area brigade had run out of steam, David Coverdale and Vince Neil were content to live off the royalty cheques, everybody knew Schuldiner would never make it big, Halford turned out to be gay and the grunge bubble had just burst following the death of Mr Cobain. The ‘big three’ realised that a new revolution had to be created (sorry to break your bubble Ms Naïveté, revolutions in music are manufactured, they do not ‘occur’). Someone was required who could con millions of fools to part with their dad’s hard earned money by buying a worthless piece of plastic disc, that was as intelligent as the ones buying it.

Enter an unlikely hero. Four-and-a-half feet tall Daniel Davey from scummy Ipswich, turned out to be some kind of a savage messiah to the millions of imbeciles, who, till this day, hang on to Dani’s every word, the same way they did with Cobain (but that’s another story) and indeed will do for many to come. And amidst the in-store signings, million dollar budget videos and the gazillion-piece orchestras, the simplistic and sparse articulations of say a Varg Vikerns, Ihashn or Tom Warrior was lost.

As blasphemous as it may seem, I do admire Dani, for he is a man with remarkable intelligence. We all know that sex has been used to sell everything from submarine sandwiches to nuclear submarines, but bringing in sex to sell, of all things, black metal? Sheer stroke of genius, I must say. By making videos that seem to be a recording of a perverted 13 year old’s wet dream, much like our sleazy remix videos, Cradle of Filth have ensured that the core CD-buying demographic, i.e. the white suburban male teen, would be able to satisfy his ‘basic’ need of porn and music at the same time, hence buying that rare limited edition re-issue digipack of all of Cradle’s uncensored videos did make a lot of sense. (Business sense, that is.)

So that takes us to the root question — what is the Cradle Effect? Well to put it simply it’s the mainstream-isation of extreme metal. It’s about how screeching vocals and a good advertising campaign added to a bastardised form of ‘80s glam can become a mass assembly-line product that everyone will like instantly. And it is not restricted to one band / genre alone, as very soon everybody realised that increasing pop-rock elements in one’s music was the holy grail of achieving mult-platinum success; a feat no extreme band had been able to achieve till then.

The Cradle Effect is how everybody from that lonely compulsive masturbator down the street to the Lincoln Biscuit fan next door have jumped onto the black metal bandwagon to proudly exclaim “Yippitee yee aie yo, look ma, an inverted cross.” The Cradle Effect is how they have been able to convince the world that black metal is for everyone, as it is just music; and about having a good time in a S&M club; there is no ideology or belief system involved anywhere. It’s about how you can call yourself a black metal fan even if the words ‘Hys Lvsett Tar Oss’ or ‘Aske’ do not mean anything to you. But most importantly, it’s about destroying the one thing that made black metal different from hundreds of similar sounding myriad genres of rock; elitism. It was once special because it was not for everyone, and once that thing was destroyed, so was the genre itself.

Not that this bastardisation is confined to one band / genre; the disease has spread to other genres as well. As soon as it became crystal clear that money can be made from extreme metal, everybody from post-’Stormblåst’ [1996] Dimmu Borgir to later day Amorphis created albums that are nothing but watered-down versions of what they sounded like when they had some integrity. Although it must be said that at least Dimmu are listenable, but Amorphis never made another album which sounded like ‘Tales From the Thousand Lakes’ [1994] (my personal favourite) and for this reason they should not be forgiven. Also, growling vocals have been completely deleted from the Amorphis stable. But far worse is the case of Theatre of tragedy, whose music went from being erotic, melodic Goth to some kind of DJ produced sonic nightmare, so bad are they now that I shudder to even say that I once liked them. Later day Slayer could well be called ‘Slower’ and Metallica — well, that’s just nu-metal now-a-days.

So is CoF responsible for the degeneration of the entire extreme metal scene? No, but they were one of the first ‘extreme’ metal acts to become mainstream commercial acts, and pioneered the excessive merchandising and commercialisation of black-metal, the same way KISS did to heavy metal years ago; and hence can be a used as a metaphor for al that has gone wrong.

The conclusion is quite simple — you can make lots of money out of metal, provided you strip the very ideologies that are inherent to the genre; and are able to create a ‘product’ that looks like metal, but is nothing more than pop cloaked as metal. So contact them remix video girls, dress them in leather and chains, make a ‘black metal’ video, t-shirts, mugs, caps etc, and yeah if you have some time left then make some music too. Don’t know to play the guitar? No problemo, Fruity Loops v3.0 will do that for you. Can’t sing? Then Sound Forge v7.0 is just waiting for you. Yeah, don’t forget to get a good hair-dresser, PR agent and an image consultant. There is a fortune waiting for you out there, but you are still wasting hours practising them Emperor chords. Silly you.

http://www.infinitymag.com/webzine/130/the-cradle-effect

Re: The Cradle Effect
March 21, 2005, 01:51:13 PM
As years go on, more and more people get  greedy which usually deteriorates the music and i hope that  people realize that or just they're just  fucking norms.  ;D

Re: The Cradle Effect
April 09, 2005, 06:36:21 AM
Hello,

   I am new to this forum, and metal in general really. I started looking for metal music because it intrigues me like no other style has. It has both an interesting history and a wide variety of styles, for me there is little else that comes close to the emotional "tug" that metal can produce for someone that appreciates it.  I was raised by a well meaning but strict and Christian set of parents who saw most muisic and literature as a threat to their way of life. So it wasn't until about the age of 15 or so, after I had moved in somewhere else, that I was free to listen to whatever I wanted. I live in the Western United States, and there's not alot going on musically where I live. So I gravitated to what I could find, mostly things on the radio or what other kids at school had to lend out. I remember the first things I started listening to were bands like Marilyn Manson and The Smashing Pumpkins, Slipknot and Korn. That's what was there. And at first I was very happy  with this music. Definately not the gospel music I had grown up with.
      Eventually it wasn't enough though, I needed to find something darker, and heavier. More deep and meaningful. But again I had no idea who to ask or where to look. All I had was the radio and some friends at school, which of course left me with nu-metal. The slow alterna-rock bastard child I have  come to be so dissapointed with. But it was there when I needed it. It was something at least.
     Anyway, a friend of mine took me out to watch these kids play in a shed somewhere out in the desert outside our poor town. And it was real metal. I could hardly believe how fast it was, how precise. I had recently started plucking around on a base guitar, and I wished so badly to be half that quick or creative. Lightening fast melodies, tear jerking dual leads, heart stopping drum beats. And I knew I had found what I wanted.
    I talked to the guitarist for a while after they had practiced. I asked him what he listened to, and he had a whole card board box full of tapes with bands I had never heard of, music I could hardly comprehend. I told him what I was listening to and kinda just got a blank stare. I went out there a few more times maybe, but it seems like ages ago now. The point is I learned that somewhere beyond our small and lonely home, there was more metal to discover.
      Sometime later I am sitting with my friend in his car (this is maybe 4 years ago roughly)  and he is all excited to show me this new CD he special ordered from some site in Europe. It was Cradle of Filth: Cruelty and the Beast.  It was completely foreign to anything I had ever heard in my life. I couldn't stand the screeching vocals, or the blast beats. I had never heard the style before so I was unprepared for trying to pick out all the instruments  and pure screaming in music was definately new to me. He asked if I liked it and I just sort of smiled and nodded.
         After absorbing some older metal like Iron Maiden and early Metallica It put things in perspective a little bit and I went back and gave Cradle another listen. I absolutely loved it and they quickly became my favorite band. Now I am out on my own and married. I bought myself a decent connection to the internet and once again set out to find the next level. Anus.com was one of the first things I came across and I liked it because it gave a clear cut definition of each type of metal which was something that had always mystified me since so much of this is before my time. I figured if I searched for Cradle of Filth I might find something similair I could check out.
        But I soon leanred that the internet is used for maybe 3 things. Pornography being the number one spot, purchasing products and news being second, and arguing and criticizing taking up the rest. Instead of finding useful information and constructive debate, just about every metal site I have visited has brought me to the same stark conclusion. That metal has succombed like every other style of music to petty squables over who is more pure and original. It doesn't matter if its punk, goth, emo, metal, or hip hop, what you end up with is a group of "elites" (to use your own words) who sit around and bitch about how boring "normal" people stole their cool and private genre and made  money with it, or made it "pop."
         I see this constantly wherever I go. Be it school or the internet. Now, in order for something to be a sell out like Daniel Davey for instance, we have to know what exactly is being ripped off right? So you start off talking about these elite and privalaged few. Who apparently like to run around in capes with torches? That's rediculous. But not nearly as rediculous as stating that some seedy corporate moguls decided to appoint Daniel  to overthrow this precious elite brotherhood of (people with capes and torches!?) in an orgy of capitalistic imitation. Please. This is so dramatic its sad.  If these people are so elite why do they care about "millions of imbecils." Seriously, why make such a big deal about pricey videos and naked women? Your so elite you don't care remember!? Your too busy burning churches and eating babies to worry that Dani Filth is making money. By even displaying the slightest bit of angst over Cradle of Filth or Dimmu Bogir or whoever you are becoming apart of what you claim to hate so much. If you were really elite you would not have even noticed these "poseurs." Instead you would have gone back to your underground cave to listen to your true and pure black metal where suburban white kids can't ruin it for you.
     You could have just as easily said,"Well, instead of Cradle, maybe listen to this band, I think it is better because ect ect. THAT would have been helpful. Instead all I find is bullshit.  Somewhere there is someone crying about how Blink182 ruined punk and now all these little kids think they are punk because they listen to it. And somewhere there is a mopey goth kid crying because all these normal kids think Nine Inch Nails is industrial and have no idea who Skinny Puppy is. See what I am getting at here? Everyone is so goddamn arrogant that they think THEIR music is so special and anything that descends from it is a rip off.
    What you fail to understand is that there is a whole new generation of metal heads out there who have never heard of Burzam or any of that stuff. Instead of trying to educate you redicule. There are others like my who would just like to learn about metal and hear new bands. AND WE DONT LIVE IN SCANDINAVIA AND WE ARE NOT COOL AND ELITE LIKE YOU.  Cradle of Filth is just what came down the pipeline. I listened to it for what it is instead of putting it in some unfair context. I like Dimmu Borgir too and will continue to purchase and support these sorts of bands. Maybe I could find some real black metal but all the elite people keep it for themselves. Too bad.

Re: The Cradle Effect
April 09, 2005, 08:41:45 PM
The sites in conjunction with this one serve foremostly to educate. Please see the many wonderful exhibits and informative articles before you criticize; you'll be pleasantly surprised at the wealth and quality of information, and how unique they are compared to the rest of what's out there on the web.  ;)

Re: The Cradle Effect
April 09, 2005, 11:41:37 PM
Cradle of Filth, post-1996 Dimmu Borgir, Korn, etc. are not black metal.

Black metal reviews: http://anus.com/metal/about/black_metal/

Metal opinions: http://anus.com/metal/about/metal/index.html

The "elite" music is out there, nobody is preventing you from reading forums, clicking on web links, etc.

In fact: http://www.neoclassicalmusic.org - visit this website in order to access the hub on DC++ so you can download some quality black metal.

Keep in mind this site takes a "best only" approach to art, so there's no point in continuing here if you're not prepared to be discerning.

Re: The Cradle Effect
April 13, 2005, 03:03:29 PM
Quote
But most importantly, it’s about destroying the one thing that made black metal different from hundreds of similar sounding myriad genres of rock; elitism. It was once special because it was not for everyone, and once that thing was destroyed, so was the genre itself.

This article makes it sound like Black Metal was the only thing that was "special" in music. It also makes it sound like it was only about being better (or elite) and different than everyone else. If being "Anti"(fill in the blank) is the basis of black metal, no wonder it is so popular with the white suburban males, and no wonder the genre is so easily manipulated. By that logic black metal to the author of this article is just about rejecting the world, and only the kids who jumped on the wagon first get to hang out with eachother and have their own little scene and be revered for being so original. Oh wait, they don't want acceptance, only with eachother, the "elite". I really would like to think that black metal was/is about more than pissing off the world, and being in an exclusive club that only a handful of kids can be a part of. This isn't "No girls allowed" metal.
Quote
Not that this bastardisation is confined to one band / genre; the disease has spread to other genres as well. As soon as it became crystal clear that money can be made from extreme metal, everybody from post-’Stormblåst’ [1996] Dimmu Borgir to later day Amorphis created albums that are nothing but watered-down versions of what they sounded like when they had some integrity. Although it must be said that at least Dimmu are listenable, but Amorphis never made another album which sounded like ‘Tales From the Thousand Lakes’ [1994] (my personal favourite) and for this reason they should not be forgiven. Also, growling vocals have been completely deleted from the Amorphis stable. But far worse is the case of Theatre of tragedy, whose music went from being erotic, melodic Goth to some kind of DJ produced sonic nightmare, so bad are they now that I shudder to even say that I once liked them. Later day Slayer could well be called ‘Slower’ and Metallica — well, that’s just nu-metal now-a-days.

Hate to break it to you, but there isn't a thing in this world that somebody isn't going to see or hear that they can't turn into dollar signs. Generally though, the more original, complex, or taboo something is, the harder it is to make accessable. Even shit eating has it's followings.

Quote
The conclusion is quite simple — you can make lots of money out of metal, provided you strip the very ideologies that are inherent to the genre; and are able to create a ‘product’ that looks like metal, but is nothing more than pop cloaked as metal. So contact them remix video girls, dress them in leather and chains, make a ‘black metal’ video, t-shirts, mugs, caps etc, and yeah if you have some time left then make some music too. Don’t know to play the guitar? No problemo, Fruity Loops v3.0 will do that for you. Can’t sing? Then Sound Forge v7.0 is just waiting for you. Yeah, don’t forget to get a good hair-dresser, PR agent and an image consultant. There is a fortune waiting for you out there, but you are still wasting hours practising them Emperor chords. Silly you.

http://www.infinitymag.com/webzine/130/the-cradle-effect


Again, the article doesn't try to say what "ideologies" are being raped by the mainstream, it only mentions that the elite listen to it, and it is not for everyone. So don't listen to it! Give me a break. Maybe these elitists can move on to the next unpopular thing like playing "pig metal", "Winter metal" or "classical hard core ambient death synth pop metal trance wave fuzz metal". Maybe nobody listens to that. Yet. ::)


Re: The Cradle Effect
April 15, 2005, 06:32:19 PM
My views, hopefully in relevance to your post:
1. Black Metal was better than most music because it was an art form, it meant something. I also consider it better because my own worldview is congruent with it, and I consider my own worldview better than all others if looked at from an "objective" standpoint (as in, put in context to the natural whole).

2. The elitist aspect of BM is basically that it was about being better than other music, addressing things that other music couldn't handle, and wasn't designed to handle. It was about progression instead of stagnation, about pushing boundaries, about breaking new ground instead of treading over that which has already been done to death.

3. Black metal wasn't about opposing in itself, but about opposing Christianity, the stagnancy of our society.

4. The creators of BM never originally aimed for accessibility. They didn't express something and then think "now, how can I make this more accessible?" They expressed something that was so fundamentally in opposition to what's considered "good" in society, it was inherently inaccessible.

5. The only way a BM band can be accessible is to glorify something that is still valued in our society yet isn't congruent with Christianity, and such things are few and far between.

6. Virtually all "black metal" in the mainstream today is actually just marketed as such because it shares certain elements of its sound, but its populist essence renders it non-bm - it is written to please the herd (or at least, the portion of the herd which likes to be different), not to express opposition to Judeo-Christianity.

7. To explore in more depth what BM stands (stood?) for, I give you:
http://www.freehomepages.com/grishnak/index.html