Cradle of Filth are a heavy metal band formed in Suffolk, England in 1991. They have been embraced and disowned with equal fervour by various metal communities, and their particular subgenre has provoked a great deal of discussion. The band's sound evolved from black metal to a cleaner and more "produced" amalgam of gothic metal, symphonic black metal and other extreme metal styles, while their lyrical themes and imagery are heavily influenced by gothic literature, poetry, mythology and horror films. The band have successfully broken free of their original niche by courting mainstream publicity (often to the chagrin of its early fanbase), and this increased accessibility has brought coverage by the likes of Kerrang! and MTV, frequent main stage appearances at major festivals such as Ozzfest and Download, and in turn a more "commercial" image. They have sometimes been perceived as satanic by casual observers, although their outright lyrical references to satanism are few and far between, and use of satanic imagery has arguably always had more to do with the shock value than any seriously-held beliefs. According to Metal Hammer magazine, they are the most successful British metal band since Iron Maiden.
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