Cradle of Filth's first three years saw three demos (Invoking the Unclean, Orgiastic Pleasures Foul and Total Fucking Darkness) recorded amidst the sort of rapid line-up fluctuations that have continued ever since, with the band having more than twenty musicians in its history. An album entitled Goetia was recorded prior to the third demo and set for release on Tombstone Records, but all tracks were wiped when Tombstone went out of business and the band could not afford to buy the recordings from the studio. The band eventually signed to Cacophonous Records, and their debut album, The Principle of Evil Made Flesh, was Cacophonous's first release in 1994. A step-up in terms of production from the rehearsal quality of most of their demos, the album was still nevertheless a sparse and embryonic version of what was to come, with lead singer Dani Filth's vocals in particular bearing little similarity to the style he was later to develop. The album was well-received however, and as recently as June 2006 found its way into Metal Hammer's list of the top ten black metal albums of the last twenty years.
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