By Carl Begai
Back in May singer Sarah Jezebel Deva – best known as Cradle Of Filth’s backing vocalist – released a three song EP entitled Malediction. A noteworthy move not only because it came out barely a year after her second full length album, The Corruption Of Mercy, but because of the guest artists she and guitarist / producer Dan Abela welcomed on board for the production. Sarah’s former Cradle Of Filth bandmate Martin Powell (keyboards) was reportedly lured in with the promise of a Mars bar and some soap, while Soilwork frontman Björn “Speed” Strid agreed quite unexpectedly to sing on the duet ‘Lies Define Us’ without ever having met anyone involved. The biggest shock, however, was Cradle Of Filth frontman Dani Filth willingly lending his talents to the last song, ‘This Is My Curse’. A “shock” not only because the short-but-deadly singer is basically playing second string to part of his former support staff, but because Sarah had said numerous times in interviews that she would “never” work with Cradle Of Filth in any capacity ever again.
Lo and behold, she appears on the Cradle’s new orchestral album Midnight In The Labyrinth and Dani can be heard shrieking up a storm in Sarah’s house.
“I won’t make it a secret that me and Dani didn’t speak for three years, until he contacted me in January of this year asking me to do Midnight In The Labyrinth,” Sarah reveals. “I left Cradle because it was the right time. Me and Dani were having all kinds of altercations, and I’ve always viewed Dani as my brother, so it was hard. I love him but I hate him (laughs). We’re very much on the same page in some aspects, but it was time to go. I always thought that Dani and I would never communicate again, and I was quite happy with that even though there was a sense of missing him. I’d also met someone, and I wanted to do my own thing, so I left the band and went to Australia in November 2008. I never got a ‘Thank you for all that you’ve done for this band…’ or anything. I was in contact with Dave (Pybus/bass) but that was the only real contact I had to that part of my life. So, getting that call from Dani, I was really chuffed. I was skeptical at first, but I thought to myself, ‘You know, now it’s time to grow up.’” Continue reading SARAH JEZEBEL DEVA – Curse And Cradle (Living Filthy)
By Carl Begai
Not quite a year has passed since the release of her second official solo album, The Corruption Of Mercy, yet former Cradle Of Filth backing vocalist Sarah Jezebel Deva is back with new music. Short but not exactly sweet, the three-song Malediction EP will be embraced by the diehard fans as a rousing stand-alone success. It’s also guaranteed to attract the attention of folks that normally wouldn’t have given Sarah and her bandmates the time of day, perhaps convincing them to stick around future escapades
Sarah makes it clear up front that Malediction isn’t the result of too many leftovers from the Corruption Of Mercy sessions. Nor is it a shot at trying to obliterate said album from memory as she did to her 2010 solo debut A Sign Of Sublime – which she considers a disappointment – with her previous outing.
“We didn’t have these songs lying about or anything like that,” she begins. “We never planned on doing this EP up until four or five months ago, and it was actually three things that led to making Malediction. We had a UK tour coming up, and the UK doesn’t give a shit about us. I suppose if I was a size 0 and had fake boobs to sell magazines they’d give a shit about me, but because we had the tour coming up we needed something to promote it so that people know we exist. The other part of it was loyalty to the record company (Listenable Records). We’ve suffered a lot because of illegal downloading and our physical sales are minimal, but the label has been so supportive since signing Angtoria (in 2006) that I felt I owed them something. And we did this for the fans. It’s a cheap buy so it’s not going to break the bank, and we’re not expecting to make any money off it. We want our fans to know we give a shit and they’ll be able to spread the word about the band. We absolutely love it and we hope that everyone sees what we see in it.”
“The internet is such a powerful tool, and we want or fans to be able to see us. We get so many requests from all over the world, and the chances of us playing the US or Canada or South America are really low without people knowing who we are.”
Sarah is adamant about pushing the new EP as a band effort rather than a solo project, stepping up the claim of working in a unit that was established with The Corruption Of Mercy. She and guitarist/producer Dan Abela are the creative heart of the band, and their collective brainstorm of ideas for Malediction resulted in a few outstanding surprises for fans and naysayers alike.
“Me and Dan do everything together – and to elaborate on that, we don’t sleep together and we don’t use the same toothbrush – which means that whatever I do for this band I clear with him, and vice versa. It’s not because we’re the bosses, it’s because we do most of the songwriting. We believe, and from my past experience, if you don’t communicate in a band it goes tits up very quickly. We have this understanding that we tell each other everything so that nobody can be accused of anything and there won’t be any problems.” Continue reading BW&BK Interview: SARAH JEZEBEL DEVA – Band For Life
I was recently given an advance listen to vocalist Sarah Jezebel Deva’s new three-track Malediction EP, due to be released via Listenable Records on May 28th. Following is a rundown of what the digital-only shot in the head has to offer…
Back when vinyl was king, it was common for bands to release 12” EPs featuring exclusive material to tide fans over while waiting for the artist’s next full length album. More often than not this material was top notch stuff rather than the uninspired cut / paste filler “bonus tracks” that often get tacked onto the end of present day releases. That said, it’s something of a pity that vocalist Sarah Jezebel Deva’s new Malediction EP is a digital-only affair, because the three songs featured reflect that era; quality music created in the interest of giving the fans something special.
Malediction is short, sweet, and to the bloody point, boasting material as good as if not better than that featured on Sarah’s previous solo outing, The Corruption Of Mercy. Lead track ‘Lies Define Us’ is a gorgeous and memorable hook-laden piece standing head and shoulders above typical goth metal fluff, featuring Soilwork frontman Björn “Speed” Strid singing clean harmonies against Sarah’s leads and clocking in under four minutes for maximum impact. In contrast, ‘When “It” Catches Up With You’ is about the Sarah Jezebel Deva band as a whole rather than being a vocal showcase, officially smacking Angtoria off its pedestal as being the strongest band-oriented work Ms. Deva has ever done thanks to riff-heavy guitars, monster drums, with everyone involved getting a chance to shine.
The icing on the cake, however – or the thorn in the eye as he’d probably dub it himself – is Cradle Of Filth frontman Dani trading lead vocals with his former backing singer on ‘This Is My Curse’. And it’s a performance guaranteed to please any fan of the Nyphetamine and Thornography albums. Continue reading SARAH JEZEBEL DEVA – Malediction