Picks: Stray From The Path, The Movielife, Cradle Of Filth

With apologies for a couple of weeks off the grid, Picks is back. We’re being thrown great records left, right and centre at the moment, so we’re going to begin with one that’s been around for a few weeks before delving into a couple that are barely out of the plant.

Stray From The Path
Only Death Is Real
Sumerian Records
[Spotify]

It’s no surprise that Stray From The Path’s eighth album is a rager. From the very first drop in ‘The Opening Move’ to the march of the final moments of the title track, Only Death Is Real is a vituperative outburst of political fury. It’s brimming with bounce, and all the usual SFTP rap-metal groove and flow is present and correct. The stand-out track is ‘Goodnight Alt-Right’, a thinly-veiled celebration of the noble sport of Nazi punching. Someone had to say it, and Stray From The Path are masters of saying what needs to be said. I seem to be in the minority in preferring Subliminal Criminals, but this is a worthy follow-up.

The Movielife
Cities In Search Of A Heart
Rise Records
[Spotify]

Despite their tumultuous history there’s something different about The Movielife. Like so many of those classic Drive-Thru bands, they’ve got more going on vocally and melodically than other emo-infused pop-punk bands. Their first album came out in 1999 but Cities In Search Of A Heart is only the fourth, marking their full-length return after 14 years. It’s a solid addition. ‘Ski Mask’ and ‘Mercy Is Asleep At The Wheel’ form a decent opening pair, while ‘Sister Saint Monica’ is full of early-2000s hooks. It might not win any awards, but a new album from The Movielife? Always welcome.

Cradle Of Filth
Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness Of Decay
Nuclear Blast Records
[Spotify]

You know what you’re going to get from Cradle Of Filth these days. As a label-mate of their Nuclear Blast debut, Hammer Of The Witches, their twelfth album is well suited. Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness Of Decay is typically overblown and melodramatic, aggressive and symphonic, ludicrous and credible. Dani Filth’s maniacal vocal is reassuringly familiar, and there’s some terrific lead guitar weaving through the assorted strings and keys and organs and choirs of Cradle’s theatrical side. ‘The Night At Catafalque Manor’ is just one example of their thrashy edge, and a highlight because of it.

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