"Godspeed On The Devil's Thunder", the new album from the British extreme metal band CRADLE OF FILTH, sold a little over 11,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 48 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD is the follow-up to "Thornography", which shifted nearly 13,000 copies the first week out to enter The Billboard chart at No. 66. This was roughly in line with the performance of its predecessor, "Nymphetamine", which premiered with almost 14,000 copies back in October 2004.
In addition to the standard version of "Godspeed On The Devil's Thunder", a special edition and vinyl were released.
"Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder" is conceptual and is based on the well-documented, true-life fall from grace of a shadowy historical figure named Gilles de Rais, a wealthy French nobleman who was one of Joan of Arc's brothers-in-arms. He was best known, however, as a prolific serial killer who mixed prayers with his nightly murders as well as an aspiring alchemist. He was accused of a panoply of crimes, among them heresy, demonology and kidnapping. There's even an extreme fringe sect of historians who question de Rais' true status, with some convinced he was framed.
Regardless of viewpoint, leave it to CRADLE OF FILTH to dissect de Rais' biography, exploring subversive, inflammatory historical subject matter in its lyrics, taking an unjaundiced look at a controversial figure in European history, set to epic black metal music. The band profiled Hungarian countess Elizabeth Bathory, who attempted to preserve her youth by bathing in the blood of virgins, in the past and now moves forward by framing their latest album around the story of de Rais.
CRADLE OF FILTH's vocalist Dani Filth elaborated on the album's concept, saying, "By far this is our most extreme, dramatic and deeply disturbing album to date. The legend of Gilles de Rais has been given fresh, vampyrical life in this conceptual meisterwerk, swathed in pitch-black magic and a viciousness unsurpassed in the annals of CRADLE history. Screw what our detractors say, everyone who has heard this album has bruised their jaws on the pentagram-bejewelled floor."
CRADLE OF FILTH will make its much-anticipated return to U.S. soil this winter for their first headline tour since the Viva La Bands tour in fall 2007. SATYRICON will serve as main support, while Greek metallers SEPTICFLESH (no written as one word) will open the show. The tour runs for six weeks.
CRADLE OF FILTH guitarist Paul Allender was recently interviewed by the Italian fan site CradleOfFilth.it. Watch the eight-minute chat below.